Beto O’Rourke, once a darling of the media, has decided to end his presidential campaign. He tweeted his announcement, linking to a blog post on Medium.
“Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” Beto wrote. “My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country.”
Beto’s campaign has been one desperate radical announcement after another. In recent weeks he’s announced his support for Menstrual Equity, vowed to strip tax-exempt status from churches that oppose gay marriage, announced a mandatory gun buyback program, and dropped the occasional F-bomb in order be cool.
Despite his departure from the race, Beto promises to work toward defeating Trump in 2020. This probably means that even though he’s leaving the race, he’s still hoping to position himself as a vice-presidential pick.
President Trump has reacted to the news:
Oh no, Beto just dropped out of race for President despite him saying he was “born for this.” I don’t think so!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
Things are also not looking good for Kamala Harris, who is closing campaign offices across the state of New Hampshire.
This announcement comes just two weeks after Beto revealed in an interview with Politico that “I cannot fathom a scenario where I would run for public office again if I’m not the nominee.” The writing on the wall about his campaign has been evident for at least the past couple of months. He’s been polling in the low single digits, and it was increasingly clear he was not going to qualify for future debates—failure to qualify for the November debate would have ended the campaign. Dropping out now, two weeks before the deadline to qualify for the November debate, seems like a curious move if his plan was actually to run for president, and not position himself as a VP pick. Personally, I think he’s always been running for vice president. Democrats have convinced themselves that Texas is a potential pick-up for them, and that certainly makes Beto a ripe candidate for being picked to fill out a ticket.
Nevertheless, Beto is gone from the race… for now.
This post has been updated.