Beto O’Rourke lit up the 2020 US presidential election race last week by throwing his hat into the ring. The Democrat shot to fame last year when he ran for the US Senate and only narrowly lost out to his rival in the deeply Republican state of Texas. His failure in that election was counter-intuitively his making on the national political scene. O’Rourke ran a well-funded and organised campaign that showcased a heady cocktail impassioned beliefs and eloquence which lent itself perfectly to the social media generation. Plaudits duly followed. His moderate views, ability to run a solid campaign, and star quality on the podium make him the dream candidate for financial markets. But the sheer ecstasy of some commentators – one TV network went as far as hiring a golf buggy to chase him as he ran a 5km race on the opening weekend of his campaign – should be tempered. Many of O’Rourke’s greatest strengths could yet prove to be weaknesses in the extremely crowded Democratic primaries and highly polarised political environment. His youth means that he is able to engage increasingly disenfranchised young people in a way that elder statesmen struggle with. But those young people still… Read full this story
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