Democrats continue to push Robert "Beto" O'Rourke as a possible presidential contender, but the El Paso Democrat so far appears to be calculating his future on his own terms.
Eight Democrats have already officially declared for 2020. They include former San Antonio mayor and HUD secretary Julian Castro, former Maryland congressman John Delaney, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and former West Virginia state senator Richard Ojeda.
Instead of announcing an exploratory committee or catering to Democratic leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire, O'Rourke is making arguments against a border via social media videos from the dentist's office.
“This is the age that we live in, where in the social media era every random spur-of-the-moment thought becomes newsworthy and broadcast to the world,” says Dr.Matthew Wilson, political science professor at Southern Methodist University.
Wilson insists there is a method to the madness. He points to O'Rourke's one-on-one with Oprah Winfrey next month and solo tour to places like community colleges around the nation.
“If his goal is to be a Texas political official, he'd be traveling round the state of Texas,” says Wilson. “He's going on a national tour, and that tells you a lot about where his head is.”
That's why Wilson thinks O'Rourke is in it to win it in 2020.
“He's doing pretty well in polls. Certainly the betting market, such as they are, think that he's going to run for president. The fact that he's embarking on a national tour soon, certainly suggests he's inclined to run for president.”