Beto O'Rourke Meeting with Obama Fuels Speculation of 2020 Run
Democratic Texas Rep. met with former president last month
After it emerged that Beto O'Rourke met with former President Barack Obama last month, speculation is swirling that the Democratic Texas Rep. is making moves toward a presidential run in 2020.
With many still seeing Obama as the Democrats' unofficial leader, the meet is being seen as O'Rourke seeking approval to run from the ex-POTUS.
It's been pretty clear for all to see for a while now that the Democrats simply don't have a candidate that can beat Trump in the next presidential election.
Some of the names circling such as Joe Biden, Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and even hopefuls like "Creepy Porn Lawyer" Michael Avenatti, just don't have it in them to take on President Trump.
Of course, should the likes of Biden or Warren run in 2020, it would make for an entertaining path to victory for Trump, but it won't do the Democratic Party much good in the long run.
After O'Rourke lost his Senate race in November to Ted Cruz, it might be easy to write off the idea "Beto 2020," but no Dem challenger would have beaten the incumbent Texas Republican.
And while he may have lost, O'Rourke did manage to gather a lot of support.
At this point, the Democrats are probably realizing that Beto is their best bet for a respectable defeat rather than a humiliating one.
O'Rourke met with the ex-president at Obama's offices in Washington D.C., on Nov. 16, according to a Tuesday report from The Washington Post.
According to Fox News, O'Rourke, who recently lost a Senate campaign to incumbent Republican Ted Cruz, initially said he would "not be a candidate for president in 2020," but changed his tune last week at a town hall in El Paso, telling reporters that his initial comment was made when winning the Senate race was "100 percent our focus."
Now, O'Rourke said, he and his wife are "thinking through a number of things" and have "made a decision not to rule anything out."
His reported meeting with Obama came just four days before the former president labeled O'Rourke "an impressive young man."
Speaking to his former strategist, David Axelrod, Obama said the Texas politician appears to be running on a platform that he actually believes.
“What I oftentimes am looking for first and foremost is, ‘Do you seem to mean it? Are you in this thing because you have a strong set of convictions that you are willing to risk things for?'” Obama said, noting that O’Rourke struck him as that kind of person.
And in addition to the president's praise, former Obama aides have reportedly compared O'Rourke to Obama — a young, liberal politician who rose through the ranks after establishing a grass-roots movement.
A former senior adviser to O'Rourke told NBC News recently that many former Obama officials are saying: "If we can be helpful as you think about this, let us know. If you want our perspective on what it's like to run a national campaign, let us know."
And young Democrats don't appear to be pushing O'Rourke, whose House term ends Jan. 3, to the side.
New Hampshire's Young Democrats political group, as well as Iowa Democrats, last month invited O'Rourke to speak in their respective states.