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Beto Launches Apology Tour, Beats Out Bernie In First Day Haul

Beto apologizes
Democrat presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O'Rourke brought in more than $6.1 million in online contributions in the first 24 hours after announcing his candidacy last week, reports Sandy Fitzgerald of NewsMax, narrowly beating out Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, who brought in $5.9 million in his first 24 hours.

Sanders went on to raise $10 million before the first week of his campaign wrapped up, dwarfing the other Democrats in the race. There had been some questions about whether some of the same grassroots donors who contributed heavily to O'Rourke's unsuccessful campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz, would back him in a presidential bid, reported Fitzgerald, but his first-day tally raised about a fourth of what former President Barack Obama raised in the entire first quarter of his first campaign.

As of now, anyway, it looks like Beto’s well-known Hollywood fundraising prowess may keep him competitive with Bernie’s progressive small donor network.

However, looking at Beto’s thin legislative record, lack of accomplishment in any other walk of life and gaffe-prone first couple of days on the campaign trail one is forced to ask, why would any Democrat, let alone a centrist Independent, vote for Beto?

The short answer may have been provided by Beto himself – he was born to run – or as we prefer to characterize it – manufactured to run.

Eric Lach, writing for The New Yorker, explained O’Rourke is comfortable letting people see what they want to see in him. In his announcement video, he appears to assimilate the messages of several other Democrats who have declared themselves candidates or considered running, making himself out to be a kind of über-candidate. “We can begin by fixing our democracy and insuring that our government works for everyone and not just for corporations,” O’Rourke says, channelling Elizabeth Warren. “We can invest in the dignity of those who work,” O’Rourke says, adopting a literal Sherrod Brown slogan. “This is going to be a positive campaign,” O’Rourke says, echoing Cory Booker’s campaign of love.

O’Rourke finds his own voice, says Lach, on immigration and the border. And, like Barack Obama, his other great topic is himself. “I want to be in it,” he told Joe Hagan, who wrote a profile of him for Vanity Fair (accompanied by Annie Liebowitz photographs no less), offering the kind of quote destined to be slapped on the cover of a magazine.

The rest of his comment, “Man, I’m just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment,” didn’t sit well with some, but like Obama, O’Rourke is not hesitant to describe himself as a creature of destiny, maybe even history.

CNN reported O'Rourke said Friday night that he had been wrong for joking at several events in his first two days campaigning in Iowa that his wife has been raising their three children "sometimes with my help."

The comments triggered complaints from Democratic operatives and activists, many of them women, that female candidates could never similarly joke about their roles raising their children.

"Not only will I not say that again, but I'll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage, and also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege," he said according to CNN.

He pointed to his ability to walk away from two arrests as a young man without serious consequences as an example.

"So yes, I think the criticism is right on. My ham-handed attempt to try to highlight the fact that Amy has the lion's share of the burden in our family -- that she actually works but is the primary parent in our family, especially when I served in Congress, especially when I was on the campaign trail -- should have also been a moment for me to acknowledge that that is far too often the case, not just in politics, but just in life in general. I hope as I have been in some instances part of the problem, I can also be part of the solution," he said.

CNN reported it as the second apology O'Rourke made during the podcast, but we count at least three.

The first was for his writings as a teenager when he was a member of a group of activist hackers. Those writings, which came under the pseudonym "Psychedelic Warlord" and included a piece of fiction from a killer's point of view, were revealed in a Reuters report.

He said he was "mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed ... whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn't matter."

"I have to look long and hard at my actions, at the language I have used, and I have to constantly try to do better," O'Rourke said according to CNN.

The second apology was for his lame wife joke, and the third apology was for the “white privilege” that got him off his not so youthful scrapes with the law.

Like Obama, O’Rourke is an empty vessel who sees himself as a man of destiny, and like Obama he has turned apologizing into an artform, indeed his readiness to apologize for anything and everything was our primary takeaway from his first few days on the campaign trail. Given that, Beto is shaping-up to be the perfect white guilt candidate for a Democrat Party who’s only organizing principle is racial and social animus.

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