1 of 2
Eric Gay, AP
In this Oct. 2, 2018, file photo, then-Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke makes a campaign stop at Austin Community College Eastview, in Austin, Texas.

SALT LAKE CITY — Beto O’Rourke is running for president.

The former Texas congressman who narrowly lost to Sen. Ted Cruz last year announced his candidacy on Thursday, according to The New York Times.

O’Rourke will run on a message of national unity for the Democratic Party, which will put him in contention with other 2020 Democratic hopefuls including Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, among others.

Multiple opinion writers from across the country shared their thoughts on O’Rourke’s run for office. We’ve collected a few of them and shared them below.

The New York Times opinion columnist David Leonhardt writes he’s glad to see O’Rourke enter the race.

  • “It’s far too early to know how he will do in the national spotlight. Running for president is far harder than running for the House or Senate. But O’Rourke has shown intriguing promise as a candidate. And I’m a fan of a diverse field.”

CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer writes that O’Rourke might be a risky choice for Democrats who could pay off down the road.

  • “Recent election history should be part of the conversation that Democrats have in the coming months. It might be that the candidate best suited to bringing an end to Trumpism is the person who is drawing the large crowds causing voters to dream of a country that is better than this, and the person who will know how to fight hard in the crazy and unpredictable political-media landscape we now inhabit.”

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin writes that O’Rourke will have to show he can withstand a long campaign cycle.

  • “There is no question that O’Rourke enters the race with a sense of delirium that equals if not surpasses Barack Obama’s first campaign. While Republicans mocked 'hope and change' as rhetorical froth, that’s exactly what most voters want — hope and change. The country is on edge, and Americans are at one another’s throats. Government is polarized and paralyzed. President Trump has insulted, angered and frightened a large percentage of the electorate. Why wouldn’t voters want optimism and good cheer, the promise of reconciliation?”

The Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent outlined five takeaways from O’Rourke’s launch, including that he doesn’t have any big policy ideas.

  • “O’Rourke’s announcement is notable for how little it has to say about those matters. ‘Corporations’ get almost no mention. O’Rourke and Sanders both promise to marshal an unprecedented grass-roots uprising, but only Sanders does so as a means to overwhelming the power of plutocracy.”

Fox News writer Matt Gorman writes that O’Rourke could be the Democrats’ nominee because of his authenticity.

  • “For better or worse, you know who Donald Trump is and what’s on his mind. It’s obvious to anyone who has listened to him for more than five minutes that his answers aren’t poll-tested, messages aren’t focus-grouped, and his tweets aren’t approved by legions of staff — or really anyone for that matter. Again, this isn’t always a good thing. But his authenticity does enable him to connect with people.”

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein writes that O’Rourke won’t win the presidency but he could disrupt the race.

7 comments on this story
  • “I don't think O'Rourke can quite achieve this, because he has not been a national celebrity for decades, and he is not going to make a constant string of shocking statements, creating daily headlines. Also, he'll have to compete with Trump himself for airtime."
  • “However, O'Rourke still will attract a significant amount of media attention. So, the way O'Rourke will have an effect is that it will become significantly harder for other Democratic candidates with lower name recognition to get their message out. So while he won't win, his presence will make it harder for candidates in the low, single digits to make a move toward the top of the pack.”