Mr Charisma takes aim at the presidency

US congressman Beto O’Rourke has announced his candidacy for the presidency and he's off to a flying start.


O'Rourke has raised "stunning sums"
(Image credit: 2019 Getty Images)

US congressman Beto O'Rourke has announced his candidacy for the presidency after a months-long deliberation, says Lauren Gambino in The Guardian. And he has got off to a flying start. O'Rourke raised an "unprecedented" $6.1m during the first 24 hours of his official run for the White House. This "stunning sum" is more than every other Democratic rival. O'Rourke's rise from little-known congressman to national star began during this Senate bid in Texas last year. He narrowly lost to the incumbent, Ted Cruz. During that campaign, he raised $38m in one quarter.

O'Rourke's "moderate views, ability to run a solid campaign, and star quality on the podium make him the dream candidate for financial markets", says Stephanie Kelly in City AM. And his near-victory in traditionally Republican Texas showcaseshis appeal to centrist voters.Yet many of his strengthscould prove to be weaknesses in the "crowded Democratic primaries and highly polarised political environment".

Indeed, the most recentpolls suggest that O'Rourkeis in third place, and "has a long way to go to catch up with either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders", says Thomas Edsall in The New York Times.Sanders loyalists in particular "have been challenging O'Rourke's credentials".And some have accused himof being all style and no substance, says The Economist. But "one of those qualities can be taught". O'Rourke "possesses the uncoachable one". If Democrats can learnthe lesson from the previous election that voters won'tlisten to candidates they don't like, O'Rourke "has a good shot at winning".

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Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri