The idolatry of failed Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke continues unabated in Politico despite the mockery of such an attitude in their own publication. The latest outbreak of Beto worship is actually quite bizarre since Politico National Correspondent David Siders assures his liberal readers that while O'Rourke might come off as playing fair, he is actually a duplicitous soul who is quite capable of fighting dirty.
Siders reassures nervous liberals about how O'Rourke will hold up in competition with other Democrat presidential candidates in the December 17 Politico by telling them that inside his feigned cloak of political saintliness, there lies a not so hidden dirtbag in "When they go low, Beto can too."
Beto O’Rourke says he hasn’t decided yet whether he will run for president. But here in his hometown, his supporters are bracing for a combative primary. And they point to a previous campaign — his 2012 run for Congress — as evidence that he can hold his own in an intraparty brawl.
Six years before the high-minded Texas Senate run that lifted his national star, O’Rourke felled an eight-term incumbent House Democrat, Silvestre Reyes, casting him in a bruising primary campaign as ineffectual and unethical.
What a relief! It's good to know that O'Rourke can play dirty with the worst of them if need be.
Among Democrats in El Paso, the race laid bare a rare asset for a Democratic presidential contender: the ability to cut at his opposition while simultaneously carrying the flush of an idealist.
The word "duplicitous" comes to mind or, if you prefer, "two-faced."
“He hit Reyes,” said Steve Ortega, a friend of O’Rourke who served on the El Paso City Council with him. “Reyes hit him as well. They went after each other. He wasn’t bashful about exposing some of the negative things that Reyes had done.”
You go, Beto! Hurl that dirt! ...And then return to saint mode.
But while Democrats here predict he will be far less likely to criticize rival Democrats in an open primary — as opposed to his campaign against an incumbent in Reyes — the 2012 campaign demonstrated to them that he has the stomach to do it.
Ability to smear opponents. Okay, that box is checked.
O’Rourke also benefited from outside money, with the nonpartisan super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability spending heavily to defeat Reyes. And he accepted limited PAC money himself, before electing in 2015 to no longer accept such contributions.
He's just too good to be true until the situation warrants otherwise.
But in the race against Cruz, Lippincott said, “He didn’t go negative until the last possible second, and I think that cost him. … I think the fact that he did not have consultants cost him.”
If he runs again — whether for president or some other office in Texas — Lippincott said O’Rourke should “go negative faster … just do a better job on the attack.”
Whew! And I was so worried he would run a strictly positive campaign in the future. Thank you for revealing that O'Rourke can go low too, Mr. Siders.