O'Rourke supporters build student network ahead of possible White House bid
By Tim Reid (Reuters) - A Democratic group seeking to persuade former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke to run for president will launch mobilization efforts on college campuses nationwide to coincide with what they believe will be his entry into the race by month's end. The Draft Beto campaign, founded in December by former staffers to O'Rourke and former President Barack Obama, is organising 'Students for Beto' chapters on roughly 100 campuses in about 30 primary and general election states, said Nate Lerner, a Democratic strategist and co-founder of DraftBeto.org. 'Our goal is to replicate the model and success of Beto's student outreach efforts during the midterms,' Lerner told Reuters on Wednesday.
By Tim Reid
(Reuters) - A Democratic group seeking to persuade former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke to run for president will launch mobilization efforts on college campuses nationwide to coincide with what they believe will be his entry into the race by month's end.
The Draft Beto campaign, founded in December by former staffers to O'Rourke and former President Barack Obama, is organising "Students for Beto" chapters on roughly 100 campuses in about 30 primary and general election states, said Nate Lerner, a Democratic strategist and co-founder of DraftBeto.org.
"Our goal is to replicate the model and success of Beto's student outreach efforts during the midterms," Lerner told Reuters on Wednesday. "Winning the Millennial vote will be key for Beto in both the Democratic primary and to defeat Trump."
O'Rourke, 46, has said he will decide by the end of February if he will enter the already crowded Democratic field seeking to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in next year's election.
O'Rourke's staff did not respond to requests for comment on the Draft Beto campus efforts.
Lerner, also a former Obama staffer, said he had not spoken to O'Rourke or those in his inner circle in recent days but that he expected the former congressman to run.
O'Rourke received huge support from young Texans after campaigning at many colleges during his bid to unseat Republican Ted Cruz from the U.S. Senate but narrowly lost in November.
O'Rourke garnered 61 percent of voters aged 18-34, a 23 percentage point advantage over Cruz, according to the Reuters/Ipsos Election Day poll conducted online with voters on Election Day.
In addition to weighing a White House bid, O'Rourke said at a public lunch honouring him in his native El Paso on Tuesday that he also had not ruled out being a 2020 vice presidential candidate or challenging Texas's other Republican U.S. senator, John Cornyn, when he seeks re-election next year.
Speculation around O'Rourke's plans has mounted this month after several high-profile public appearances. He sat for an interview with Oprah Winfrey in New York and held a rival rally to decry Trump's immigration policy as the president promoted his planned border wall in El Paso. He also visited the general election battleground state of Wisconsin last week.
(Reporting by Tim Reid in Los Angeles; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and James Dalgleish)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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