O’Rourke is visibly imitating Obama’s affect and speaking style, and even kind of looks like him. His mega-viral speech addressed the NFL national anthem protests with Obama-style energy and nuance, and he has adopted much of Obama’s anti-partisanship rhetoric (though not to the same degree).
It’s natural and understandable that ambitious politicos will attempt to cultivate an affect similar to the best politician in a generation. But more worryingly, O’Rourke also appears to have the same mixture of (at least semi-genuine) rhetoric on social issues plus banking policy cynicism. Obama at least passed a watered-down financial reform in addition to serving as a political heat shield for bankers, but O’Rourke voted to significantly weaken that earlier this year (though to be fair, he grudgingly voted against a later deregulation effort that was even worse). Did he have future financial sector speaking gigs at $400,000 a pop in the back of his mind when casting that vote? It would be hard not to!