As Beto O’Rourke continues to rise to ever greater prominence in the race for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination for president, one cannot help but be astounded at the rise of the little known Texas congressman to the most prominent political stage in the world.
Some oddsmakers now have O’Rourke as the favorite to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for president — not a bad result for a politician most American’s had never even heard of just 12 months ago.
Crafting a political persona is the work of an entire team of advisors, aides and assistants who all tirelessly work to build a political brand around the man or woman they choose to work for.
Much of the credit O’Rourke currently receives belongs to his team and his inner circle of advisors who have helped to propel his name into the realm of political super-stardom.
They have taken a congressman who is the son of wealthy parents and married to an heiress, whose family contributed generous donations to his original congressional campaign and turned him into the proverbial every man from El Paso who manages to apparently resonate with moderate conservatives and the most liberal progressives alike.
In the extremely polarized world of modern politics, this is nothing less than a Herculean achievement, O’Rourke and his team have succeeded where thousands of political hopefuls have failed, even when some of them have had almost unimaginable resources behind their campaigns.
Through clever tweaking of O’Rourke’s political persona, his team has masterfully created the myth that he is above the Washington machinations of lobbyists and corporate donations.
The media have keenly followed the O’Rourke political narrative, further adding to his personal mythos and the strength of his campaign while often overlooking the reality behind his rise to the national stage.
In recent months some progressives have begun to increasingly doubt O’Rourke’s leftist credentials as he attempts to sidestep his more progressive stances he made during his unsuccessful campaign for Ted Cruz’s Texas Senate seat.
The Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics keeps records of all donations made to all Congress members, senators and potential candidates for those offices.
Their records show that despite the public perception that O’Rourke doesn’t take campaign contributions from industry he is, in fact, one of the largest recipients of those types of donations.
O’Rourke is actually the number one congressional recipient of industry donations in 35 out of 41 categories, including the health sector and the oil and gas industry.
Progressives that have been made aware of these facts increasingly oppose O’Rourke’s candidacy for president, viewing his actions as a betrayal of the liberal values and independence he so vehemently claimed to possess when he first began his campaign for the Texas Senate seat.
Despite the growing chorus of discontent coming from some in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, O’Rourke’s campaign continues to power on.
With the advisors of former Vice President Joe Biden floating the idea that O’Rourke could be Biden’s running mate should he choose to contest the party’s nomination for president.
Ultimately, O’Rourke has quickly become an indispensable standard bearer of the modern Democratic Party, with his fundraising abilities from both industrial and individual donors highly coveted by a financially struggling DNC.
Despite the increasing concerns from some progressives within the Democratic Party, O’Rourke’s political star will likely continue to rise, as his media-friendly campaign and his likely sizeable campaign war chest, ensures that he will remain one of the party faithful’s favorites to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency in 2020.
Tarric Brooker is a freelance journalist and political commentator. His work has been featured in a number of publications including The Spectator, The Federalist and the Washington Examiner.
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