After embarking on a soul-searching road trip following his disappointing defeat at the hands of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Beto O'Rourke has finally come to his decision about ascending to the highest office in the land: He's "in." The only question is, are you?
"I am running to serve you as the next president," Beto tweeted Thursday morning. "The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: BetoORourke.com."
The tweet also presents Beto's announcement video, which features the failed senatorial candidate seated next to his beaming wife as he lays out his optimistic vision for his transcendent presidency.
O'Rourke has presented himself as somewhat of a centrist politician, though he's taken a radical position on illegal immigration, not only opposing the building of a security wall on the southern border but actually calling for the dismantling of existing walls. Leading up to his big announcement, rumors had been circulating that Joe Biden may have already reached out to Beto as a potential running mate should the former vice president announce his own candidacy, as most expect he'll do. "Advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering a White House run of his own, said in December that they’d approached O’Rourke’s camp about his being a vice presidential candidate," Marketwatch reported in February.
But now that Beto's officially in, how do people feel about it? If the response online is any indication, people seem to feel either utterly elated or entirely unimpressed. Below are some examples of those on both the euphoric and the sarcastic ends of the spectrum.
This family's "bags are packed":
That prompted this response:
But no negativity is dampening this fan's sense of "BeTogether-ness":
This major Beto fan shared a drawing of the inspiring candidate:
Many Beto fans are "very proud" of him. Some are even "so f***ing proud" of him:
Beto's at least already had one donation: "First to donate!" one fan exclaimed. "Ready to support you all the way, my good man. Heck with the cynics. You’re too good for this state that always votes Red. You’re better off articulating it nationwide."
But this guy definitely didn't donate: "Ted Cruz easily beat you and @realDonaldTrump will crush you," he wrote, raining on the "Beto proud" parade. "Our economy is thriving, our climate is far cleaner than China or India and improving, GDP is fantastic and we don’t need illegal aliens, child trafficking, Mexican Drug Cartels or socialist agendas in US #BorderWall"
One Beto supporter is hoping he intervenes to help this famous criminal "who lost her freedom for our country" after she bravely "alerted Americans about election interference":
These folks are just really excited:
These people, not so much: "Ok he was a city councilman, a few years in Congress did nothing, name something else he’s done," wrote one unimpressed Twitterer. "BETO is typical he married money and needs something to fill his narcissistic life , you relate to that so it’s like talking to a wall."
Another was a little more concise: "You are not qualified. There is no Ted Cruz to make this easy for you. This is not prom king contest. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, what was your longest job? We don’t like you."
So does O'Rourke have a shot? Most of the polls of Democratic voters have shown him to be one of the top three or four candidates. Leading the pack is usually Joe Biden followed by Bernie Sanders. O'Rourke and Kamala Harris are usually third or fourth. After her infamous "1/1,024th Native" DNA report, Elizabeth Warren has found herself hanging around fifth place or so. But, of course, a lot can happen in two years, so we'll see.
In case you missed O'Rourke's comments on border walls, here he is, as Brit Hume put it, admitting "existing walls and fences have forced illegals toward the most dangerous places to cross, which means they are indeed a deterrent":