MTP Daily host Chuck Todd on Wednesday, perhaps sarcastically, referred to liberal Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke as the “Bobby Kennedy of millennials.” The comment came in the midst of a discussion about how the media-friendly Democrat has fallen behind and is now going negative on his Texas opponent, Ted Cruz.
Todd prefaced his comments this way: “I want to play a quick montage. Beto O'Rourke, the Bobby Kennedy of millenials, decided to go negative.”
Todd added to Howard Fineman: “Howard, I was checking the calendar one more time. It's October 17th. Boy, that seems awfully late to decide to go contrast now.” Fineman, another liberal journalist, agreed with the skepticism: “I think Beto O'Rourke may be excited by his own charisma there and the response to his anti-political campaign. Decided a little late to do this.”
There has been a bit of a journalistic sobering up on how reporters have fawned over O’Rourke. Politico mocked the puffery on October 11 with this derisive headline: “Stop the Press Before It Profiles Beto O'Rourke Again.” Writer Jack Schafer derided:
Not since the press corps fell in love with Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign has such a sirocco of worshipful candidate profiles and commentaries appeared in the national press.
“Is Beto O’Rourke the Left’s Obama-like Answer to Trump in 2020?” asked Vanity Fair. “Beto O’Rourke Could Be the Democrat Texas Has Been Waiting For,” offered BuzzFeed. Still more positive Beto coverage sprinkled the pages of Yahoo News, Time, GQ, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, the New York Times, Politico and Esquire as they worked off the same template. The Washington Post indulged Betomania with a feature, another feature, a column and the sort of ancillary coverage it ordinarily gives the Washington Redskins.
CBS in early October hyped O’Rourke as a “rising star.” Sadly for journalists, the “rising star” is now losing by an average of seven points. Over on MSNBC, Wednesday, Eddie Glaude Jr predicted an O’Rourke victory, adding, “If not, then I'll just reach for my Jamieson bottle.”
A transcript is below:
CHUCK TODD: Let's pull the lens back. Go 30,000 feet. Howard Fineman, Danny Pletka Howard, a quick montage. Howard, I want to play a quick montage. Beto O'Rourke, the Bobby Kennedy of millenials, decided to go negative. Let me play a mash-up of these hits on Cruz that they've unveiled today.
BETO O’ROURKE: Ted Cruz has voted to take away health care for millions of American families. He's tried repeatedly to roll protections for preexisting conditions.
At a time when nearly half of the school teachers in Texas are working a second job just to make ends meet, Ted Cruz wants to take our public tax dollars out of the classrooms, turn them into vouchers. He's vowed to deport every dreamer. He’s selling paranoia instead of solutions.
TODD: Howard, I was checking the calendar one more time. It's October 17th. Boy, that seems awfully late to decide to go contrast now.
HOWARD FINEMAN: Yeah, I think so. I think Beto O'Rourke may be excited by his own charisma there and the response to his anti-political campaign. Decided a little late to do this.