When I think of Beto O’Rourke, I think of Kato Kaelin, O.J. Simpson’s empty-headed, directionless permanent house guest.
Although he attracts large crowds of eager supporters and has even surpassed Bernie Sanders’ impressive first day fundraising totals, somehow “Presidential” and “Beto O’Rourke” don’t jive. As opposed to being “born to run” for the presidency, he strikes me as shallow, selfish, vain, manic, volatile, undependable, immature, inexperienced, inarticulate, not stupid, but certainly far from brilliant, as well as out of his league. And once he is properly vetted, and he will be vetted, all of the above qualities will only be amplified.
Karl Rove is not terribly impressed by
Kato Beto either.
When Mr. O’Rourke ran for the U.S. Senate in Texas in 2018, he was an energetic, charismatic campaigner who visited all 254 counties in the state. He gave inspirational speeches to Democrats, heavy on appeals for unity and optimism but generally devoid of substance. He relied on breathlessly positive press coverage while adroitly using social media to establish a personal channel to supporters. He raised $80 million, a nationwide record for a Senate race.
Rove said that the vetting process has already begun. The other Democratic candidates have “already dropped opposition-research packets on him and sent allies to his events to ask uncomfortable questions and subtly criticize him for his shallowness and elusiveness on the issues.”
Rove believes Beto’s greatest challenge is his recklessness. At a campaign stop last year, while discussing the choice of NFL players to kneel during the national anthem, he said, “I can think of nothing more American than to . . . take a knee.” Rove disagreed and pointed out:
Actually, most Texans and Americans can think of a thousand things more patriotic, starting with joining the military, helping a neighbor in need or standing for our flag. Mr. O’Rourke didn’t understand the difference between saying people have a right to take a knee and saying it’s the finest expression of what it is to be citizen.
Last week, Beto told supporters that “America suffers under an imperfect, unfair, unjust and racist capitalist economy.” Rove said “that remark will come back to haunt him if he makes it to the general election.”
Still, Rove says, “the Texan is a serious player. He has “it,” that elusive quality of celebrity, authenticity and style that draws voters in this wild era. What’s unproven is whether Mr. O’Rourke will be one of the four or five candidates at most who can consistently garner the 15% vote share required to win delegates in Democratic contests.
The National Review’s Conrad Black was a bit more harsh. Black goes off on a quite amusing 1500 word tirade about Beto O’Rourke. He begins by saying that “the media of America will not allow this asinine mockery of a presidential campaign to go another week before it picks up this wild, scrawny, noisy, incoherent nincompoop and shreds him.”
Particularly galling to Black is Beto’s comparison of America’s current fight against climate change to the Greatest Generation’s invasion of Normandy. No one with a serious understanding of history would take such a foolish position. Following is the most entertaining assessment of the former Texas congressman you will ever hear.
All of the Democratic candidates and the entire political process are being taken over and occupied by the invasion of the whole public space by Robert Francis O’Rourke. No one has ever heard or seen anything like this candidate: a hyperactive limb-flailing imbecile, babbling compulsively in a torrent of extremist nonsense barely couched in comprehensible syntax. No idea is too stupid to be endorsed in terms of absolute finality: “If we do not abolish all fossil fuels within twelve years, everything on the planet will be dead. The scientists are 100 percent united on this. Just as Americans of the past had to fight at Normandy, we have to fight this now, and save our planet.
Let us be clear: This isn’t a matter of policy differences. This man is a boob, a dolt. He is vulgar and ungrammatical, knows nothing, and makes no sense. He can’t keep his mouth shut for five seconds and he is wired like an early helicopter with a vertical rotor on its tail: he can’t gabble out his nonsense without waving his arms around. He knows everything, meaning nothing, is incapable of making a correct factual statement, and throws in the f-word for emphasis, even where there is nothing to emphasize.
But what does Black really think about Beto?
He thinks that “in a month, there will be nothing left of him but a few feathers floating in the spring air.”