Ex-Michelle Obama aide says O'Rourke's road trip is a 'listening tour' in form of a travel blog

Former Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today Warren praises Ocasio-Cortez in Time 100 Beyoncé in 'Time 100' profile: Michelle Obama empowers black Americans MORE aide Krishanti Vignarajah on Thursday characterized former Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeSanders announces first endorsements in South Carolina On The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump MORE's (D-Texas) road trip across the country as a listening tour in the form of a travel blog.

"You're seeing what sure seems like a listening tour in travel blog form happening right now," Vignarajah, who served as the policy director for the former first lady, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti in an appearance on "Rising." 

"He's got to get serious because he is now in primetime. He's being asked the hard questions, and the scrutiny that he's going to face is one where he will wither unless he can step up," she continued. 

The former Senate candidate and potential 2020 hopeful garnered attention on Wednesday after he wrote in a Medium post that he has "been stuck lately ... in and out of a funk." 

"It’s been more than twenty years since I was last not working," O'Rourke wrote. "Maybe if I get moving, on the road, meet people, learn about what’s going on where they live, have some adventure, go where I don’t know and I’m not known, it’ll clear my head, reset, I’ll think new thoughts, break out of the loops I’ve been stuck in." 

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that O'Rourke does not have any plans to visit any of the early primary or caucus states.

The former congressman, however, has said he is in the process of deciding whether he will jump into the growing Democratic primary field. 

"The reality is, it's a crowded field. He's going to have to articulate a vision of why in the world he's running, and it can't be just that his tweets catch on fire," Vignarajah said. 

"I think that there is an element of inspiration, authenticity, that makes people gravitate towards him like people gravitated towards my old boss." 

— Julia Manchester