The Corner

Politics & Policy

Phony Betomania Has Bitten the Dust

On March 15th, I mocked Beto O’Rourke’s just-trying-out-these-new-hands kickoff video, his yearning to be cool, his habit of failing upward, his brain- and aim- and cluelessness. Once his apartment was robbed while he was sitting in it.

In mid-March Beto was clocking up to 12 percent in national polls. The last two polls have him at 4 percent and 4 percent. A Pennsylvania poll put him at 2 percent. Same in South Carolina. He’s winning only 22 percent in the Texas Democratic Primary, a point behind Joe Biden. Voters seeking someone normal are going with Uncle Joe; voters seeking youthful dynamism are turning to Pete Buttigieg. As Seth Mandel puts it, the more people look at Beto, the more they prefer Pete. It turns out that being cuter than Ted Cruz just isn’t worth as much on the national stage as we all thought. He might be the first person ever to run for the White House on a platform of asking the nation to help him figure out who he is,” I wrote in March. O’Rourke is a lightweight. He’s tissue paper. He’s a rice cake.

Other Democrats have taken to openly mocking O’Rourke for his standing-on-things shtick. Today, the rudest news of all. No one cares about Beto enough, anymore, to seek out oppo research on him.Requests for oppo on him have completely died off, notes an operative. O’Rourke is reduced to apologizing for his privilege on The View. After that appearance, he tried to reenergize his campaign by live-streaming himself getting a haircut. This is not the move to make when voters are beginning to seek out substance. Even the glossy magazine profilers are losing interest. And they were his main constituency. If O’Rourke thought he was going to skateboard into the Oval Office, that appears unlikely.

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