Be become viable, O’Rourke had to work outside the Texas Democrat world

Pratt on Texas - copyright Pratt on Texas all rights reserved“To win in Texas under a Progressive banner, [Beto Pancho] O’Rourke needed to bypass the political establishment that rules throughout much of the state. And with establishment media in grave decline, neither could he rely on them to carry his message and boost him to victory,” claims Daniel Van Oudenaren at Austin Bureau.

The story is headlined “How Beto O’Rourke’s playbook could be used by the far right” and makes many good points but is hampered by the idea that many of the things the author sees as fresh and innovative by O’Rourke actually are nothing new.

he needed “to bypass the political establishment that rules throughout much of the state.”

Staging events in-the-round in which the crowd surrounds you, for example, is something we’ve done for decades because of the camera optics it gives for news video clips.

Much of what Oudenaren sees as innovate is not new but simply cleverly used and adapted to the social media age by O’Rourke. Why few other candidates have not been using these tried and tested things is another matter for a different discussion.

Beto Pancho & his bullhorn

I find agreeable the overall take of the story about how Beto Pancho’s deliberate techniques can be used by others but the key idea expressed, but sadly not much backed up or discussed in the piece, is that he needed “to bypass the political establishment that rules throughout much of the state.”

Indeed, what O’Rourke had to do was to bypass the Texas Democratic Party political establishment, both statewide and local, to become a viable-in-November candidate.

O’Rourke, a sitting Congressman, for all his money, skill, and freshness, was only able to win the Democrat primary by a margin of fewer than 250,000 votes (O’Rourke received 644,632 votes with two opponents) in which only 1,042,914 people voted in his senate race – that is in a state of over twenty-eight million people. (For comparison, a low-turnout GOP primary gave 1,322,724 votes to Ted Cruz with four opponents on the ballot.)

To be a viable statewide Democrat candidate in Texas requires that you run outside the Texas Democrat Party establishment, regime, systems, and culture.

A Texas Tribune story detailed how even the handful of big money donors who have still been supporting the Dem-statewides have now closed their checkbooks to them all while Beto Pancho is setting fundraising records. He’s doing it through his, and national, systems and appears to have largely bypassed the Texas Democratic Party and its operatives in both fundraising and campaigning.

O’Rourke is showing what many election returns have demonstrated: To be a viable statewide Democrat candidate in Texas requires that you run outside the Texas Democrat Party establishment, regime, systems, and culture.

What do you think?...

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