Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* On his first day as a presidential candidate, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) picked up four congressional endorsements, which is a fairly large number for this stage in the process. Of all the candidates in the Democrats’ 2020 field, all but three have fewer congressional supporters.
* The news was not all good for the Texan, however. The Wall Street Journal took a closer look at some of O’Rourke’s positions from earlier this decade, when he was decidedly more conservative than he was now.
* On a related note, the Trump White House apparently wants the media to call the former congressman “Robert Francis,” rather than “Beto.”
* I don’t know if it was just a friendly chat, or perhaps evidence of some other plan, but former Vice President Joe Biden met privately with Stacey Abrams yesterday in D.C.
* The Sanders Institute, a policy group that grew out of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2016 campaign, has suspended its operations during the senator’s 2020 campaign, which strikes me as a wise move.
* Following Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-Colo.) vote yesterday in support of Donald Trump’s emergency declaration, the Denver Post’s editorial board conceded it made a mistake when it endorsed him five years ago. (I hate to be that guy, but after the Post backed Gardner, I wrote a long piece about the endorsement being one of the strangest pieces of political commentary I’ve ever seen in a major newspaper. I marveled at the time at inanity of the editorial board’s judgment and factual errors, and wondered how long it would take for the editors to realize it had made a mistake.)
* Though it’s getting difficult to say with confidence who should and shouldn’t be considered a credible presidential candidate, it’s worth noting that Wayne Messam (D), the mayor of Miramar, created an exploratory committee this week. Miramar is a city in south Florida with a population of about 120,000 people.
* And as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz moves forward with plans for an independent presidential campaign, he boasted this week that he’s spent more time “with the military” than any other presidential candidate. Schultz soon after apologized to Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), both of whom are actual war veterans. Schultz never served in the military.