Failed senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has announced that he’s running for president in 2020. However, his bid may be off to a rather rocky start.
The New York Times reported that Beto O’Rourke, the 46-year-old former Texas congressman whose near-miss Senate run last year propelled him to Democratic stardom, announced on Thursday that he was running for president, betting that voters will prize his message of national unity and generational change in a 2020 primary teeming with committed progressives.
His decision jolts an early election season already stuffed with contenders, adding to the mix a relentless campaigner with a small-dollar fund-raising army, the performative instincts of a former punk rocker and a pro-immigrant vision to counteract President Trump’s.
Watch the video:
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
Beto launched his “grassroots” campaign with a spread in Vanity Fair, which raised a lot of eyebrow.
Vanity Fair was right to take advantage of the opportunity to profile @BetoORourke.
But I gotta tell you, launching your presidential campaign (a campaign billed as by the people for the people) with a Vanity Fair cover story…that is a choice pic.twitter.com/h9TZlyrg8u
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 14, 2019
— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 13, 2019Loading...
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 14, 2019
“Man, I’m just born to be in it.” Beto O’Rourke seemed to come from nowhere to the brink of a presidential candidacy—but he’s been on this journey for his whole life. O’Rourke spoke with Joe Hagan. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz. https://t.co/WhmQGZnbUg pic.twitter.com/a7DCoaZdtd
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) March 13, 2019
O’Rourke, who announced to his supporters Thursday morning he was tossing his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination, was the star of a fawning, 8,600-word opus published by the prestigious magazine on Wednesday.
The wide-ranging interview is the cover story of the latest edition of the magazine, with the 46-year-old boldly declaring he was “just born to do this”.
The Vanity Fair piece, written by Joe Hagan, seemed to echo the fawning tone of much of the media coverage that followed his failed bid to unseat Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz last fall.
Hagan, who previously penned a similarly photographed and written profile of another Democrat, former presidential candidate John Edwards, wrote in the new piece: “For O’Rourke, what followed was a near-mystical experience,” referring to his entry into politics.
Some of the other parts of the profile include the writer speaking to some of O’Rourke’s ex-girlfriends, and one glowing piece of prose describing the Democrat as an “endurance-athlete campaigner.”
“Former girlfriends describe O’Rourke as curious, wry, bookish but adventurous. He usually carried a novel in his pocket, whether Captain Corelli’s Mandolin or The Sun Also Rises,” the profile reads.
My sense is that Beto O’Rourke doesn’t want to be president as much as he wants to be an indie movie about a guy running for president.
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) March 14, 2019
like all scrappy salt-of-the-earth, organic campaigns with their pulse on the base Beto's is launched with a Vanity Fair cover spread
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) March 14, 2019
The Vanity Fair profile of Beto makes him sound like if he were born 40 years earlier he'd be barefoot on a beach surrounded by a group of hippie devotees looking like Chris Hemsworth in Bad Times at the El Royale. pic.twitter.com/8JYnV03zPC
— neontaster (@neontaster) March 14, 2019
“Maggie Asfahani, an El Paso native who dated O’Rourke while he was at prep school and college, said he was somewhat difficult to know. “That’s kind of the mystique of Beto, is that he seems to be accessible,” she says, “but there’s just this layer of protection. I don’t think it’s because he’s hiding anything. I think it’s because he’s keeping a part of it to himself.”
Reaction to the piece was divided, with some celebrating the detailed look at the Democratic darling, while others mocked it.
“Like all scrappy salt-of-the-earth, organic campaigns with their pulse on the base Beto’s is launched with a Vanity Fair cover spread,” one reader tweeted.
“The Vanity Fair profile of Beto makes him sound like if he were born 40 years earlier he’d be barefoot on a beach surrounded by a group of hippie devotees looking like Chris Hemsworth in ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’,” another wrote.