Sen. Amy Klobuchar & Beto O’Rourke will likely announce their 2020 campaigns

AIPAC Conference in Washington DC

I’m trying to remember the last time the Democratic presidential-candidate field was so packed so soon. I don’t even remember a time? 2004 felt like a big, important election year and I remember that Democrats were announcing mid-year in 2003, but we still ended up with a battle between…John Edwards, John Kerry and Howard Dean. Then in 2008, the primary was exciting but it didn’t feel packed – it was just a choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The 2020 primary is going to feel A LOT different. With Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and others already in the race,it feels jam-packed. I also wonder if one of my Virginia senators might end up running – Tim Kaine or Mark Warner, and between them, I think Kaine is the more likely bet. But people are still throwing their hats into the proverbial ring. Like Minnesota straight-talker Amy Klobuchar?

I really like Sen. Klobuchar too. I’d be fine with a ticket that included Sen. Harris, Sen. Booker and/or Klobuchar, quite honestly. But do you need more dude energy? Because Beto O’Rourke is apparently making his final decision about running this month:

Breaking months of near-silence about his political future, Democrat Beto O’Rourke said Tuesday that he would announce his decision about a 2020 presidential run “before the end of the month” and suggested he’s leaning toward it.

The former Texas congressman, who found political stardom in his unsuccessful Senate bid last fall, opened up about a potential 2020 run in a conversation with a bigger star, Oprah Winfrey, during a taping of her program “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square.”

“I have been thinking about running for president,” O’Rourke told Winfrey as the packed audience cheered. The 46-year-old Democrat cited his desire to help unify the country. “I’m so excited at the prospect of being able to play that role.”

[From AP News]

Just FYI: the moment to announce your presidential run is probably when you’re being interviewed by Oprah! OPRAH IS THE KINGMAKER.

And here’s something else… we still don’t even know if Joe Biden is going to run! This primary is going to be batsh-t.

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Getty.

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67 Responses to “Sen. Amy Klobuchar & Beto O’Rourke will likely announce their 2020 campaigns”

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  1. PhillyGal says:

    Love both Beto & Amy! This is going to be one exciting Democratic primary season.

    • phlyfiremama says:

      Ditto!!! This 4th generation Texan is ALL IN for Beto being #46. He is the ONLY potential candidate that can bring in the moderate, centrist, and progressive aspects of the Democratic party, and also the unhappy republicans who are wondering WTF just happened to their political party. #beto46 #runbetorun #baeto2020

  2. Muffy says:

    I’m really happy with the Democratic field so far.

    • SarahLee says:

      Me too. I think Biden has, once again, done his Macbeth act too long. At one point, people would have been excited for his announcement. Now – he’ll just join the field, I think. Though perhaps that is why he was waiting – to see how the field was shaping up.

      • Wilady says:

        I loved Biden, but that video of him being creepy and grabby and touchy with all the young girls getting initially taken at the White House broke my heart because I didn’t want to feel that way about him, and now just can’t bring myself to vote for him. Seeing the girls feel stuck in polite mode while a stranger stroked their hair and whispered in their ear after separating them from their parents was too much, and brought up a lot of feelings I never wanted to feel again. I love the Biden I knew before I saw that, but he can’t get my vote this time.

  3. Clare says:

    Honestly, I think Warren and Biden need to both back down from this. They have, for whatever reason, far too much baggage.

    I also hope the Dems have the sense, this time, not to sling too much mud at each other during the primaries, therefore giving the GOP ready made attacks for whoever makes it past the finish line.

    • Steff says:

      You are so right. And as much as I wanted to see Hillary as president, we don’t need to relive the nightmare that was 2016, and that means no independents using the democrat platform (I.e. NO BERNIE!).

      • Muffy says:

        I feel the same about Bernie. He uses democrats when it suits him and I’m over it.

        I’m proud to be a democrat and he should be too if he wants the nomination.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        He once again showed that he has no respect for others by putting out his own State of the Union response. He couldn’t let Stacey Abrams have her moment.

        I agree, Muffy, he only uses democrats for his personal benefit. His actions show he doesn’t actually want progress on the causes he claims to champion. He’s an intentional spoiler and as big of a narcissist as Trump.

  4. Becks1 says:

    I’m really excited for this primary season. I am hoping the Dems have enough sense to keep the primary as clean as possible and that there is minimal mud slinging. There will always be some, but I’m hoping its kept to a minimum.

    I just think its fun and exciting to have these choices – multiple women, multiple people of color – and so far out of the ones that have announced, there is not one who, if nominated, would make me say “oh yuck. Why did we go with that one?” I can get behind any of the candidates announced thus far.

    Well not Tulsi Gabbard. So I guess not all of them?

  5. runcmc says:

    Too many. Too much! Don’t any of these folks want to run in 2024? I feel like, at this point, we have enough candidates. It’s going to feel like a reality show, kind of like the Republican field in 2016. Remember there were like a dozen candidates vying for the republican ticket? The debates were so ridiculous. Let’s not be like that!

    • Wow says:

      The 2016 clown car is a big reason why I think Trump was able to squeeze the nomination out. Way too much splitting of the vote.

    • minx says:

      The frontrunners will rise to the top fairly quickly, once the primaries start. Then people will drop out and endorse. I’m fine with having a large group of well spoken candidates as an antidote to the blithering dumbf*ck.

  6. Busyann says:

    I said it a few weeks ago, Harris, Klobuchar, Biden, and O’Rouke would be my dreams. I’d be happy with a combination of any of them.

  7. Lama Bean says:

    Klobuchar announcing is going to make my choice between her and Kamala much more difficult. I love them both.

    I don’t think Cory is going to get far; he’s twice punted on very straightforward questions (such as “is trump a racist?”).

    I like Beto. I do not like Beto as President. Wish he’d challenge Cornyn in 20.

    • Lizzie says:

      i agree with you on all three points. i like beto a lot but we need to face the facts that he didn’t beat ted cruz, who literally no one likes. no one who has ever met ted cruz likes him and is happy to comment on it publicly. i know texas is really complicated for democrats but how does he combat the stain of “guy who couldn’t beat ted cruz”? he’s a charmer for sure and i’m sure he’d be a wonderful president but i just don’t think he has the ammo to transcend that.

      • Wow says:

        I was actually shocked he didn’t beat Ted Cruz. It seems like even Ted Cruz hates Ted Cruz. Considering how universally loathed he is and how sick of his shit texas had gotten it left me more surprised than the losses in Georgia and Florida.

        If he can’t beat Ted Cruz, thats a good indicator he might not beat Trump. Which is sad. He has progressive leanings and no major scandals. Hes not already hated by a large group of the Democrats so he wouldn’t split the vote on principle of voting against. He’s a great candidate on paper.

      • Steff says:

        But that was just Texas and Ted Cruz is someone republicans will still vote for despite being awful. He was the runner up to Trump in the primary out of all the clowns that ran.

        Beto made a lot of ground work in Texas, had an excellent campaign, and even managed to flip some red districts blue. With a Obama-esqe campaign, he has a chance.

      • LadyT says:

        I don’t pretend to know much about politics. What I do know is that Beto had a lot of people very fired up and inspired- young people and people like me, that vote out of duty but basically despise the whole political game. (Yes, I realize he lost…)

      • Clare says:

        You know, I feel like Beto (who I like very much) is so fing charming that he would quickly become a cult of personality and his supporters will be mad at anyone who wins that isn’t him…bringing us back to something similar to Bernieorbust…which the Dems cannot afford.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        People who are not from Texas and/or have never lived outside of major urban areas in Texas tend to underestimate how Republican Texas still is, even with the demographic changes of the last decade. There are a LOT of die-hard Republicans in Texas, they will vote for A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. with an (R) by its name, and they turn out reliably. Democratic enthusiasm in Texas is on an upswing and we are getting better at turning out Dem and centrist independent voters, but it’s an uphill climb. It is a long-term battle to fight voter apathy among people who feel that the Republican machine has made it so their vote doesn’t count, or who are surrounded by so many loud Republicans in their area that they’re convinced the state as a whole will be blood-red forever. Beto did an AMAZING job getting new and occasional voters to the polls, and lifted innumerable down-ballot races in a way that will shape Texas politics going forward. Making a state-wide race genuinely competitive was a massive achievement, and he’s reinvigorated Texas Democratic politics for a generation. Wendy Davis got the ball rolling on that, but Beto absolutely took it to the next level. But for 2020, I frankly think he has a better shot at the presidency than at unseating John Cornyn. I see no scenario in which Cornyn does not get reelected, barring some extremely unsavory sex scandal (which I think is highly unlikely).

      • Keaton says:

        @The Other Katherine is 100% right.
        Personally I never thought Beto had a chance in hell to win TX so I’m actually INCREDIBLY impressed with what he accomplished. I live in a very red area surrounded by MAGA Trumplicans. And believe me, most of them hate GOP pols. McConnell, Paul Ryan, McCain, Lindsay Graham, etc are despised by these people. BUT (and here is the key thing): They hate Dems, liberals and anyone even remotely on the left FAR FAR more.
        As long as the GOP is anti-gun control and anti-abortion a big chunk of them will continue to vote R, no matter how charismatic the Dem or how populist the Dem is on economic issues. Until they are REALLY hurting economically these voters won’t give the Dems a second look IMO. So Ted Cruz’s lack of popularity didn’t really matter at all. What Beto seems to have understood is that there were a ton of potential Dem voters that weren’t voting AT ALL. And he got them excited and out to the polls which helped lift OTHER Dem candidates chances.

        On a related note: I’ve become a true believer in enthusiasm in Dem politics. In 2016 I underestimated the multiplicative effects of enthusiastic voters: They talk to other people about their candidate, they put signs in their yards, they go to rallys, etc. They end up INFLUENCING a lot of other people. So I’m all for a candidate that can generate some enthusiasm, even if I’m not perfectly aligned with them on policy.

        There is really only one Dem running that I’d have trouble voting for and that’s Tulsi. That’s because I think foreign policy* and temperament/character are the most important factors for a POTUS and she fails on both. (Luckily I doubt she’ll get much traction.)

        *Foreign policy because the POTUS has a ton of power in that area that can’t be checked by Congress.

      • Lua says:

        Beto got me to vote. I live in Houston. Houston is blue as is every other major city, yet the state is always red. I don’t vote because I feel like my vote doesn’t matter. I voted. Because of Beto. A lot of people here did. The fact that he was so close and Republicans were so scared of him means he’s a great choice to put on the ticket. He gets people like me out to vote. That’s what Obama did too. He gets people out there because they connect with the energy and the drive. Even when they’re jaded AF with the system.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Yeah, Beto may be a media darling but he doesn’t have the record and Texas needs at least one Democratic senator. He’ll just suck a lot of oxygen out of the room and draw the attention of the Kennedy-loving older white men in the media.

      Klobuchar, I’m willing to learn more about her.

    • Eyeroll says:

      As much as I hate to say this I am very worried about any woman having the ability to beat Trump. His base seems to be so sexist that the cannot see a woman as president (which is absolutely disgusting). For that reason I am hoping the democrats can put through a candidate that will get him out of the White House. The stakes are so high for 2020, I just want someone who can be palatable to moderate republicans who also dislike Trump. I’m concerned we will end up with a situation where people cannot bring themselves to vote for the Democratic candidate again and he will get re-elected.

      • Caitrin says:

        Given the amount of women who voted for Trump, I think there’s probably lot of truth in the notion that a woman faces an uphill battle against him.

      • sassafras says:

        We already had a woman beat Tr*mp! Her name is Hillary Clinton and she got 3 million more votes. Please do not fall into the trap of thinking we need a man to do this. We can do it with a woman and some strategy.

      • minx says:

        His true base is actually a relatively small number of people. We don’t need them and shouldn’t try to appeal to them. We need to appeal to the rest of the sane world and get people out to vote.

      • LadyT says:

        No Sassafras. Please don’t do this again. I’m not going to vote for a woman because she’s a woman, nor any man because he’s a man, nor any race or religion, or ethnic background just *because.* Find a winner. And no HRC didn’t win. Getting hung up on that old story prevents moving forward with a clear head.

      • Dara says:

        I’m not convinced a candidate needs to pull in moderate Republicans in order to win — and if they can inspire enough of the 40-something percent of people who didn’t vote the last time they won’t need to. I think (I hope) 2018 proved that progressive Democrats can win without selling their souls to swing-voters that may or may not vote for them more than once.

    • Malificent says:

      Yeah, I’m thinking Beto should run against Cornyn and get some Senate experience. He’s only 46 — 2028 would be a good run for him. If his charisma is long-lasting — he’ll still be relevant.

      I voted for Obama in 2008, when he was the junior senator from my home state. I liked him a lot, but I was concerned that he didn’t have enough experience at the federal level. And that turned out to be the case — Obama made some mistakes early on that he wouldn’t likely have made if he’d had more experience on Capitol Hill.

      But excited to see so many strong candidates!

      • Patty says:

        The same can be said of Kamala Harris, who has been a Senator for just two years….

      • Lama Bean says:

        I recall reading a profile of Beto (very recently) and it seemed he didn’t have specific answers for things that should have had at least something resembling a stance. It was really weird.

        With this many candidates in the field, money is limited. Unsure if he can raise like he did last time while competing with others who actually won their races.

  8. Ashley says:

    Klobuchar all day!

  9. Layla says:

    Dang this is gonna be tough! Love Harris and Klobuchar. But poll after poll has Biden as the favorite and the best chance we have to beat the Idiot Circus Clown. Not to mention what might happen with Sanders.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      If Biden would NOT run and throw himself 100% into campaigning for the nominee, that would be a very good outcome.

    • Dessi says:

      But these polls are irrelevant so early in the race. I wouldn’t put much value on a poll from February 2019.

      • Becks1 says:

        Also, Biden is the most well known name. If you’re asking people about potential candidates that include a senator from Minnesota, a former congressman from Texas, and the man who was the VP for 8 years under a fairly popular president – obviously the former VP is going to win, just due to name recognition. (so I agree that these early polls mean little. As the others gain recognition, the numbers will shift.)

  10. Enn says:

    This field is way too crowded way too fast. All I see are egos. Beto hasn’t proven he can win anything yet.

    No to Warren, Biden, Bernie, Castro, Klobuchar. No to Hillary. Yes to Harris and Booker.

    But to be honest, they’re going to create sloppy messaging and infighting and we’re going to end up with 4 more years of Trump.

    • Dani says:

      Yes! Everything you said 100%. Too many candidates, too much division, guarantees Trump reelection. Especially if Schultz runs (which he will do as an Independent).

    • Ana says:

      I beg to disagree. Beto was a 3 term Congressman. He won that position. Before that he served he served on the city council of El Paso. He just lost the Senate seat in Texas by less than a 3 point margin. Are we just concentrating on the lost?

  11. Busyann says:

    I worry a lot about some people running. I think there’s no gaurantee that a dem will win, but some candidates will do more to damage those chances and may actually help him get re-elected. I see Clinton, Sanders, Stein, and Schultz as potentially problematic. Im okay with Biden running in spite of his age. More than likely he would pick a younger VP and that person would be a frontrunner for 2024, so if played well, dems could win in 2020, 2024, and 2028.

  12. Diana says:

    God i like so many of these candidates it’s going to be tough deciding! I do love Begto though… we’ll see if can bring the goods but damn… has anyone seen that video of him preparing steak?! 😍

  13. Caitrin says:

    This is likely an unpopular opinion, but y’all are awesome and thoughtful people, so I’ll enjoy discussing it with you:

    I love Amy Klobuchar. I think she’s got policy bona fides, a solid record, and a lot of support from independents. I think Beto is a great campaigner and road warrior, but doesn’t have the legislative record to back up his rhetoric. (Then again, we elected a man who word vomited nonexistent policy plans, soooo.)

    I think a Klobuchar-Beto ticket would be awesome. But I don’t think Beto can win the presidency if he couldn’t pull the upset in Texas, and Klobuchar absolutely destroyed her GOP opponent in her reelection bid – and let’s be honest, when she questioned Brett “I Like Beer” Kavanaugh, SHE was the adult. (More like Baemy Klobuchar, I guess?)

    But I’m also sensing that much like the 2016 GOP primaries ate their own, there’s a strong chance that’s about to happen inside the DNC. Between the Bernie schism, DSA, etc., I feel like we’re about to see the left’s version of the 2010 Tea Party break, where purity politics cripple the base, and that scares me, because we’re hurtling towards both long term environmental and economic disaster.


    • Doodle says:

      I live in Texas – Beto was never going to win here. It was pretty much a given, it’s SUCH a red state. The fact that he got so much support in the state, especially in areas that are usually only red, is a bigger indicator of his popularity. My husband and I were watching on election night so surprised and excited at how close the race actually was because we were sure the race wouldn’t be so tight. The argument of Beto not being able to win Texas isn’t really fair. He was never going to. And yes, people have Cruz, but Republicans hate democratic policies even more, and progressive ideas like Beto’s scare them. So for the race to have been that close – again, it proves what a fierce competitor Beto is and how incredibly popular he really was. And don’t forget, people hate Cruz but he’s not a stupid man, he was a fierce debater at Princeton. I hate the guy but had to give him props during the debates for his deft answers.

      • Caitrin says:

        He was never going to beat Cruz for exactly the reasons you stated (though as a former scholarship college debater, I’m pretty sure *I* could whoop Cruz’s ass in a debate – he’s THAT smarmy and disingenuous).

        But my bigger critique of Beto is his limited record, which is why I think he’d be a killer veep candidate – thoughts?

      • Ana says:

        I agree Caitrin. Beto would be a great VP. He inspired a lot of young voters and he would be a great campaigner for the Democratic ticket by getting people out to vote. He will inspire a lot of young generation and this is what we need, to build the future generations.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        Doodle, yes to everything you said.

        I actually think Beto could be a great presidential candidate with an Obama-eque big-tent feel and reasonably progressive policies, but I agree with everyone who thinks he’d be an awesome VP candidate as well. His campaigning style is very positive and focused on lifting up voters rather than trashing his opponents personally, which means he can exit a primary without a lot of bad blood with the eventual winner, and support them on the trail without seeming hypocritical. Cory Booker is similar in that regard.

      • Lua says:

        Exactly! Thank you! He woke up a jaded margin of voters in Texas that don’t vote because they feel voting in such a red state is pointless. I voted this time around, knowing he’d lose, but wanting to support him anyway because I loved his energy. And don’t underestimate his affect on Texas. it’s because he was on the ticket that so many women and democrats won seats that were on the smaller ticket positions because people literally showed up for Beto and voted straight ticket.

      • Jack says:

        I live in Texas – Fort Bend County, which is very white and very republican. Hilary won FB and so did Beto. I didn’t expect Beto to win the state but went to stand in line to make sure i voted for him. I wasn’t particularly impressed with him. I liked the fact that he seemed like an honest, hard working, man of the people. Something politics hasn’t had in a long time. That made it easier for people to vote for him who were on the fence. I just think the vote was more against Trump. There was a lot of straight party ticket voting. This resulted in some Repubs (who are actually good, hard working people,) losing their races.

        We need experience that doesn’t equate to the ‘establishment’. I don’t know enough about Booker, but am excited about Kamala and Beto. Just wish they both had a lot more experience.

    • PhillyGal says:

      Caitrin, I agree with everything you said. An extreme left candidate will lose, I think. The Democrats need to be extremely strategic about this, and nominate the ticket who can BEAT TRUMP. Period. Amy is from the mid-west and more moderate. Beto will capture the young vote and those who usually don’t vote, like he did in Texas. I hope to God we don’t screw this up in 2020. We have got to get control of this country from the Republicans.

  14. Esmom says:

    I’m happy with everyone running so far but now I’ve been conditioned to brace for the inevitable garbage the GOP — and most likely Russia — will try to throw at them. They’ve had a while to systematically trash Warren and now Harris is being put through the wringer. It breaks my heart to imagine what they’ll try to do to Klobuchar.

  15. girl_ninja says:

    I’d like a Harris/O’Rourke ticket. I would get behind this.

    • sassafras says:

      This is my dream. O’Rourke on the ticket – either for Senator (with a badass Dem duo) or VP could push Texas blue and those electoral votes mean 100% no more Trump. I don’t worry about infighting – all the people out there in the ring are aware of how important this election is – and they WILL band together when we have a nominee.

      A crowded primary will benefit Dems in many ways – create interest and excitement, highlight our issues and diversity, divert media attention/ oxygen from Trump and give him less time to focus on bringing ONE person down. He can’t Tweet against Booker, Harris, Beto, Warren, Sanders, Pelosi, Schumer, Gillebrand, Castro, Schiff, Mueller, Klobuchar, Biden, etc., all at once for the next year. His followers will hate them all but we won’t give him/ the Russia bots the chance to get the middle (if there are any undecideds) to solidify their attacks on one person.

    • Ana says:

      Or Klobuchar/O’Rourke ticket…I would be happy with this one too! But we will see.

    • Keaton says:

      I think that would be a winning ticket.

  16. Lightpurple says:

    The Iowa caucus is 362 days away. The New Hampshire primary is one year and five days away. Super Tuesday is 13 months away. A lot can and will change before the first vote is cast any of these contests.

  17. Baker says:

    I like Beto but not as president. At least not yet. And if he can run at the back of a failed campaign I wanna know why Stacey Abrams isn’t encouraged to run ( you just know influential dude bros especially the podcast America guys have been encouraging Beto to run), Stacey’s speech last night was fantastic and she far more of a visionary politician than him.
    Klobuchar is likeable but she’s not pro Medicare for all so I wouldn’t vote for her.

  18. Baker says:

    @ reindeer
    Harris is not pro private prisons. Repeating lies like this does you no favors. Please stick to the facts wether you oppose a candidate or not.
    Here’s a thread from her on private prison from two years ago.

  19. Patty says:

    We really need to do something about our awful election seasons. We’ve entered what appears to be one long drawn out never ending election season. Why not say candidates cannot declare and start campaigning until January 1 of the year the the election will be held?

    It’s no wonder so many people are apathetic about elections and voting. It’s damn near impossible to keep momentum and enthusiasm during a long drawn out election season.

  20. Abby says:

    I love Beto. He came so close here in Texas, where people vote republican just because they’re republicans. I think he’d be a good VP this time around. For the Texans who voted for him, he had a devoted following–I’ve not ever seen anything like it. And personally I think he’s thoughtful, does his research, listens to people and wants the best for Texas. My only concern (other than experience) is how he’d translate that passion for Texas to the whole country.

  21. Rivkah says:

    Beto would be a great running mate for whoever wins the nomination

  22. kristen says:

    Can I vote for all of them? I love all of the candidates so far (except maybe Cory Booker…)

  23. PixiePaperdoll says:

    I don’t love Harris’ prosecutorial background. Klobuchar is my favorite so far.

    No Bernie. No Beto. No Uncle Joe.

  24. Dee Kay says:

    I’m torn on Beto. I like him a LOT but I don’t know about him winning lots of popular support without having won the TX race. I know TX is its own political ecosystem and Beto could get better math in his favor outside the state but there is still the “loser” tag attached to him right now. I wonder if he might be useful as a VP candidate for someone like Harris or Booker (or Klobuchar, I’ll have to look into her more). Right now, in the Dem primaries, I’m only against Warren (and Sanders), but I will vote for WHOEVER the Ds nominate!!!!!