In the end, of course, it wasn’t enough to win. His policy statements too often lacked clarity. When he did clarify them, they were sharply left of where many Americans, and certainly many Texans, stand. O’Rourke may have missed his chance to beat Cruz because he was unwilling to either fully own the progressive nature of his beliefs, or because he was unwilling to stake out a middle ground left of Cruz but still palatable to a majority in our state. He will face the same problem in the coming presidential campaign, although it may, in some ways, be easier for him. A good number in the Democratic primary field are already so far to the left it would be hard to outflank them without offering extreme, uncompromising positions. O’Rourke’s style as a campaigner will serve him well in Iowa and New Hampshire. He is plainly comfortable in a crowd. But he will have a hard time avoiding substantive, detailed policy questions from journalists as well as from his competitors for the Democratic nomination.