It’s been two weeks since Beto O’Rourke announced he’d made up his mind about whether to run for president, but the former Texas congressman wants to keep us in suspense for at least a little longer. “I’ve got to be on the timeline that works for my family and for the country,” he told reporters this past weekend at South by Southwest, the Texas film and media festival that doubled as a political cattle call this year.
O’Rourke would seem to have much of what he needs to mount a serious run for the Democratic nomination. He has political celebrity after his stronger-than-expected challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz in the midterms. He has a devoted base of fans and network of small donors that would make him instantly competitive. He is already better known and better likedthan a number of national Democrats who have been running for weeks. He is reportedly beefing up his already valuable email list, lining up potential campaign hires, and heading to Iowa this weekend. O’Rourke is, in the words of one CNN source, “ready to push the button” to launch his campaign as early as this week.