03.18.2019

For Latinos, 'Beto' O'Rourke is just another privileged white guy trying to manipulate them

For Latinos, 'Beto' O'Rourke is just another privileged white guy trying to manipulate them (Photo: Rick Jervis)

He hasn’t earned it.

I’ve distilled it down. And that’s basically the refrain I’ve heard from dozens of Latinos who — unlike the news media, run by white liberals who are fascinated by other white liberals — refuse to go loco for Beto.

They’re concerned that Robert Francis O’Rourke, 46, who on Thursday joined an already-crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, is trying to put one over on Latinos by tricking them into thinking he’s one of them. Or, at the very least, they think that his strategy, or that of his handlers, is to come across to Latinos as a simpatico who connects with them the way that Bill Clinton — whom writer Toni Morrison mischievously dubbed “our first black president” — connected with African-Americans. At least until Barack Obama came along, and the Clinton machine tried, and failed, to destroy him.

So is that the deal? Is O’Rourke aiming to become America’s first Latino president?

For the full story, visit USAToday.com/Opinion.