Beto can bring it: Forget Trump, Conway, other critics – this guy is not just a shiny new object

Question: Can Beto O’Rourke deliver for the Democrats?

Answer: It depends on who you ask.

Beto O’Rourke, whose real name is Robert Francis O’Rourke, is an American businessman and a politician. He’s a member of the Democratic party and for three terms, represented Texas’s 16th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

BETO 2020 OFF TO A ROCKY START

O’Rourke has been criticized by both the right and the left; which means in my opinion, he’s doing something right.  He’s a threat and a political force to be reckoned with; but can he deliver what the Democrats want and need? Can he become the Democratic nominee and make Trump a one-term President?

First, let’s take a look at the criticism of this newly announced candidate.

His name. Republicans love to point out that “Beto’s” real name is Robert Francis.  But what Republicans refuse to accept on this matter is first, that ‘Beto’ was a nickname given to the former Congressman by his mother when he was 3 to 4 years of age. There’s a photo of him wearing a sweater with that name.  And, although Republicans think that Beto is using his Latino-sounding nickname to not only appeal to the Latino population and voter, O’Rourke has never offered even the faintest suggestion that he’s Latino.  In an interview with Bill Maher on HBO, Beto stated ‘Pretty Irish” when asked about his heritage. And since most likely, the majority of his support will come from the left side of the political spectrum, from Democrats largely; what his name is or what people call him won’t matter to those who like him; they’ll still vote for him.

Of course, there are those that say he didn’t do much while he represented Texas’ 16th district for 3 terms in the House. CNN reporter Nia-Malika Henderson said of O’Rourke that he ‘didnt’ really do much ‘ while in Congress and even Beto himself said he didn’t do much as a House member in the Vanity Fair article about him, largely because Democrats were in the minority and it was difficult to get things accomplished and to get legislation passed.

And O’Rourke’s even been attacked by the left. In his interview with Vanity Fair, Beto said he was ‘just born to be in it’ which some people felt showed he was blinded by ‘white privilege.’

Others said he was sexist. When he made an off-the-cuff remark about his wife caring for the couple’s three children ‘sometimes with my help,’ there were those who found it belittling.

Personally, as a staunch feminist, I thought he was joking and was giving his wife credit for raising their children. Hours after making that statement, O’Rourke apologized and admitted he was merely joking.

President Trump has mocked O’Rourke for his hand gestures. When the president was asked about O’Rourke competing in the 2020 Democratic primaries, he told reporters: “I think he’s got a lot of hand movement. “Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?” Prompting some to wonder if this was a case of the pot to the kettle.

Even the president’s own counselor, KellyAnne Conway has weighed in on Beto: “That guy ... apparently wants to reward his loss of a Senate seat, his loss to Ted Cruz in Texas, with running for president … Let’s just bring that to the whole country now, being a loser.”

When someone, anyone, runs for president, their past practices will be paraded for all to see. But the fact that the president, his counselor, the GOP and even members of his own Democratic party are attacking Beto or weighing in on him negatively since his announcement means something. It shows that clearly, he is a threat or at least a political force to be taken seriously.

And on St. Patrick’s Day, the GOP attacked Beto on Twitter. They sent a tweet mocking O’Rourke’s Irish heritage; featuring an image of Beto’s mug shot from a drunk-driving arrest in 1998 when he was charged with DWI at age 26.

The Republican party seemingly forgot that many voters are of Irish descent and were offended by this and, that George W. Bush once had a DUI and was elected president -- twice.

Now more revelations from Beto’s past have recently come to light, in hopes to discredit him as a candidate. Reuters published an article about “Cult of the Dead Cow,” about a group of hackers credited with inventing the term “hacktivism,” revealing that O’Rourke was a member.

The group is alleged to have stolen credit card numbers, violating copyright law and hacking into computers. Reuter’s report did stress that Beto did not himself engage in this type of activity.  Additionally, in the piece it was revealed that O’Rourke wrote stories under the name “Psychedelic warlord,” and one story which detailed the murder of two children.

So why does all this matter? And does it?

It does.

When someone, anyone, runs for president, their past practices will be paraded for all to see. But the fact that the president, his counselor, the GOP and even members of his own Democratic party are attacking Beto or weighing in on him negatively since his announcement means something. It shows that clearly, he is a threat or at least a political force to be taken seriously.

Although polls show Joe Biden leading Democrats in most polling, Beto should not be ignored.  In the midterm election, in Texas, a very red state, Beto O’Rourke came within less than 3 percentage points in his loss to incumbent Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

And speaking of Texas, the governor of that state described Beto O’Rourke as a cult-like figure, which in politics, isn’t a bad thing; both Senator Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama hold that status.

And of course, there are his crowds.  Over 50,000 turned out for a Beto rally in Austin, Texas prior to the midterm election. Of course, having Willie Nelson headlining at the event along with O’Rourke helped with the turnout.

When Beto speaks, people listen.  Remember his response to a veteran’s question about whether the NFL players should kneel during the National Anthem?  His response went viral. And whether people agreed with that response or not, many who may not have, now knew his name.

Looking at his past, we also need to acknowledge his present, his launch since announcing he is running for president is impressive. Looking at the numbers alone, some would say it’s the best yet out of all the Democrats who have announced.

For many, Beto O’Rourke is just a shiny new object on the sea of ever hopeful and promising faces and ideas for the Democrats. But when you look at the amount of coverage he’s getting and the number of people on both sides of the aisle commenting on him; whether positive or negative, he has power; and, his appeal to voters obviously worries some on the right.

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Do I think he could get the Democratic nomination? Yes. Due to the enthusiasm around him, he has a real chance. And, after all, he’s one of the younger people who has thrown their hat into the ring.

Can he beat Trump? If he’s the nominee, I hope so. But I think being No. 2 on the ticket might do the trick.  The sound of Biden/Beto has a nice ring to it.