It doesn’t matter if Beto O’Rourke is supported wholeheartedly by the picky progressives or if he’s the “best” Democratic choice to succeed Donald Trump in 2021, whatever the hell that means. What matters is (a) defeating the Cheeto, and (b) replacing him with someone whose instincts are basically populist and not too corporate-kowtowing, someone who’s forward-looking with a multi-ethnic reach-out attitude to the Great Middle, who’s not psychotic or delusional or necessarily beholden to the politically correct fanatics, and who respects the Constitution and the ideals and traditions of this country and who’s basically Bobby Kennedy reborn, only taller.

Beto has reportedly been searching his soul on a solo road trip (like Willem Dafoe purifying his soul in the desert) and trying to suss things out. Fine, whatever but not too much of this. He needs to just grim up and go for it, period. Step up to the plate and then figure it out as he goes along. He’ll definitely, definitely, definitely beat Trump if he wins the 2020 Democratic nomination. I can’t say that about any other candidate, declared or undeclared, right now. Including Uncle Neck Wattle.

From “Democratic Operatives Are Building Beto O’Rourke’s Campaign Without Him,” a new Atlantic piece by Edward Isaacc Dovere:

“’I think Beto’s really having a hard time making a decision, and he’s surprised at how hard it is,’ said Garry Mauro, the last Democrat to be elected statewide in Texas (in 1994, as land commissioner) and someone who’s been in touch with O’Rourke recently.

“There has been no official contact, but Mauro said O’Rourke is clearly registering how excited people remain about him, and he and his team are aware of Draft Beto. “I don’t think for one second that the Draft Beto movement is going unnoticed and doesn’t have impact. Of course it does. How could it not?”

“O’Rourke didn’t respond to a phone call or questions sent by text about what he makes of Draft Beto and whether the group’s existence is indeed informing his decision. He’s on a road trip, by himself, eating blackberry cobbler and crashing in motels, having conversations, and then posting Bukowski-style essays about what he sees.

“’Have been stuck lately. In and out of a funk. My last day of work was January 2nd,’ he wrote on Medium on Wednesday. ‘It’s been more than twenty years since I was last not working. Maybe if I get moving, on the road, meet people, learn about what’s going on where they live, have some adventure, go where I don’t know and I’m not known, it’ll clear my head, reset, I’ll think new thoughts, break out of the loops I’ve been stuck in.’

“For someone who became a national sensation speaking off-the-cuff and from the heart, O’Rourke has become an enigma in the past two months. According to several people he’s been in contact with, he’ll write long, philosophical text messages to people he knows well, but others who reach out pushing him to run get elusive text messages that are noncommittal but friendly and make reference to decisions that lie ahead.”