Beto O'Rourke recently dropped out of the Democratic Presidential Primary after his whole campaign crashed and burned. He was actually polling pretty well at the start of the primary, since he had nearly beaten Ted Cruz to become a senator from Texas in 2018. Ted Cruz is a deeply unpopular figure nationally, and barely managed to win despite being a Republican in Texas. Since so many people hate Cruz, Beto became popular - and it didn't hurt that Beto is somewhat charismatic and attractive for a politician (so I'm told at least). However, as soon as people really looked at who Beto is his campaign fell apart.
He started going down in the polls almost as soon as he entered the race. I believe people liked the idea they had of Beto, but not the real Beto himself. He dropped out when he fell to 6-8th place in major polls. However, he was a mess along the way.
He alienated Progressives early on by bragging about how he could work with both sides, including his history of working with the Trump administration. This led one Progressive to label him "The Candidate for Vapid Morons". https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/03/beto-orourke-is-the-candidate-for-vapid-morons.html
It is a remarkably dumb move to embrace Trump in a Democratic Primary, even in the "I can compromise" sense. After all, you are going to run against Trump if you win the primary. However, Beto was not done with stupid decisions.
It soon come out that Beto had been yelling at his staff as his polling worsened. In an early debate he spoke Spanish poorly in a clear attempt at pandering to Latinos. His key failure was that everything he did was so transparently political. He has no finesse - no ability to make it seem like he does things because he genuinely wants to. He comes across as a total politician.
Perhaps most infamously he came out and said "Hell yes we are going to take away your guns!" during a Democratic debate. During this debate he proposed a "mandatory buyback" for what he called assault weapons. He later flip-flopped and tried to claim that this isn't confiscation. Of course, a mandatory buyback is literally confiscation - it's just that the government pays you a little after they take your guns. I wonder what would happen if this was actually tried in America. Of course, millions of Americans would refuse. I wonder how Beto thinks that would work out?
This was the point at which I realized Beto was not actually trying to win anymore. Every politician knows that they can not win any election in the U.S. while running on gun confiscation. Accusing Democrats (generally inaccurately) of supporting gun confiscation has been a favorite tactic of Republicans for decades. Beto has thrown his entire party under the bus and given the Right a poster-child to point to when they claim Democrats want to take everyone's guns. This will hurt the Democrats for decades. It also guaranteed that he will never win any election nation-wide, or in Texas now that he has dropped out of the presidential race. So what was he thinking?
It may have been a desperate attempt to get attention and support for his failing campaign, but I think there is more to it. I think that, given his charisma, appearance, national profile, D.C. connections, and this strongly anti-gun stance he is taking, he is planning on becoming a lobbyist. I think he knows his career is over, so he is just going to become some highly-paid spokesperson in favor of gun control. I honestly don't think he even believes what he proposed. As cowardly as it is, and despite how much he hurt his party, this is kind of a brilliant move. He will probably get paid incredibly well to just give speeches to a bunch of people who all agree with each other. Presumably he will be able to do this for a few years and retire a wealthy man.
On the other hand, he has a history of so many bone-headed moves that this might have just been an attempt to reignite a failing campaign. If that is the case, he failed spectacularly and destroyed his entire career, along with damaging his party. In that case, Beto will truly be remembered as a complete buffoon - a moron.
So long Beta!