The Corner

Politics & Policy

One Year On, Where Is Beto O’Rourke?

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks during the first night of the second Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, Mich., July 30, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

When he was running for president, Joe Biden liked to promise that he’d appoint Beto O’Rourke as his gun-control point man. At an event in Dallas, Texas, in March, 2020, Biden said:

I want to make something clear: I’m going to guarantee you this is not the last you’re seeing of this guy. You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me. You’re going to be the one who leads this effort. I’m counting on you. We need you badly, the state needs you, the country needs you, you’re the best.

At another event in Texas, also in March, Biden said:

And by the way, this guy can change the face of what we are doing here, with regard to guns, assault weapons, with regard to dealing with climate change. And I was just warning Amy: ‘If I win, I’m coming for him.’”

So what happened? Biden won the election, and yet, one year later, he hasn’t “come for” O’Rourke in any manner at all. His pick for ATF is David Chipman, not Beto. His gun-control efforts have been laundered through America’s well-established gun control groups, not through Beto. Biden hasn’t even created a “czar” style position for Beto that would allow him to bypass the Senate.

Could it be, perhaps, that there is not much for Biden to gain from putting the spotlight on a man whose most famous political moment was a promise to confiscate the most commonly owned rifle in America? And could it be, perhaps, that President Biden instinctively knows that?



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