Beto O’Rourke Completes Journey From Idol to Also-Ran


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar George Turner says:

    Yesterday I saw Beto described as “that son in-law”, which apparently resonated really well among people who have daughters who married for unjustifiable self-confidence – or looks. I’d also seen him earlier tagged as “that ex-boyfriend”, which perhaps marked when women started seeing through him en mass.

    The Founders warned that vanity was a common failing of politicians, and the best check on it was the vanity of their political opponents. They knew vanity was a problem, but I don’t think they expected that it could up run for office on its own. But most politicians have plenty of other strong and noteworthy traits, whereas I can’t really think of anything else people will remember about Beto except his teeth, his ego, and his earnest conviction that every word dripping from his tongue was a golden nugget of blinding brilliance.

    I’m not sure what his future is, but it’s probably more mundane than he expects. Perhaps his wife will tell him that his next step probably isn’t going to be the first human on Mars, or win three Nobel Peace Prizes, or record an album that outsells “Dark Side of the Moon”. If he wants to remain in politics, his best bet is probably to move to the West Coast and run for a seat in the House in some district where the party is struggling with finding a candidate with any name recognition. However, his ego might not settle for that, in which case he can fall back on his family fortune and contemplate for a while. He could probably get a reality cable show where he travels the world and solves its problems with brilliant and obvious suggestions, and I’m sure we could all suggest apt and humorous titles for it. We’d all probably watch a few episodes of it, too.

    All told, to all the other candidates who failed to qualify for one of the debates, he was a waste of a perfectly good podium.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Beto, Mayor Pete, and to some extent Stacey Abrams all have the same problem: they are Democrats in red states where there’s no obvious place for them to move up in their political careers. Beto has the added difficulty that his entire career has been based on El Paso, the red-headed stepchild of Texas cities. When I lived in Texas for graduate school, I sometimes expected the rest of the state to offer El Paso to New Mexico.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Michael Cain says:

      There are a lot of lateral moves a politician can make after he leaves/loses office. Podcasts, professorships, lobbying, state government, think tanks, judiciary, positions in the next friendly administration, writing a book, private enterprise, in-depth work on a pet issue, party leadership. Add cable news and you’ve got a dozen possibilities right there. I’ve never seen an analysis of this, but I’d bet that a politician would be better off staying in his location and branching off than moving to a friendlier district and running again.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Pinky says:

        They may involve public policy or politics, but none of those are being a politician. No glare of the lights. No one seeking you out before an important vote, or veto. It’s one thing to do good work on voting rights, and I admire Stacey Abrams for doing so, but she’s a lot less visible than she would be as the Governor of Georgia working on voting rights. Or a Senator from Texas.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Agreed, and I understand the point you’re making, but I have to reply slightly obnoxiously: if you want to be in office, you have to win. No one’s entitle to office, and it’s not a bug when an unpopular person doesn’t get to govern.Report

  3. Avatar Aaron David says:


  4. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    I assume he was doing this mostly to raise his national profile. So victory conditions met I guess.Report