The Houston Chronicle had a rather interesting Sunday editorial this weekend. It focused on former Rep. Beto O'Rourke's (D) time running for president and his candidness when talking about the mass shooting that took place in El Paso a few weeks ago.
It was Beto's response to the question: is there anything President Donald Trump can do to calm the atmosphere of hate towards immigrants?
“Um, what do you think?” O’Rourke responded bluntly. “You know the s*** he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know. … Like, members of the press -- what the f***? It’s these questions that you know the answers to …”
According to the newspaper's editorial board, Beto has no chance at winning the Democratic nomination. Instead, the rising Democratic star should end his presidential campaign and focus on running for Senate...again. The reason? "Texas needs you."
From the editorial (emphasis mine):
O’Rourke has had these moments before. Last year, he was asked if he supported Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback whose protests by kneeling during the national anthem sparked a nationwide conversation. Instead of giving a safe, wishy-washy answer, he gave a heartfelt yes: “I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up or take a knee for your rights, any time, anywhere, in any place.”
It went viral, the way his answer last Sunday did. We aren’t used to seeing candidates act like real people.
Frankly, it’s made us wish O’Rourke would shift gears, and rather than unpause his presidential campaign, we’d like to see him take a new direction.
So Beto, if you’re listening: Come home. Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator. The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you.
Two years ago, you ran an inspiring race against Sen. Ted Cruz. Sure, you lost. No shame in that. Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994. You chipped away at a wall that wasn’t quite ready to come down. You showed it’s possible.
The editorial board argues that President Trump and Republicans are vulnerable in Texas and the failed Senatorial candidate has a chance to beat John Cornyn (R) who is up for re-election next year.
They believe Beto is needed in Texas because he can bring a differing point of view to state level politics, especially in what was once a rock solid conservative state.
Imagine the effect you could have on our state. Ideas get sharper when they’re challenged, when points of view clash. We think Texas will get smarter, and its politics more sophisticated, if campaigns here were a true test of ideas, not one-sided races set to autopilot.
So please, Beto, after you’ve taken some time to mourn the dead in El Paso, consider whether now is a good time to leave one race and join another. Texas needs you back home.
The editorial board did get one thing right: Beto has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination. He's a second-tier candidate. He'd have to knock out former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Kamala Harris (CA) in order to even have a fighting a chance.
What the editorial board got entirely wrong: assuming Beto can – and will – tear down a wall that "wasn't quite ready to come down" back in 2018. They're automatically assuming that Beto can successfully oust Cornyn. Sure, Beto had Democrats across the country excited and fired up. He raised money from outside the state, but, at the end of the day, voters chose conservative rockstar Ted Cruz to continue to represent them. What makes them assume it wouldn't be the same against Cornyn? Cornyn has the incumbency advantage, name recognition, conservative allies. And, if anything, he's viewed as more moderate than Cruz. He could be more appealing to moderates and independents.
We're more than a year away from the 2020 elections and the Houston Chronicle has made it very clear what their editorial agenda and view point is. Pretty sure it's safe to say they won't be endorsing Cornyn for re-election.