So did you hear that Congressman Beto O’Rourke is heading for the unemployment line in January, despite all the Betomania sweeping the nation? Having lost his Senate bid, he’s being replaced in his current position by Veronica Escobar when the new Congress is seated. So what will Beto be doing with all the free time he’ll have on his hands? He could always consider getting his old band back together. But that’s not what the media wants to see.

Last night, it took almost zero time for CNN’s Chris Cillizza to say what many Democrats were already thinking. It’s time for Beto to kick off his 2020 presidential campaign.

The master Democratic strategists at Slate barely waited an hour after he conceded to run the blaring headline, Don’t Overthink It, Just Nominate Beto in 2020.

He did astoundingly well for a Texas Democrat. He’s already got a national profile. He’s proved he can raise a ton of money without indebting himself to corporations. His Uplifting Articulate Guy persona presents a clear alternative to Trumpism without coming across as scolding or patronizing. While he lost his Senate race, he has experience in Congress, but not so much experience that past votes will haunt him.

Newsweek at least had the decency to allow Beto to get a night’s sleep before launching his campaign bidin all caps.


O’Rourke, who was projected to lose to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz on Tuesday, had vowed that he would serve out his full six-year term in the Senate if victorious and would not run for president in 2020.

But a defeat frees him of those obligations. And given how close he got to unseating a Republican in the ruby-red Lone Star State, he is sure to face loud calls from Democrats to run for the party’s nomination for the White House. Indeed, those cries had begun even before the results in the race were final on Tuesday.

Is it just me, or is all of this Betomania sounding a bit forced and over the top? Traditionally, American politics has been a game of to the winner go the spoils. But now, we have the loser of a closely watched contest being hoisted up on the shoulders of the press corps. They’re trying to hang the victor’s garland around his neck after failing to get the ball into the end zone.

Also, not to throw too much cold water on this idea all at once, but is another generic white guy (albeit a young one, which is a plus) what the Democrats are looking for in 2020? And let’s not forget that they’re pushing the generic white guy with a history of attempting to flee the scene of a drunken driving crash at that. O’Rourke definitely ran an energetic campaign and showed a knack for retail politics, but was it a good campaign? He put his foot in his mouth more than a few times.

If that’s what the Democrats settle on, then so be it, I guess. But it just seems more than a little premature and quite possibly not the best election strategy for 2020.