Beto O’Rourke Would Not be the First Person to Use a Failed Senate Bid as Launching Pad for Presidential Run

Allow me to describe for you an intriguing political scenario.

A progressive candidate with minimal name recognition outside his own state takes on a controversial but formidable conservative incumbent with a major national profile for a seat in the United States Senate.

Although he runs an inspiring campaign, the progressive challenged comes up short, albeit by a thin margin.

Over the course of the campaign, however, this individual went from being an unknown politician

to a national sensation. Despite his defeat, there is growing buzz about the possibility of a run for the presidency in two years.

This description obviously applies to Beto O’Rourke and his loss to Ted Cruz. But it also applies to someone else.

Abraham Lincoln and his 1858 loss to Stephen Douglas.

Let me be clear.

I am not saying that O’Rourke is the next Lincoln. I am not even saying that I think he should or will be the Democratic Party’s nominee in 2020. It’s very early, and our party has many excellent options.

Beto and Lincoln

At the same time, I think history tells us that it would be a grave mistake to dismiss Beto O’Rourke as a 2020 contender.

-P. Sicher


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