In a time when the Democratic Party has been increasingly caving to the far-left outrage mobs online, why is a candidate like Robert O’Rourke even trying?
Sure, he has the mainstream media in a love fest, and he’s raking in the donations, but the current state of the Democratic Party is based on a totem-pole of victimhood. White men are at the bottom, and widely mocked and despised for their perceived “lack of oppression.”
The day before his announcement, O’Rourke received a glowing cover story in Vanity Fair that was easily worth a million dollars in free press. It was all there in the photoshoot, the cute dog, the pick up truck. He’s “every man.” He’s the good guy from Texas that you want to have a barbeque with and whose children play on your kid’s soccer team.
This may have been a grand slam political strategy in the 1990s, even early 2000s, but does he have a chance now?
It turns out that while some reporters are eating out of O’Rourke’s very white hand, many in the increasingly identity-obsessed pundit class are not as impressed.
For instance, on CNN last week, the network hammered the Texan for his “white maleness” 52 times in one day. Their race-baiting coverage on the first full day after his announcement that he is running was glaring.
“This is seen as a moment by some where Democrats want to nominate either a woman or a minority. Beto O’Rourke is neither of those things,” CNN’s New Day co-host John Berman explained. Later in the same show, his co-host Alisyn Camerota expressed a similar sentiment, saying “one of the big debates is whether 2020 is the year of the white man.”
CNN Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin, in a show later that day, moaned that O’Rourke’s comments about how he was “born” to be in the race “sort of drips of white, male privilege.”
There has been far less discussion of his policies, such as supporting abortion until birth, than about the color of his skin and what is in between his legs.
During AC360, Anderson Cooper seemed like he was finally about to discuss his policies, saying “O’Rourke is, if you look at his record, a moderate,” before adding, “he is also a white male.”
Not only is O’Rourke a white male, he’s also got “class privilege” going against him.
The Houston Chronicle reports that, “on the city council, he was accused of conflicts of interest in 2006 for pushing an urban renewal plan involving his wealthy father-in-law, a multi-national real estate investor once described as ‘the richest man in El Paso.’”
The report added that O’Rourke “has reported a net worth of about $9 million, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.” The man he unsuccessfully attempted to challenge, Senator Ted Cruz, has a net worth of about $3.8 million.
In his early life, O’Rourke went to Woodberry Forest School, a private, all-male boarding school in the Virginia countryside. Notable alumni include George H.W. Bush’s son.
Despite being seeped in privilege, and having half the media fawning over him and half upset that a white man would dare to run for office, O’Rourke managed to raise more money than any other Democratic presidential candidate in the first 24 hours after his official announcement. He raised a whopping $6.1 million in online donations, while Bernie Sanders, the previous populist-left darling raised $5.9 million and establishment-favorite Kamala Harris only raised $1.5 million in that time.
So what is the media to do, in an age of oppression Olympics? Surely, a rich white male can’t possibly become the nominee — no matter how popular he may be.
Things are looking so glib for him that he had to spend both his second and third day on the campaign trail apologizing. It was so bad that the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The identity left is carving him up like a Texas steak before he gets to Donald Trump.”
First O’Rourke was forced to apologize for joking that his wife has been raising their three kids “sometimes with my help.” Next, he had to apologize for saying that he was “born to be in it,” which was seen as further proof of his “white male privilege.” Soon, he was apologizing for fictional pieces that he wrote as a teenager. Imagine apologizing for writing weird fiction as a teenager?
He’s being forced to apologize for everything by the social justice mobs and it makes him look weak.
One thing is certain: it will be interesting to watch as the Democratic Party attempts to balance both their identity politics obsessed base and their desire to boost this new white version of President Obama.
Adam Weiss is the CEO of AMW PR, a New York political strategy and communications firm. His firm has represented Kimberly Guilfoyle, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Anthony Scaramucci and more.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.