Why is Beto Running?

I know he has raised a ton of money, and I know he excites a lot of people, but for the life of me I can not figure out why he is running for President. I don’t think he really knows, either:

Now is not the time to be exploring how you feel about things. With his odd road trip and sort of not really knowing how we feels about certain issues that even addle-minded old fools like yours truly has already figured out, this feels less like a serious candidate to run the country than it does someone attending the political version of Coachella. He’s raised a ton of money, and a lot of people are wild about him, so maybe with that will come advisors and a platform and a seriousness towards the issues that seems lacking.

Obviously, if he wins the primary, I will vote for him. I’d personally wish he would run against Cornyn in 2020 and get some more seasoning as a leader and help turn Texas blue. What I want doesn’t matter, though, and he is currently running for President against a lot of more qualified and more accomplished people. Hopefully he will pull it all together, and soon, but right now it’s hard to look at his campaign as little more than a static display of white male privilege.

129 replies
  1. 1
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:


    It could be 1960 all over again, Edgar.
    Bobby’s got the magic, like a goddamn
    rock star. They climb all over each
    other just to touch his clothes!

    Beto at Penn State (photo)

  2. 2
    matt says:

    I figure he’s running because he’s good at fundraising, thinking the rest can fall into place as things roll along.

  3. 3
    Another Scott says:

    (I thought you were going to have the video [of] Ted Kennedy’s fumbled answer to that obvious question.)

    I didn’t watch his 3 minute announcement video – maybe it’s in there. But that video seemed to rub a bunch of people the wrong way.

    It would be great if he would run against Cornyn and win, but he probably saw that if he couldn’t beat Cruz (in an off-year election, granted), then he probably couldn’t beat Cornyn even in a presidential election year. But waves have a way of changing the calculus…


    I’m not ready to write him off yet.

    We’ll see.


  4. 4

    but for the life of me I can not figure out why he is running for President.

    I’ve not figured it out either.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    a static display of white male privilege

    Quite the ‘The dress is white and gold, period’ provocative statement there. How any more applicable than running for the Senate?

  6. 6
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    and he is currently running for President against a lot of more qualified and more accomplished people.

    Yay! Cole is endorsing Biden!

  7. 7
    Anne Laurie says:

    He’s afraid — or he’s been told — that if he doesn’t run right now, he’ll have Missed His Window. It’s become Democratic conventional wisdom that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama succeeded because they were ‘bright young idealists’ who ‘had the charisma’ to run in years when everybody knew the GOP had a lock.

    To a degree, I can see his point of view, even though I think we’ve got at least 4 or 5 better candidates out there already. If *you* had the financial freedom to tour the country, stopping at coffeehouses and college lounges where dozens of people would be waiting to applaud your Deep Thoughts, wouldn’t you be a little tempted?

    (Well, not you personally, Cole — although I seem to remember you put in some time as a roadie — but the sort of extrovert who’d consider running for office in the first place.)

  8. 8
    Ohio Mom says:

    I step aside for half an hour to catch up with my kid’s tutor and I have missed an entire thread.

    I don’t know why Beto is running, either. I am hearing not so attractive things about him, like when he was on city council, he pushed through a big gentrification project that hurt a minority community (well don’t they all?). I’ve heard him described as
    having (ewww) Libertarian leanings. Somebody correct me if I need it.

    I worry if all of us good Democrats will have enough money left over to contribute in the general once we finish spreading our support through the current field of 100 contenders.

    Beto does play a mean air drum though. I could watch that video again and again.

  9. 9
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Beto Mania lands in New Hampshire

    Hunter Woodall
    ‏ @HunterMw

    Good evening from Keene where there quite a few people here to see Beto. #FITN

    1 reply 6 retweets 13 likes

    KEENE, N.H. — Much like his campaign, Beto O’Rourke’s first stop in this crucial early primary state Tuesday night had a thrown-together feel but still packed three floors of the Keene State College student center’s atrium with potential supporters.

    Holy shit (photo) 👀

    Get off my lawn, Beto!

  10. 10
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: I’m not writing him off yet, either. His inexperience has been on display, but it’s early days yet. He connects with people and he really does have a lot of good ideas, but if you don’t listen to him directly and get your information through the MSM or Twitter, you are not going to get a good sense of him.

  11. 11
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Another Scott:

    (I thought you were going to have the video [of] Ted Kennedy’s fumbled answer to that obvious question.)

    Well, we know now why Teddy ran: Because he was the youngest son & the only one left, and The Family expected it of him.

    We also know why he ran so badly: He had credible reason to believe he’d be assassinated, like his two older brothers, while he was on the campaign trail.

    Beto’s got some version of the ‘Kennedy charisma’, apparently, but that’s his only resemblance, IMO.

  12. 12
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    If *you* had the financial freedom to tour the country

    you say that as if it’s unique to him. name one candidate who doens’t have “financial freedom”. Even Warren is a multimillionaire.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    @Anne Laurie

    where dozens of people would be waiting to applaud your Deep Thoughts

    Much like blogging, then.


  14. 14
    WaterGirl says:

    @Anne Laurie: If you’re really talented, but you are in a red state, then there aren’t good options for you if you really want to make a difference. You pretty much have to go national in some way.

    I don’t begrudge Beto running, and I think he has a lot to offer. I wish people would stop dismissing candidates because of gaffes or slightly flubbed answers. It’s March 2019, not October 2020. Geez people, please remember that these guys are on our team.

    If they don’t believe in climate change, or they have done damage to their city/state/whatever because of policy mistakes, that’s a completely different thing. Male or female, how about if we cut some of these candidates some slack?

  15. 15
    Anne Laurie says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    name one candidate who doens’t have “financial freedom”.

    Of course. I’d say it was, at this point in time, a necessary but not a sufficient ingredient for a successful campaign.

  16. 16
    WaterGirl says:

    @Anne Laurie: I am willing to bet that if you did some research, you would see that you and Beto agree on at least 90% of the issues that matter to you. Why shouldn’t he run?

  17. 17

    @WaterGirl: They better have their game in order before October 2019 not October 2020, that’ll be much too late.

  18. 18
    debbie says:


    Right. All he can do at the moment is run for President, though I bet if he runs a good, smart campaign, he’ll land a good job in the next administration.

  19. 19
    kindness says:

    I like Beto. But as a one term Congressman who lost to Cruz…..not sure that is a reason to step up to the big leagues, but do understand he thinks he won’t do as well against the next Texas Senator as he isn’t roundly hated like Cruz. Guess he has to do something. Not sure about running for president being that something.

  20. 20
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ohio Mom: Have you researched either of your concerns at all?

    I just googled Beto libertarian and found only a story that some person saw a Beto sign on her neighbor’s lawn, and that neighbor is a libertarian, so she started to wonder.

    With all the disinformation campaigns AND with the Republicans being scared shitless of Beto, we should all be doing research before we believe what someone says on Twitter or something we heard from someone who heard it from someone. We need a special “snopes for candidates”.

  21. 21
    Captain Oblivious says:

    As I said over at LG&M recently, it was easy to run against Cruz, because Cruz is an unappealing sack of shit who supports policies nobody likes. It’s a lot harder to run against popular opponents espousing popular positions, especially when they’ve already hammered out their platforms and you’re just making it up as you go along.

  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    @Anne Laurie

    And then there’s Baud.


  23. 23
    WaterGirl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I completely agree with you on that, but it’s only March and the first debates aren’t even until June. Just sayin’.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @Anne Laurie: Delaney has money and his policies are to the left of Beto’s, but unfortunately he is dull. Personally dull is okay to me.
    Beto doesn’t spell out his policies, but his voting record paints him as a moderate.

  25. 25
    Ohio Mom says:

    This is off topic but once upon a time, the outfit Ohio Dad was working for announced they were closing up the local office. Some selected staff would be invited to move to the office in New Hampshire.

    Ohio Dad was one of the lucky ones offered a new job, and the whole family got a free trip to look at the new set up and decide whether or not we wanted to move to New England.

    Inbetween having real estate agents slobber all over us, we toured the potential new office.

    During the visit, one very tall, white, young-middle-aged, nice looking fellow stood up, all 6’4” of him looming over the cubicle walls, introduced himself and his title — the boss — and said, only a little tongue-in-cheek, “That’s because I’m the tallest.”

    That’s the story I think of when I see photos of Beto on diner counters (making work for the waitresses who now have to scrub where he stood).

  26. 26
    PST says:

    Beto certainly sounds a lot less qualified by knowledge, temperament, and preparation than Mayor Pete. That guy has a substantive answer for anything you throw at him.

  27. 27
    Ocotillo says:

    Well the obvious reason is why so many others are chasing the D nomination, that is Trump despite his hold on his base, looks very vulnerable. Mix in the logic that if you wait, your wait may well be 8+ years. Beto has charisma out the yazoo, he looks like a new generation and he is not Trump. He knows how to raise $ so he gets a following.

    I am from Texas and enthusiastically voted for him against the odious Cruz and wish either he or Julian Castro would run against Cornyn. Texas will still likely vote for Trump in ’20 and Cornyn cruises to re-election but elections are like the lottery. You can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket.

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    Beto is strong on immigration and border issues, and he has direct experience in those areas that others do not.

  29. 29
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @kindness: he’s a three term congressman.

  30. 30
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: Beto is in Texas, not California. Barack Obama believes that we shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of the good, that we get the progress we can, when we can. I believe that, too. If you listen to what Beto says, he is quite progressive.

  31. 31
    Mary G says:

    My big red flag for Beto is that he seems to believe that since he is a hero of social media he is a genius and anointed special person. This is the FTFNYT, but it lays it out:

    For a moment in August, an event hall in Texas teemed with hope, taquitos and unity.

    It was a border-town stop for Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign, but another Democratic politician commanded particular attention: Gina Ortiz Jones, a history-making congressional candidate — gay, Filipina-American, an Iraq war veteran — hoping to turn a majority-Hispanic district blue. “Really special person,” Mr. O’Rourke said, as Ms. Jones stood and waved.

    But soon, a county chairwoman posed an uncomfortable question. Mr. O’Rourke had not endorsed Ms. Jones. In fact, he had elevated her Republican opponent, Representative Will Hurd, with frequent praise and, most memorably, a live-streamed bipartisan road trip that helped jump-start their midterm campaigns. Would Mr. O’Rourke support the Democrat?

    He would not.

    “This is a place where my politics and my job and my commitment to this country come into conflict,” Mr. O’Rourke said. “I’m going to put country over party.”

    Some supporters of Ms. Jones saw it differently: Beto O’Rourke was once again putting Beto O’Rourke first.

    So basically, when he was a freshman congresscritter, he and another freshman, Will Hurd, a Republican, drove from Texas to DC together, streaming their adventures on FB, Twitter and Insta, touting their willingness to usher in a new era of bipartisanship. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but he seems to have gotten his first 15 minutes of fame from that. He refused to endorse against Hurd, and the gay female Democrat lost by a small margin. Not cool at all.

  32. 32
    Fair Economist says:

    He’s running because he has a chance at the job, and if he doesn’t get the nomination it raises his chance for Veep or governor in 22.

    I’m not clear on why supporting a mainstream position on the tech industry indicates he is not ready. Breaking up the tech giants helps only insofar as competition helps, and Breitbart is what it is in the presence of gobs of competition. Regulation is a solid approach to a natural monopoly.

  33. 33
    Jay says:


    Wonkette is running a “he/she actually said”, debunker series for articles/twits/blogs twisting Democratic PartyCantidates out of context.

  34. 34
    Grumpy Old Railroader says:

    Until I see how he handles himself with fried chicken or a corn dog, I am reserving judgement

  35. 35

    @Ocotillo: I’m old enough to remember when George H. W. Bush was going to cruise to re-election in 1992 and the only folk that thought to challenge him were the washed up former Governor of California* and some Governor from Arkansas.

    *Apologies to Chairman Emeritus Jerry.

  36. 36
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Cole – circa 1976:

    who does this Jimmy Carter think he is running for president after one term? Yes he excites people, but this strikes as white male privilege when there more accomplished candidates like Scoop Jackson running.

  37. 37
    geg6 says:


    Or win.

    We can’t possibly know. Currently, he is running a point behind Harris, who is #3 in a poll I saw this morning on tv. And happily, Sanders seems to have lost a few points, though was still #2 (but quite a few points behind Biden). Any one of them can win. It’s only March 2019. I’m not getting the bashing here. I think Beto has some qualities that are unique and worth considering over time in this race. I feel the same about all the Dems, with the exception of Gabbard. And Bernie, of course but he’s not a Dem, so bash away!

  38. 38

    @Grumpy Old Railroader: I’m waiting until I see how he handles fried butter.

  39. 39
    William Moakler says:

    Beto (and Mayor Pete) have the issue of being young charismatic politicians of some promise trapped in very red states where they have little to no chance of winning statewide office. Beto ran a great campaign, but couldn’t unseat Ted Cruz, a man disliked even by his own party. He has almost no chance of beating Cornyn, who is basically Mr. Texas Republican. And if he runs again fore the Senate and loses, his politically career is basically over, as he will have two-time loser stench on him.

    Running for President is basically the only way he can raise his visibility on the national stage and hope to further his political career even if he doesn’t win.

  40. 40
    debbie says:


    I agree with you and with those who have called out the circular firing squad. Stop doing the GOP’s work for them!

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Ocotillo says:

    Beto declining to support Gina Ortiz-Jones is not acceptable. Will Hurd is actually that very rare animal, an R with some principles. At the end of the day though, he was going to be voting for Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker so he needs to be tossed out on his ass.

  43. 43
    WaterGirl says:

    I keep hearing “of course I will vote for the democrat that gets the nomination”.

    But I fail to see how all the negative comments about small bullshit issues that are mostly the result of a comment being taken out of context — or being interpreted in the worst possible way — are going to help us get to that end.

    The more we repeat things like “Beto’s just a pretty face with no substance” and “oh, Pete Buttigieg said something bad about Hillary” and “I heard someone say this about that candidate”, the more we are just repeating Republican talking points. I fail to understand why we — even here at Balloon Juice — are willing to collectively shoot ourselves and our party in the foot.

    I may have to start taking drugs if this keeps up.

  44. 44
    Gex says:

    I was amused by this exchange I screencapped before it disappeared.

    His die hard supporters don’t care about substance

    deleted tweet about Beto’s email security

  45. 45
    feebog says:

    I will vote for him. I’d personally wish he would run against Cornyn in 2020 and get some more seasoning as a leader

    He looked at his chances against Cornyn and decided they did not look as good as against Cruz. And he lost to Cruz. At this point he is trying to catch lightning in a bottle, but so is everyone else. And should someone like Harris or Warren win the nomination, Beto might be an attractive choice as VP.

  46. 46
    geg6 says:


    Exactly. Playing right into their hands. We need happy warriors, I think. Not all this negativity. Save it for the general election, when it’s actually warranted. Positive vibes are attractive to low information voters and a great contrast to the sewer currently backed up in the Oval Office.

  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    If all he does is whip up enthusiasm, that’s good too.

  48. 48
    johnnybuck says:

    All I know is he scares hell out of Republicans, in a way other candidates don’t. He’s unconventional- and it might be all hype, but he seems pretty thoughtful and earnest. It’ll all shake out down the road. I really don’t get democrats slagging on other democrats though.

  49. 49
    Gwangung says:

    Not ruling him out. Not ruling him , either. I have him toward the lower half of my preference list. This far out, he has plenty of time to work himself up.

  50. 50
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Mary G: Biden also does this, as recently as 2018. It’s time to haul out our garbage.

  51. 51
    tobie says:

    If you’re curious about his reasons for running, JC, you could check out his campaign announcement video. It was an eloquent statement IMO about the crossroads our nation stands at with respect to the growth of corporate power, the precarious state of the environment, the fear of immigration, the threat to democratic governance and the absence of any sense of common purpose.

    I linked a couple of days ago to Beto’s statement about why he supported Schakowsky/DeLauro’s Medicare for America act, but I’d have to dig around to find it. (I’m not good at archiving material.) It was a detailed response. I was also impressed with a 4-minute interview he did this morning on outsourcing, the tax code and GM. It was refreshing to see a candidate actually think through an issue on live TV. He’s smart and he was clearly trying to address the matter from the perspective of labor, regulation and corporate taxes in one statement.

    Where in what–day 3 since his announcement??? I don’t recall most of the other candidates having a fixed set of positions that early in their campaign. I know Harris had to clarify her position on M4All after suggesting she would eliminate private insurance. I’m willing to wait a few days to see what regulations he thinks are appropriate for BigTech in lieu of breaking up the companies (a proposal that has generated both reasonable praise and reasonable critiques). The President is not Legislator in Chief. What they are supposed to do is articulate a vision for the country, move the Legislature to act to achieve certain objectives and move the country to be willing to accept major changes, which in our media environment is not an easy thing to do.

  52. 52
    johnnybuck says:

    @WaterGirl: Word

  53. 53
    Mary G says:

    And sorry if this column from Margaret Sullivan yesterday at WaPo has already been discussed – I’ve had to cut way down on the internet for a couple of days to not be enraged all the time:

    Beto, Biden and Bernie: The B-Boys and the media’s dangerous, self-fulfilling prophecy

    A few days later, the website PredictIt (“the stock market for politics”) listed as its top three presidential contenders: former vice president Joe Biden (who hasn’t even declared yet), Sanders and O’Rourke.

    Somehow, despite a remarkably diverse Democratic field — which includes a record number of women, a gay man and several people of color — the B-Boys (that is, Beto, Biden and Bernie) — were off and running.

    The news media undoubtedly was part of the equation. With more than 18 months to go before the 2020 election, the love and attention was not being dished out in equal measure.

    As author Rebecca Traister described it, she woke up one morning this week thinking about the flawed notion that being a white man is actually a disadvantage, given this diverse field.

    The reality is quite the opposite, she wrote on Twitter: “Early metrics would show it to be an extremely powerful polling & fundraising boon, as it has always, always been.”

    Author Linda Hirshman told me how frustrated she felt this week after watching “brilliant” town-hall appearances featuring Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.). The candidates offered detailed policy proposals and came off as smart and appealing.

    And where did the WaPo put this lovely piece of writing. Politics section? Opinion section? No. the fucking STYLE section. This is one of the things enraging me. Women are still second class citizens in so many areas.

  54. 54


    But I fail to see how all the negative comments about small bullshit issues that are mostly the result of a comment being taken out of context — or being interpreted in the worst possible way — are going to help us get to that end.

    It’s how the primary process has always worked, we eventually filter this crap and mange to vote for our preferred candidate and support the winner(eve if not our first choice) in the general. The situation in 2016 was unusual.

  55. 55
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Massive crowds – today – in New Hampshire

    Conway (photo)

    Plymouth (photo)

    Claremont (photo)

    don’t these peasants realize there are more elite candidates running.

  56. 56
    Jay says:


    There’s a lot of jumping on “hot takes”. It’s part of the “instant” media that society has embraced.

    Just like with other “instant” news, before repeating it, we need to sit back and wait while the story shakes out and remember that there’s a lot of planting of stories by the MSM.

    Wonkette’s running a series, for example, demolishing all the “hot takes” on Buttieg(sp)’s I’m with her comments.

    There’s a crapload of “twits” that can be easily twisted by taking 180 charaters from a speech or interview, and stripping it of context, to create an “opposite day” event.

  57. 57
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Ohio Mom: @WaterGirl: I tried but can not retrace my footsteps to find where I read that Beto had libertarian leanings. Mea culpa.

    I did see reminders of past stands of his I could do without (e.g., raising the SS retirement age because we need to cut the budget) but he seems to be embracing more liberal stands now.

    I admit, he makes my spidey sense tingle in a not good way. For better or worse, I long ago realized it really doesn’t matter what I think. I only have one vote, I use it carefully, but it doesn’t go far.

  58. 58
    tobie says:

    @Fair Economist: Now I’m embarrassed about all the pixels I wasted. You gave a succinct answer to Cole’s question.

    I don’t like that I’m being radicalized on this blog to like one candidate and hate another when at the end of the day what I really want to see is a Democrat in the White House, a Democratic majority in the Senate and a House that is even more Democratic than it is now. Oh, this reminds me: I’m glad Beto has said we should expand the Supreme Court. It will be the only chance to have balance — or justice — in the judiciary branch after Trump’s appointments.

  59. 59
    Brachiator says:

    I know he has raised a ton of money, and I know he excites a lot of people, but for the life of me I can not figure out why he is running for President. I don’t think he really knows, either

    Maybe he will figure it out, soon.

    It’s still too early for me to be worried about any of the candidates. But some good cautions.

  60. 60
    Anne Laurie says:


    Why shouldn’t he run?

    Obviously he can, but the question is why he should.

  61. 61
    JPL says:

    @Ocotillo: Also he won’t support Beto.

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @tobie: We are setting impossible standards for the candidates. I agree with what you wrote here, but unless I have you confused with someone else, you were doing the same thing with Pete Buttigieg in an earlier thread this afternoon. I actually read what Pete had said — the original question and his entire response — and I didn’t see it as attacking Hillary at all.

    I think we all need to see the source material before we believe what somebody heard or said about X.

    It’s making me crazy seeing all these smart BJ commenters that I respect saying some of the things I’ve been seeing here this week. Can’t we be more discerning than this? Can’t we have more realistic expectations than this? Can’t we accept that no candidate is perfect?

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @WaterGirl: I certainly did not mean to do that by pointing out his voting record. Being closer to the center is not a negative in my view.

  64. 64
    sharl says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    …I am hearing not so attractive things about him, like when he was on city council, he pushed through a big gentrification project that hurt a minority community (well don’t they all?)…

    You might have seen a piece that I also linked to in a mistermix post a couple days ago – see my comment there (#209), or some excerpted stuff below – from a piece (Beto Versus The Barrio) by a young reporter based in Austin who covers TX state politics, and who covered Beto during his 2018 campaign challenging Ted Cruz. Here are the last two paragraphs from that piece:

    [Beto’s father-in-law Bill] Sanders and other El Paso businessmen dropped money into a PAC called the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which blasted Reyes with negative ads, and right-wing donors from around Texas followed suit. O’Rourke won the primary with the help of Republican crossover voters—without them, Reyes would have beat him. El Paso Republican and business owner Eileen Karlsruher told a local publication that she and others she knew voted for O’Rourke because his record had demonstrated that he was a “middle-of-the-road conservative Democrat” who had outspoken stands on a few key non-pocketbook issues that were easy to ignore. He was easy to swallow.

    In truth, O’Rourke’s story bears a passing resemblance to that of the greatest Texas Democrat. Lyndon Johnson grew up under the thumb of a politician father, and married into a rich family. His father-in-law helped bankroll his first campaign, and in office he carefully tended to a small set of powerful Texas donors to ensure his elevation. He was a crook and a snake and wildly ambitious, but when he finally got power he unveiled his most tightly held secret—a piercing kind of moral clarity. He did things no one could have expected. O’Rourke is not Johnson, of course, for a hundred reasons—it’s just hard to say what he is.

    I suppose that last paragraph is meant to offer some hope to those like Cole (and me) that Beto will be a pleasant surprise, although I don’t know how helpful it actually is (and here at B-J such praise for LBJ might only serve to rile up raven, if he sees it). Like Cole, I’ll happily vote for Beto if he’s nominated. We shall see…

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    Just some last words about Booker and Rosario:

    About Rosario:
    Never forget that 94% of Black women voted for Hillary Clinton.


    Not only did she NOT vote for her, but she talked mad shyt about Hillary.

    94% of Black women saw the existential threat that Dolt45 posed to this country.

    Yet, Rosario couldn’t be bothered. The purity pony was too important than the real life ramifications of what complete Republican control would mean.

    You are judged, as a politician by your significant other. Might not be fair, but, it goes into the calculation.

    I already told you that I don’t trust Booker.

    Hillary Clinton was the standard bearer for our party in 2016.

    Now, Booker is trying to become the standard bearer in 2020, with a woman whose stances put him at odds with the very base of the party that he wants to lead.

    I don’t trust Cory Booker. And, nothing about Rosario being with him moves that needle one milimeter. She is supposed to assuage people the way that Michelle Obama did for some people in 2007 for Barack Obama.

  66. 66
    raven says:

    @sharl: fuck lbj

  67. 67
    Ohio Mom says:

    If we don’t list what we don’t like about a particular candidate, what their past mistakes have been, what personality quirks might trip them up, how will we help each other make up our minds?

    I can get all the feel-good stuff I want at a candidate’s website. They are not going to list the time they voted against (fill in the blank) or pushed for (fill in the blank) if they think that will hurt them, but it might be very valuable knowledge.

    I think this is a very safe space to go at the candidates. I’m told there are something like 9,999 other blogs with higher profiles. Maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea at one of the ones in the single digits.

    I’m not saying don’t list their positives. Just don’t sugar coat it.

  68. 68
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ohio Mom: We each have one vote, but we can influence other people’s votes with the information we share, with the way we talk about candidates, with the way we process information.

    Even threads like “Why is Beto Running” just set us up to point out the flaws for a democratic candidate who is getting people excited. I don’t think Beto is just a pretty face or an empty suit, but votes are votes and I want a candidate who will get people to vote, and that is one of Beto’s demonstrated strengths.

    I’d like to see threads like “What do You Like About Beto?” What do you like about Warren? What do you like about Harris? What do you like about Buttigieg?

    Imagine not having a lot of time to do a lot of research – you could read those threads and find information and links that would let you find out more about them.

    I am trying to do that with every candidate that I would find acceptable, even if they don’t excite me. I wasn’t excited about Pete Buttigieg until I watched the town hall, and now I am. Maybe the same will happen with other candidates that seem “fine” but don’t excite me.

    We can make a difference if we approach this in a constructive way.

  69. 69
    Raven says:

    This thread is fucking goofy. Sometimes I get 10 posts and sometimes 66???

  70. 70
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: Why do we care about whether some republican will support Beto?

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    Like a utility? Ok, that makes no sense at all.

    The whole point of utilities is that you enact price regulation because they have a captive market. They’re predisposed to abuse because none of the usual market forces that would allow competition to lower prices work in a utility market. But that’s not at all how tech companies work. To start with, they don’t meet the normal criteria for a monopoly. One of the necessary conditions of a monopoly is that they raise consumer pricing. The tech companies are the opposite of that. Google is free to consumers for most of their offerings and the ad market is suffering from constantly declining CMP rates. Amazon is cheap. Facebook is free, also with declining ad rates. The reason they are powerful is that they have infinite inventory. There’s only so many 30 second ad slots that a tv network can sell, limited by the length of the day, but there’s an infinite number of potential ad slots on the internet.

    How do you regulate that like a utility? The reason tech is so difficult to deal with is that it works like no prior market. There’s no lessons from the last 500 years of commerce to apply here. We have to come up with entirely new ways of thinking about the problem. Warren’s ‘breaking up big tech’ is problematic because ‘breaking up’ can mean a lot of different things. It doesn’t make any sense to break up in the Standard Oil sense, but it might make sense to separate the layers of tech companies. And that’s bit closer to what she’s advocating, but it’s a lot of work to drill down deep enough to understand what she’s really getting at. On the surface it sounds stupid.

  72. 72
    sharl says:

    @sharl: fuck lbj

    Top o’ the evening, good sir!

  73. 73
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t know why he is running either, Cole .

    He is getting on the nerves, missing the easy answers to questions.

    Some shyt, as a Democrat, should have easy answers. When you can’t give the easy answers…..you are suspect.

    And, I have no interest in finding common ground with the other side.

    Uh huh.
    Take it somewhere else.

  74. 74
    raven says:

    @sharl: Hi! Thanks for thinking of me!

  75. 75
    JPL says:

    @WaterGirl: lol I don’t but I thought it was petty of Hurd.

  76. 76
    chopper says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    i dunno if carter is the comparison you want. he won, but had almost as hard a time dealing with his own party as he did with the gop in part because he was an upstart.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    tobie says:

    @WaterGirl: Of course no candidate is perfect. Each will in the course of the campaign make missteps, use a poorly chosen word or phrase, adjust positions, equivocate on something important, etc. That’s all good and it’s fine to say an answer on one issue is bogus. Where it gets problematic is when everything becomes disqualifying. A good thought exercise is to force yourself to find 5 things you think recommend a candidate for higher office, even if they’re not your preferred candidate. And of course watching them helps. I wasn’t impressed with Gillibrand at all and then I heard her for an hour on Chris Hayes’s show and actually changed my evaluation of her entirely. Each candidate has quirks and their imperfections are also their charms.

  79. 79


    If you’re really talented, but you are in a red state, then there aren’t good options for you if you really want to make a difference. You pretty much have to go national in some way.

    This is the impression, but I’m not sure it’s true. Beto comes from a blue area in a red state (albeit one that shows signs of turning purple), so he could probably have kept his job in the House for a good long time. He could have made a big difference by continuing to work in the House and climbing into leadership there, as well as by trying to build the state party. Neither of those is as exciting as running for President, but we need House leadership, and Texas badly needs to have its state party rebuilt if we want it to turn purple and eventually blue.

  80. 80
    Jay says:


    It’s been going on for way more than a week.

    Remember the Pelosi/Sunshine Project/AOC media/ReThug ratfucking that achieved exactly what it was supposed to? White hot hate and trashing of AOC over something that didn’t happen. And that white hot hate got burned in deep, and remains, even after the “framing” was exposed as bullshit.

    In the time of Needy Amin, all of our outrage nerves and offense nerves are plucked raw every day, and in a time of hot takes, less than honest brokers are feeding “hot takes” on Democratic Party cantidates and Members to turn those raw nerves against the Party.

    We need to be aware of that.

  81. 81
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Anne Laurie: but why ask the “question” only of him?

    Look, let’s be real, it’s the fun stage of the campaign. I can’t wait until the candidates start devouring fried butter sticks and fried M&Ms at the Iowa fair. There will be enough time to attack candidates later (if I recall correctly, Edwards didn’t start his kamikaze attacks on Clinton until October 2007).

  82. 82
    NotMax says:

    @Mary G

    Have no statistics whatsoever to back it up but I suspect that a greater percentage of people who receive a printed copy of WaPo peruse the style section than do the main news section.


  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I’m not saying don’t list their positives. Just don’t sugar coat it.

    And I’m not saying don’t list the negatives. Just make sure they are real negatives, not some bullshit that was taken out of context.

    rikyrah isn’t saying she won’t vote for Booker because he gave a bad answer to some question on the campaign trail. She is saying that Booker has a terrible track record with charter schools, and she explains who that hurt and why. She explained that she doesn’t trust his judgment based on a very significant person in Booker’s life who has very recently behaved in a fashion that harmed us all. That’s real and not based on something taken out of context or interpreted in the worst possible way.

    I’m all for sharing information, just not bullshit like “I’ll never vote for him because it’s stupid that he jumped up on a table” or “he answered a question badly” or “I don’t even know what he stands for” – when you have never bothered to find out what he stands for.

    Not talking about you specifically, the “you” is a general you.

  84. 84
    eemom says:

    I keep wishing he’d beaten Cruz. Talk about a win-win-win-win: we’d be rid of the verminous Cruz, have one more Democratic senator and one less white guy running for president…..and best of all from Beto’s own perspective, none of us would be scrutinizing him under a microscope right now. #sigh

  85. 85
    danielx says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    Two words for you: corn dogs.

  86. 86
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Mary G:

    [Beto] refused to endorse [Ortiz-Jones] against Hurd, and the gay female Democrat lost by a small margin. Not cool at all.

    This chaps my ass as well. Ortiz-Jones lost by 926 votes out of 210,069 cast (0.44%). (You can look it up.) As a result Nancy Smash has a 2-seat smaller majority to work with.

    Will Hurd is on record as saying that if Beto’s the nominee in 2020, he’d still vote for Trump. Come on, Beto considers this guy a friend? Maybe he ought to be disqualified for no greater reason than not being able to figure out who his real friends are. I mean, think of the implications for the Cabinet… 8^O

    Until & unless the Beto camp offers a reasonable explanation for not supporting the Democrat in TX-23 (NB that “country over party” bit is BS) Beto is on my “no-vote-no-$” list.

    (And if Hurd is all that, why doesn’t Beto persuade him to switch parties?)

  87. 87
    ola azul says:


    I like Beto. But as a one term Congressman who lost to Cruz…..not sure that is a reason to step up to the big leagues, but do understand he thinks he won’t do as well against the next Texas Senator as he isn’t roundly hated like Cruz. Guess he has to do something. Not sure about running for president being that something.

    I’m not either, but willing to wait and see. Still purty early.

    Let me preface this next by saying a coupla things:

    1. I am NOT making a parallel, so please save the brickbats — just noting a similarity in the timing of the literal political backgrounds of two pols re: CV experience in national elected office, one alive, one dead; and

    2. Beto ain’t even in my top four, which are, as of now (subject to change!), in no particular order: Warren, Harris, Mayor Pete and Abrams. I kinda gotta political crush on alluvem for different but oft-overlapping reasons.

    But, a historical curio, just for lagniappe: There *is* precedent for a tall, gangly guy who ran a losing Senate race against a thoroughly odious opponent two years prior to winning the presidency *and* who served but one two-year term in the House a Reps.

    from Wiki:

    Lincoln was indeed elected to the House of Representatives in 1846, where he served one two-year term.

    Course, Lincoln served six years if memory renders true in the IL state legislature prior to serving in the House a Reps and was *infinitely* more seasoned than Beto, who is — to agree with many — presently showing his inexperience.

    Again, to be clear, am in no way *comparing* the talents of Beto with those of Lincoln. Just had never heard anyone point this silly parallel out before (somebody somewhere must’ve, I just ain’t seen it nowheres).

    I say this now cuz *if* Beto catches fire and becomes the Dem nominee inna country rent in two by seemingly intractable political strife, I expect to hear a lot of it.

  88. 88
    Renie says:

    @Another Scott: OT Thanks for your advice on the porch trim. I reviewed Fypon polyurethane and see I have a dealer near me so I will check it out.

  89. 89
    Kent says:

    Beto served 6 years in Congress before running for President.
    Obama served 3 years in Congress before running for President
    Kamala Harris served 2 years in Congress before running.

    Just saying……

    I’m not necessarily a Beto fan. I’m actually leaning Harris or Warren. But let’s get real. He isn’t markedly less qualified than many others.

  90. 90
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @eemom: between which massive rally and which massive fundraising day does he have time to be concerned about blog scrutiny?

    in the end it’s the other candidates who lose out as their supporters burn energy over an opponent.

  91. 91
    Another Scott says:

    @Raven: It’s the “caching” of the site that was implemented by Alain a few months ago to take excessive load off the database. If you want to be sure you’ve really got the latest page, you have to refresh it in your browser – sometimes multiple times – so that the code actually goes to get the latest page.



  92. 92
    Another Scott says:

    @Renie: Glad to help. Good luck!


  93. 93
    jk says:

    I can not figure out why he is running for President

    Beto is running to feed his ego. This is a vanity tour pure and simple.

    @Uncle Cosmo: @Mary G:

    Last week, I posted links to articles about Beto’s non endorsement of Hurd’s opponent and Hurd’s pledge to support Trump. Beto made a douchebag decision and this should disqualify him. It’s not just about beating Trump, it’s about defeating as many of his Congressional Republican enablers as possible like Hurd and Fred Upton who received a quasi endorsement from clueless Joe Biden.

  94. 94
    ola azul says:

    @ola azul:

    Oops. I fucked up. I failed to check the House-service info in the post I was replying to, and the error is mine.

    [face palm]

    Ya, Beto did *not* serve but one two-year term in the House a Reps, but has been in office for six years.

    My mistake. (Well, *that* was embarrassing.)

    But tx. for posting that, Kent, tho it wasn’t your purpose, the timing helped me realize I screwed up quicker.

  95. 95
    eemom says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    I didn’t mean us specifically. I meant the entire world scrutinizing out the wazoo as is the case with anybody who runs for president.

    Now that you mention it though, Beto seems sufficiently full of himself that he probably doesn’t give a shit. /negative fuckup doing the republicans’ work for them

  96. 96
    B.B.A. says:

    I’m not saying it’s the Russians… but it’s the Russians.

  97. 97
    waratah says:

    John he was in Pennsylvania and getting close to West Virginia. He wants to see the people that have been written off and on his comments some young ones ask when is he going to visit your state.

  98. 98
    jk says:


    How about Beto refusing to endorse Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones in her race against Republican Will Hurd? Hurd won by less than 1,000 votes and has stated he’d vote for Trump over Beto.

  99. 99
    jk says:


    Biden’s handsy behavior towards girls and women is very sleazy and people need to stop giving uncle Joe a pass for this inexcusable and unacceptable behavior.

    In addition, if Biden enters the race, he’d clearly be the least articulate candidate. He’s one of the worst public speakers I’ve ever seen.

  100. 100
    Kattails says:

    Thank you, Cole dear. Posts like this have me considering what kind of nice baked goods you might appreciate.
    I’ve been voting for 50 years, and it’s only in the last few that I’ve been able to check a woman’s name on any ballot. Now, this country and planet are in dire straights, and we are going to need a massive cooperative effort if there’s any chance to fix the issues. That means we need 100% of the brain power, 100% of the imagination, to be given full credibility. It’s not that women have answers that men don’t, it’s that key solutions may very well be dismissed or passed over for the simple reason of gender. Think about what we may have missed because some girl’s dreams or ideas were dismissed before they could even be uttered. I can’t help but see Beto/Biden/Sanders as a continuation of the myth of the male savior and that myth has kept the lid on the power of 50% of the human race for freaking centuries.
    I’m not looking for a woman to take over the role of savior, but I can’t help but believe that until we get a woman at that level of power, we will not be fully functional as a species. So for now all my energy is going towards (so far) Harris, Warren. I can’t even think about voting for a man right now.

  101. 101
    waratah says:

    @Ohio Mom: I have been meaning to tell you that he has a sister that needed classes with learning disabilities. I saw her briefly in the green room after his first debate and do not know the whole story about her. Whenever she calls he stops and talks to her. That he loves her is very clear. He arranged to have interpreters for the deaf at most of his rallies in Texas. He seemed to spot handicapped people wherever he went and made a point to talk to them.

  102. 102
    Jay says:


    Beto considers Will Hurd to be a friend. So he picked a friend over a colleage.

    It’s not unusual that two people who consider themselves to be friends, to each have different ideas of the depth of that friendship.

    Have you cut all Republicansvout of your life?

  103. 103
    Fair Economist says:

    @rikyrah: Purity pony advocate Noam Chomsky supported Hillary against Trump. “Purity pony” folks who didn’t support Hillary aren’t really even purity pony advocates. They are something else posing as purity pony advocates, like Rosanne Barr opposing Obama from the left in 2012.

  104. 104
    Another Scott says:

    @WaterGirl: I don’t think TBogg has been reading this thread.

    TBogg @tbogg

    “America deserves change… despite what the neoliberal corporatist mentally defective slime ball members of the Democratic Party say. They can all die in screaming agony if you ask me. Send me $27 or burn in Hell”

    -First draft of @davidsirota Bernie speech

    8:26 PM – 19 Mar 2019 from San Diego, CA




  105. 105
    Johnnybuck says:

    @Jay: GODAMN, THANK YOU! What no one mentions is whether his endorsement would have made any fucking differenve.

  106. 106
    Fair Economist says:

    @Martin: It is absolutely possible to regulate what the tech companies do, and consequentially. The EU is currently doing it.

  107. 107
    jk says:


    Have you cut all Republicans out of your life?

    I don’t care if Beto is friends with Hurd.

    The objective for 2018 was to vote out of office as many Republican politicians as possible because they were Trump’s enablers. Will Hurd and Fred Upton are Trump enablers and I’m not going to cut any slack to Beto and Biden for supporting these guys.

  108. 108
    Jay says:


    It apparently did. Hurd got a Beto bump.

  109. 109
    waratah says:

    @Jay: Beto did not endorse Hurd .

  110. 110
    kris says:

    @Ocotillo: I guess Mr. Hurd’s principles don’t extend to opposing Trump?


    Also, he recently remarked that he would vote for trump over any democrat. Will Hurd is like Ben Sasse in the Senate, a poseur and a hypocrite.

    I am no fan of Beto. He appears like a middle of the road congressman with no particularly special ideas of what to do or why he is running for president. He also wanted Entitlement “reform” at one point of time in the near past:


    His being coy about running was also, to me, really annoying and a sign of a lack of seriousness, and his appearance in Iowa(?) to announce his candidacy was breathtaking in its sense of entitlement. Why should oneeven bother with such a candidate, when there are others so much better, who have pit far more thought into why they are running, and what they would like to do. Simply because he is “charismatic”? Charisma of a sort got us Trump after all…

  111. 111
    Johnnybuck says:

    @Jay: Bullshit, if anything his senate race made it closer than it probably could have been,. See that? We can both play the conjecture game.

  112. 112
    Jeffro says:


    All I know is he scares hell out of Republicans, in a way other candidates don’t. He’s unconventional- and it might be all hype, but he seems pretty thoughtful and earnest

    They’re afraid of any Dem who will drive D turnout way, way up like Obama did. They’d much prefer a snoozer of a candidate who doesn’t inspire the young (or anyone else for that matter), or someone with obvious deficiencies/vulnerabilities possibly including a long voting record. With Beto, people can project whatever they want and just go with it.

    (I’m not saying that’s good…I’m just saying that’s my guess as to why the Rs are nervous)

  113. 113
    Johnnybuck says:

    @Jeffro: Word

  114. 114
    David Fud says:

    1) He’s running for Vice President.
    2) He’s been promoted twice in emails that I have received from Kamala Harris.
    3) He’s in Bernie’s lane, and they are very worried about him, as evidenced by how his surrogates have spent time and energy trying to smack him around.
    4) If he helps split the white male vote in the party, or draws a large chunk of the youth vote in, his campaign will be the perfect VP partner to bring a more complete coalition to bear on Trump. (Again, I believe it breaks off portions of the Bernie audience.)

    He is helping to elect a larger, more experienced name. I would support Buttigieg in his own right, but I don’t believe Beto is ready to be President. I like him and think he has a role to play. To put it in comparison, I like Abrams and her potential better. I like Gillum better as well. But they both stand a chance to flip a Senate seat. And that is worth a hell of a lot more than a VP candidate, unless that VP candidate somehow changes the likelihood of winning our candidate winning.

  115. 115
    Jeffro says:


    I have no interest in finding common ground with the other side.

    Uh huh.
    Take it somewhere else.

    Ay-men. Let’s bury them and then maybe in 20 years dig ’em up and see if they want to put their country before party for once. I don’t think Democrats are going to rally behind the olive-branch-bearing types, not this time and maybe not ever again.

  116. 116
    FelonyGovt says:

    For now I think our large field is preventing the Republican slime machine from zeroing in on any one candidate. They seem to be reserving most of their bile for AOC, who can certainly take it and dish it back. This is a good thing. There will be time for us to sort the candidates out, and some will certainly start dropping out due to lack of funds, inability to gain traction, etc.

  117. 117
    Stuart Frasier says:

    Beto seems to have some appeal to the Wilmer people, though I don’t really understand why. I’m happy for him to run as long as he acts as a drag on Bernie.

  118. 118
    Keith P. says:

    Beto’s running because he draws large, enthusiastic crowds and can raise huge amounts of money, so he’s striking while the iron is hot. And also probably because the last go ’round, the people who were dictating which candidates had or had not “earned it” wound up going with a terrible campaigner who lost the big game.

  119. 119
    Johnnybuck says:

    @Keith P.: Pretty sure Kris and jk would disagree, but ymmv.

  120. 120
    Jeffro says:

    @FelonyGovt: Agreed, agreed, agreed, AGREED, agreed, agreed, and agreed. i like it, Dems. FLOOD THE ZONE!

  121. 121
    David Fud says:

    @Stuart Frasier: Similarities: White. Male. Vague on details. Differences: Age. The break of that voting block will likely be by voter age. They will split the same audience of white Democrats that is voting in the primaries for someone that looks like them.

  122. 122
    Jay says:


    There are a huge number of Democratic Elected Officials, Democratic Party Members, Democratic Party Voters, independents, low information voters, MSM talking heads and bothsiderists who have not yet come to the realization that the ReThugs are engaged in an UnCivil War against the very Republic and the Institutions for which it stands.

    As a result, publically declaring a unconditional war on everything and anyone ReThug is not a winning strategy.

  123. 123
    Johnnybuck says:

    @Stuart Frasier: Nah, Wilner people have the longer knives.

  124. 124
    Jeffro says:

    @Stuart Frasier:

    Beto seems to have some appeal to the Wilmer people, though I don’t really understand why.

    ‘whatever you want him to be’

    It’ll be fun to watch Wilmer and Beto trying to outdo each other on the debate stage, while Biden and Harris try to keep from rolling their eyes. Ok, Harris will try, at least…Biden will just roll ’em anyway. But still!

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    He is running for the same damned reason that everyone else is. When he looks in the mirror, he sees a potential president. Show me a presidential candidate and I will show you a person with an ego the size of Alaska.

  126. 126
    Jinchi says:

    I’d personally wish he would run against Cornyn in 2020 and get some more seasoning as a leader and help turn Texas blue.

    If he decides that running for president in 2020 is a lost cause, he could easily switch to running for Senate, instead. I’m pretty sure he’d legally be allowed to use the presidential fundraising dollars he brings in, too.

    That could be Cornyn’s nightmare. A popular rival with tens of millions of dollars in the bank.

  127. 127
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    “Young people want somebody different and we’re ready to show the older generation this is who we are and we’re ready for change and we’ll do it anyway we can,” said Renee Hall, a Plymouth State student from Sutton. “And if this guy is the perfect guy who we think is good, we’ll support him no matter what.”

    Hall said the parade of candidates has been a lot to take in, but she’s leaning toward O’Rourke and Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

    Concord Monitor

  128. 128
    Darkrose says:

    @WaterGirl: In the abstract, I don’t care. In terms of what it says about his positioning I kind of do care that he didn’t support the candidate of his party in order to burnish his bipartisan cred, only to get stabbed in the back by his GOP buddy. One of my complaints about Obama is that it took him far longer than it should have to stop chasing bipartisan rainbows and to realize that the GOP has become the party of neo-Confederate revanchism. There is no compromise and no bipartisanship when the other party’s only goal is to obstruct and prevent the other party from accomplishing anything. Bipartisanship plays great with the political chattering classes, but as someone who is getting hurt by Republican policies, I don’t want to watch McConnell & Co pull the football away from the Democrats again. I want a candidate who understands what’s at stake. I’m not saying that Beto doesn’t, but his decision to back his friend rather than the Democratic woman is a red flag for me.

  129. 129
    e julius drivingstorm says:

    @David Fud:

    Good stuff, David.

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