Beto O’Rourke drops out of presidential race


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In a very unexpected turn of events, Beto O’Rourke dropped out of the race last Friday. The former democratic presidential candidate broke the news at a political gathering in Des Moines, Iowa. It is speculated that his increasingly worrisome financial situation and his lack of traction in the polls forced him to drop out.

On his Twitter, O’Rourke said that his campaign was about “seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively” and because of that, he feels that his “service to the country will not be as a candidate or a nominee.”

It is unclear about what his future plans are. He has publicly said that he will not run for Senate, despite many of his supporters suggesting that he do. What is clear, however, is that he plans to continue to support all of the other Democratic candidates remaining in the race. After dropping out, he urged his supporters to continue to spread the ideals of his campaign and to elect a democratic candidate to The White House. 

Looking back on his campaign, it was very unique in many ways. O’Rourke began his run for the presidency using the fame from his Senate race against Republican Ted Cruz. After the shooting in his hometown of El Paso, he took a break from his campaign trail to mourn with the people of the devastated city. For more on this, check out my political column from Aug. 18 (linked here.) When he finally did return to his campaign for the Third Democratic Debate in Houston, Texas, he was seemingly only focused on the issue of gun violence. 

While this is completely understandable considering his proximity to the tragedy in El Paso, the scope of the issues he promoted in his last few months of campaigning became very narrow. The public generally likes to see more variety in issues covered by presidential candidates. This is how Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have been able to garner so many votes. 

Another former candidate who became too centered on one issue was Jay Inslee. His primary issue was combating climate change. And, although this is certainly a worthy cause that many democratic voters are invested in, Inslee’s campaign lacked enough variety to attract a sufficient number votes and donations to stay in the race. 

But just because a campaign is limited to one issue and the candidate is forced to drop out doesn’t necessarily make the campaign a “fail.” In fact, Inslee’s contribution to the topic of climate change created competition among candidates to come up with the best comprehensive climate change plans and to incorporate the topic into their speeches on the debate stage. O’Rourke’s focus on gun control led to debate among the candidates at the third democratic debate about whether or not a buyback policy should be implemented in the U.S. These “narrow” campaigns are, in fact, creating valuable conversations in politics and they should not be discounted as a waste of supporter money and time. 

O’Rourke’s ambiguous tweet has left much to speculation about his future in politics. How he plans to use his political fame and large crowd of supporters will be interesting to watch going forward. Check back next Sunday for a new political column and, as always, feel free to leave your opinions or questions down below.