It hasn’t been said directly so far that I’ve seen, but that Obamians (including the man himself!) are working hard to get Beto O’Rourke to run for president just reeks of desperation. Now look, like all Democrats I like Beto. I do! He ran a good race in Texas that didn’t make me ashamed to be a Democrat (unlike coughcough Claire McCaskill) and did better than any Democrat did in 30 years there. That’s pretty impressive. But for president? They don’t even know his views! Nobody does. It would be richly ironic if the big Obama bundlers got him to run and then he wound up in the Warren/Sanders/Booker ideological zone, at which point they’d have to cue that “The Price Is Right” trumpet fail clip. It’s not at all impossible! But even short of that, man, it’s just so desperate. The only idea, for lack of a better term, that they seem to have is summarized as “Obamism without Obama.” The thing is, these folks had a decade to find another Obama. They failed entirely! Frankly we could have used another Obama in 2016. But now they’re going for a—and look I do like the guy—largely unknown and untested commodity with a not great voting record who fell into their laps. Sounds like a real good plan to just throw him out there, instead of having him try for governor or senator in Texas again. But we can’t do that, because the presidency is the only thing that fucking matters to Democrats! And this is all only just because he sort of has an Obamaesque charisma. It’s sad.

Not surprising why they’re courting him so heavily, though, because the next best alternative for the centrists is Joe Biden. And I like Joe Biden too! He seems like a fun person to hang around. But even the Obama people seem to recognize that there’s little hope for him. Nobody thinks those early polling leads are going to hold up, and while Biden largely kept his foot out of his mouth as the veep, you gotta figure this is because he was carefully handled, and I wouldn’t count on him exercising that sort of discipline next year. Also he has tons of baggage and is provably not good at this! He’s supposedly good at winning over the hard hat types but he couldn’t fucking win them when the Democratic Party actually was largely hard hat types the first time he ran in 1988. So yeah, nobody except for Joe Biden thinks a 2020 run is a good idea. It’s only a matter of time until that number is zero.

I am kidding a little bit here: there are going to be a few other options for centrists. Your John Hickenloopers and Michael Bennets and John Delaneys and all that. But I follow these things closely and I have no idea what any of these people stand for, other than “we’re not scary Democrats.” Somehow I don’t think being a self-hating white guy Democrat is going to spur a lot of interest among primary voter types (predominated by people of color and white liberals). Probably can win, like, the Oklahoma and Kentucky primaries if they even get that far (they won’t). Hickenlooper is supposed to be the strongest of the group, but honestly, the only reason why anybody should support him is the reason he’s repudiated. Not so worried about him.

Also, Kamala Harris was a pretty bad D.A. This is why she’s not my first choice. But her ideological makeup is pretty damn desirable right now. Perhaps she can promise to appoint an attorney general that’s, like, not similar to what she was a decade ago.

2020 fever! It’s on!


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