Beto O’Rourke has travelled to 14 states and 91 cities, zigzagging across the country in a breathtaking series of minivans, coffee shops, and rallies. But back at his El Paso headquarters, his presidential campaign is running behind.
More than a month after she was brought on, O’Rourke campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, a big-name hire from the upper echelons of Obamaworld, has yet to start on the campaign full-time. That’s left O’Rourke’s operation in El Paso in a kind of holding pattern, according to interviews with nearly a dozen people inside or close to the operation, while O’Malley Dillon spends part of her time wrapping things up at her Democratic strategy firm in Washington. Campaign staff have been left waiting to see how she will steer the campaign when she arrives in Texas in early May.
As the campaign sees it, this is all part of a natural process: O’Rourke is an unconventional candidate running an unconventional campaign. Success, aides say, is defined more by how many people O’Rourke meets than by how tight of a ship he’s running back home.