O’Rourke was using “distributed organizing” — a method pioneered by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign of empowering volunteers in far-flung regions of Texas, often working out of pop-up offices in people’s garages or basements — to drastically expand his campaign’s reach.
…O’Rourke, while still deciding whether to run for president, agreed to be interviewed by Vanity Fair. It led to a March cover story with a pull quote featuring O’Rourke saying, “Man, I’m just born to be in it,” on the eve of his official entrance into the 2020 race.
O’Rourke would also err during his first swing through Iowa, joking at one point that his wife Amy was at home in El Paso raising their three children, “sometimes with my help.”
…Yhe Vanity Fair cover, which he would also later admit was a mistake, and the joke about his wife fueled the perception that O’Rourke was entitled [ and a bit petulant.]
…[Beto had] barely begun to build the sort of organization it would take to sustain a serious presidential campaign.
He also didn’t appear to be receiving detailed briefings ahead of his campaign stops.
…In June, O’Rourke — who never liked debates and, aides said, felt he came off too wooden and practiced after detailed prep sessions — appeared stunned when he was pummeled by former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro over immigration.
…He advocated mandatory buy-backs of assault-style rifles, drawing headlines — and also condemnation from some Washington Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who said he was making more modest gun control measures more difficult to get Republicans on board with.
It seems like no one wants to admit the obvious. Rank and file progressives might have like his “coming for your guns” shtick, which probably gave him a fundraising bump but in that moment he became a toxic substance that no longtime Democratic activist or booster would touch with a ten foot poll. Ergo, no more money and no more endorsements.
Plus, his comments to Warren in his final debate were not only a bad look but seemed to confirm and reinforce the underlying themes to the criticisms of his born to runa nd Amy raises my kids foibles that his supporters had, up to that point, been willing to ignore,