But in contrast to Mr. Obama, who ran in a 12 months when the Iraq battle was the single overriding coverage difficulty in the Democratic race, Mr. O’Rourke is looking for the presidency at a second his social gathering is lurching left on points throughout the board. He will probably be instantly beneath stress to increase upon the sometimes-vague liberalism that has coloured his public life.
Already, allies of Mr. Sanders specifically have questioned Mr. O’Rourke’s dedication to progressive priorities. (Mr. O’Rourke has declined to name himself a progressive, saying he was “not big on labels.”)
In 2016, he supported a centrist challenger to Nancy Pelosi to steer House Democrats. In 2018, he annoyed Texas activists by refusing to endorse Gina Ortiz Jones, a prized Democratic recruit for a House seat, as a result of she was going through Mr. O’Rourke’s Republican pal, Representative Will Hurd, who ultimately gained by fewer than 1,000 votes.
Mr. O’Rourke ought to have little bother pulling in sufficient cash to get a presidential marketing campaign off the floor, although it’s attainable that a few of his fund-raising success in 2018 owed to his opponent, Mr. Cruz, whom liberals like to detest.
Some in the social gathering have questioned whether or not a Senate-race-losing candidate ought to even be operating for president so quickly. Senate Democrats aggressively lobbied him to tackle Texas’s different Republican senator, John Cornyn, who’s up for re-election subsequent 12 months, even dispatching senior social gathering officers to El Paso to make the case.
In the months since his defeat, Mr. O’Rourke himself gave the impression to be casting about for solutions, discussing a attainable run with advisers however showing genuinely conflicted — looking for readability at one level by making a solo highway journey to satisfy Americans in unrehearsed settings.
On Thursday, any lingering apprehension was properly hid.
“This is the moment,” he stated, standing atop a coffeehouse counter in Burlington, fingers flying, “for the leadership of the indispensable country.”
He left little doubt which chief he had in thoughts for the high job.
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