The Note: Beto and 'VETO!' speak to parties’ identity crises

PHOTO: Former Texas congressman Beto ORourke greets employees before speaking at a meet and greet at the Beancounter Coffeehouse & Drinkery, TMarch 14, 2019, in Burlington, Iowa.PlayCharlie Neibergall/AP
WATCH Beto O'Rourke's first day on the campaign trail

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It's been a week defined by the promise of Beto and a promise of "VETO!"

But at the end of it, neither party is closer to resolving identity crises that are likely to linger well into 2020.

President Donald Trump's veto, expected to come Friday, will ensure that his emergency declaration moves forward -- at least until the courts weigh in. But that will only happen after a dozen Republican senators went on record to warn of presidential overreach in voting with Democrats to oppose Trump's move, on his signature policy of a border wall.

As for the Democrats, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke's presidential announcement and Iowa debut is forcing a discussion of where the party should stand and how its candidates should handle each other. O'Rourke is setting his own bar in calling on the field to not "denigrate, demean any other candidate" -- even in the age of Trump.

"I'm for everyone," he told ABC News' Paula Faris. "I want to be able to bring people together."

O'Rourke enters the stage during an era of division. The man he hopes to beat knows that well.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Trump might soon be issuing not one, but two vetoes.

The first has received a ton of attention. The president onThursday tweeted his intention to veto the Congressional resolution to terminate his declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. With his veto he will signal his intention to use money however he sees in relation to building barriers there.

PHOTO: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., signs H.J. Res 46, a disapproval resolution that blocks President Trumps national emergency declaration, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 14, 2019. Susan Walsh/AP
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., signs H.J. Res 46, a disapproval resolution that blocks President Trump's national emergency declaration, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 14, 2019.

But the president soon may decide to issue his second veto, because that wasn't the only bill Congress passed this week aimed at curbing his authority.

Wednesday, the Senate voted on a bipartisan basis to end U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia's involvement in the war in Yemen.

In both resolutions, Congress was trying to reclaim authority that they believe the president has stretched and abused.

The TIP with John Verhovek

O'Rourke may not think he has to be a "street fighter" to defeat Trump, but some Iowa Democrats who came out to see the former Texas congressman did not mince words when asked if denying the current occupant of the Oval Office a second term was their top priority.

PHOTO: Attendees listen as Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Beto ORourke, standing on counter, speaks during a campaign stop at a coffee house in Burlington, Iowa, March 14, 2019. Daniel Acker/Reuters
Attendees listen as Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, standing on counter, speaks during a campaign stop at a coffee house in Burlington, Iowa, March 14, 2019.

"F--- yes," Carrie Sherwood, an Iowa Democrat who caucused for Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, told ABC News at an O'Rourke event in Fort Madison.

Jackie McVey, a Democrat from West Point, Iowa, who caucused for Hillary Clinton in 2016, told ABC News she was excited to see O'Rourke, but added he could only win "if he has that fight" and can "stand up to Trump without making it dirty." After hearing O'Rourke speak, she was hesitant but optimistic he could become the fighter Democrats need.

"He definitely has the fight, but maybe it's a different kind of fight ... but it's a race where anybody has a shot, and I could see him going all the way," McVey added.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Friday morning's episode features ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, who analyzes the fallout after a dozen Republicans voted to rebuke President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration.

FiveThirtyEight's Politics Podcast. Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced he's running for president on Thursday. In this episode of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew considers various arguments for how the Democrat from Texas could win -- or lose -- the nomination. He is entering an experienced field never having won statewide office, but his celebrity could allow him to gain traction in a campaign with 15-20 competitors.


  • President Trump meets with national security officials at the Pentagon at 11 a.m., then has lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 12:30 p.m. at the White House.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., hosts two campaign events in New Hampshire on Friday. On Sunday, she travels to Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., holds two campaign events in New Hampshire on Friday before spending the weekend in Iowa.
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., returns to New Hampshire for the third time since announcing her exploratory campaign for president. She will participate in events throughout the state on Friday and Saturday.
  • Former U.S. Rep. John Delaney participates in several events in Iowa throughout the weekend.
  • Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke continues a trip through Iowa with a live podcast at 6 p.m. central and other events through Saturday.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., spends the weekend in Iowa participating in several events.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., visits Nevada for the first time since launching his presidential campaign. On Saturday, he holds a rally in Henderson.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee continues his "Climate Mission Tour" in New Hampshire over the weekend.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a keynote address at the "First State Democratic Dinner" in Dover, Delaware, on Saturday.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis. Please check back Monday for the latest.