If you're a Republican candidate and you lose a national election, it's pretty much curtains for you.
Not so if you're a Democrat! In fact, losing on the national stage is almost a prerequisite for becoming president. Take Hillary Clinton for an example, just off the top of my head. She had her coronation stolen in 2008 by some guy named Barack Obama. If she'd been a Republican she would've gone the way of, well, Sarah Palin.
Instead, Hillary scrapped and clawed her way back to the nomination. Surely, her 2016 loss would be the final nail in the coffin of her presidential dreams. Except Democrats are so unsure of themselves, and so terrified of President Donald Trump, that it would not be that surprising if they handed her the keys to the party machine for the third time in 2020.
Many Democrats would like to see Hillary's revenge in 2020, but a lot more dream of a world in which Barack and Michelle Obama rule as king and queen for life. Since a constitutional amendment to abolish term limits is unlikely, however, Democrats are ready to run with the next best thing – Hope & Change 2.0 himself, Beto O'Rourke.
They're already spinning his loss to Ted Cruz in the Senate race as a huge positive because now he's freed up to focus on running for president! And by that, they really mean he's freed up to start raising boatloads of cash for the party.
Granted, if Bobby Frank had defeated Cruz, the Democratic primaries would already be over. His presidential nomination would've been a done deal. But Dems won't let a little Senate race loss deter destiny. On Sunday, one Democratic strategist said:
"I hate to say this because it would piss off a lot of Democrats but the fact is, we have so many people and we really have nobody that's thrilling, nobody that would send a thrill up Chris Matthews' leg except for Beto."
That pretty much sums up the left's presidential criteria – Chris Matthews' level of leg-thrill. That and universal health care.
Beto told MSNBC last week that he won't run for president in 2020. Playing hard to get is another Democratic prerequisite for a White House run. Beto-mania is just getting started.