In November 2018, Democrat Beto O’Rourke nearly pulled off an almost unprecedented feat in Texas when it appeared that he might beat Ted Cruz for a senate seat. Although he wasn’t quite able to get there, whispers started surfacing that not being a senator would free up O’Rourke’s schedule to instead fight current U.S. President Donald Trump for his seat in the White House in 2020.
At the time, O’Rourke made it clear he had no interest in running for president yet. According to CBS News, O’Rourke appeared on an episode of 60 Minutes days before the November 6 election date, stating with certainty that — despite his obvious popularity and likability — a run for the Oval Office wasn’t on the cards anytime soon.
“I don’t wanna do it. I will not do it. Amy and I are raisin’ an 11-year-old, a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old. And we spent the better part of the last two years not with each other, missing birthdays and anniversaries and time together. And we – our family could not survive more of that. We need to be together,” O’Rourke told 60 Minutes correspondent Jon Wertheim.
But earlier this week, O’Rourke announced that he would be throwing his hat in the ring for the 2020 presidential elections after all.
Speaking to CBS This Morning host Gayle King, O’Rourke had some explaining to do about what had changed.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 15, 2019
While he admits that he and his wife had been spending quality time together as a couple and as a family with their three children as they had been looking forward to after the elections, O’Rourke explained that it was actually the kids who started pushing him to run.
“They just voluntarily started offering advice. ‘Hey, Dad, if you run, this is how I think you should do it. Or, ‘Hey, Dad, you’ve gotta run because of this or that issue.’ These were the conversations on the ride home from school.”
According to the politician, all these conversations were initiated by his children, rather than because of a conversation he or his wife had had with them about the possibility of him choosing to run for president.
The former congressman feels that his children’s sudden interest in his political career stems from an understanding of “what’s going on in the world right now,” adding that they “understand that they will inherit the consequences of the choices that you and I make at this moment.”
These conversations with his children led O’Rourke and his wife to believe that they would all be “resilient and strong” enough to withstand a stint in the White House, should he win his run at the presidency next year.
While O’Rourke was certainly a popular candidate in the November elections, running for president is a whole different story, and the current pool of Democrats making a bid for the White House might make it a rather difficult task.