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We’re Through Being Cool

They came. They saw. They faltered.

Every failed presidential campaign has That Moment—the point at which the candidate, in spite of all the coaching, canned speeches and consultants, goes kablooey and never quite recovers. Think Mike Dukakis doing his Beetle Bailey impression rolling around in a tank, or Howard Dean’s primal scream, or John Kerry all dressed up in that NASA bunny suit: these become the images that define the candidate forevermore, causing even their most staunch supporters to look back years later and wonder, “What the hell was I thinking?

Well, it appears as if longshot hopeful Jay Inslee decided to get his moment out of the way early, choosing—of all things—to seal his hilarious fate whilst tooling around on a scooter.

I swear I’m not making this up:

Hate to burst your bubble there, Jay, but you might as well surrender to climate change cuz there ain’t no coming back from that kind of self-own. Right about now, I’m guessing his director of social media is locked away Gimp-style in some Olympia basement, contemplating how anybody could have ever thought this was a good idea. Seriously, even the most militant of eco-warriors are taking one look at Inslee and saying, “Not cool, bro.” If saving the planet requires this level debasement, they might be thinking it would be better for everyone to just let it fry.

Meanwhile, a certain Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is having a few campaign troubles of his own. It seems that the Betomania that swept across Texas last year has cooled somewhat, now that the fangirl media who used to squeal at the mere mention of his name have now turned their affections to flavor of the month Joe Biden. Much like Andrew Ridgeley after George Michael left Wham!, O’Rourke now finds himself in a precarious spot—with only one play left to save his flagging campaign:

[S]ince his mid-March campaign launch, the buzz surrounding the former congressman has evaporated. Competing in a massive field of Democratic White House hopefuls, O’Rourke has sagged in the polls. He’s made few promises that resonated or produced headline-grabbing moments, instead driving around the country meeting with voters at mostly small events.

In a tacit recognition that this approach isn’t working, O’Rourke is planning to try again, taking a hands-on role in staging a “reintroduction” ahead of next month’s premier Democratic presidential debate.

Didn’t Hillary Clinton try a reboot like that after she snagged the Democrat nomination away from Bernie Sanders? As I recall, Hillary 2.0 was a great success—well, at least in comparison to Olestra potato chips and the Microsoft Zune. So what’s Beto got to offer that we haven’t already seen?

As he finalizes his plans, O’Rourke has entered an intentional “quiet period” to build out campaign infrastructure, according to an adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the campaign’s strategy.

Ah, yes. The whole “less is more” strategy. That worked for Hillary too: the less people saw her, the more they liked her. Sadly, there’s a rather significant flaw in that plan, as the story rather succinctly points out.

That will end soon.

And then it’ll be back to hopping on countertops, spouting platitudes, and generally looking as if the only reason Beto is running for president is because he doesn’t have anything better to do. Which, considering he’s from El Paso, might actually be close to the truth.

Whatever his other faults, though, at least nobody has pictures of Beto riding around on an electric scooter like an octogenarian Hell’s Angel. Plus he can take solace in knowing that the video of him playing guitar in sheep drag is no longer the most embarrassing thing out there.

If this stuff is any indication, Democrat primary is gonna be lit, yo! And I for one can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next.


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