Beto O’Rourke is scoping out a presidential run. According to Buzzfeed, his recon included a call to Al Sharpton to schedule a meeting.

A Sharpton spokeswoman confirmed to Buzzfeed that “they spoke and agreed to meet within the next couple of weeks and they had a great conversation.”

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Rachel Noerdlinger, a spokesperson for Sharpton, confirmed the news that O’Rourke and Sharpton spoke Friday. “They spoke and agreed to meet within the next couple of weeks and they had a great conversation,” she said.

Sharpton has been a force in Democratic primary politics, drawing major candidates to the annual convention of the National Action Network in New York. (In 2007, it was a coming out party of sorts for Obama.) The agenda for the call itself was not clear, and the spokesperson declined to comment further. But the news comes after the Washington Post reported that O’Rourke met with Obama in his post-presidential office on Nov. 16. Obama did not endorse O’Rourke in his Senate race, and O’Rourke insisted at the time that while Obama would go down as one of the greatest presidents, he was more focused on Texas.

Friday’s call also comes after former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick — once thought to be the favorite potential contender among former Obama staff and top advisers — revealed last week that does not intend to run for president. Patrick has said he would be open to supporting other candidates in 2020, and O’Rourke’s overture to Sharpton, a former close Obama adviser, is another sign that O’Rourke is interested in winning over support from Obamaworld. He’s already had positive signs in that regard — Dan Pfeiffer, a former Obama aide who now cohosts the popular Pod Save Americapodcast, laid out “The Case For Beto O’Rourke” at the end of November.

O’Rourke has yet to officially confirm a presidential run, but all signs (including his Senate run) point to a definite White House bid.

Having already met with former President Obama, O’Rouke’s upcoming meeting with Sharpton is a harbinger of the role of racial politics in the upcoming election. Sharpton and Obama are two of the left’s resident experts in the exploitation of identity politics. If O’Rourke is already seeking their counsel, the 2020 election will end up being 2008 on steroids.


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