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The Scarlet & Black

“Man, I’m just born to be in it:” An obituary for the 2020 Beto O’Rourke presidential campaign

Beto O’Rourke during an April campaign visit to Grinnell. 450 people attended. Photo by Sarina Lincoln.
Beto O’Rourke during an April campaign visit to Grinnell. 450 people attended. Photo by Sarina Lincoln.

Turns out, he was not “just born to be in it.” On Nov. 1 2019, former Texas congressman and Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke announced that he was suspending his campaign for president of the United States. He was 47 years old.

The O’Rourke campaign was born on March 14, 2019, fresh off the heels of an impressive race for Senate that challenged, yet somehow lost to a man (Ted Cruz) who once said that “if standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution make you a wacko bird, then you can count me a very proud wacko bird.” Nevertheless, the momentum from that Senate race, including a historic $80 million fundraising haul and months of nationwide news coverage, must have convinced Beto that he could claim the highest office in the land.

Beto for America started strong, with a very chic Vanity Fair cover story that features a photo of the candidate himself on a dirt road, flanked by a pickup truck and a black dog. Very rustic. This will definitely play well with voters … wait, never mind—in its first couple of lines is a quote from his son, who said he’d “cry all day” if Beto were to run for President. His family—and how terribly Beto treats his wife—was on display throughout the presidential campaign. During his first couple of Iowa campaign events, Beto joked repeatedly that his wife is raising their children “sometimes with my help.” He later apologized.

Beto for America will be remembered. Its candidate was best known for standing on countertops during rallies, wearing themed baseball caps, believing that the answer to poor nutrition is an ethical farm-to-table restaurant in every single community in America, livestreaming from his car and during visits to the dentist, skateboarding, writing meandering blog posts about his feelings and saying the word “fuck.”

After an initial burst of energy, Beto for America fell in polls and fundraising counts. So, like every moderate Democrat who pretends to care about the wellbeing of Black voters and voters of Color to get votes and abandons them after the election, Beto played the race card, arguing for  reparations for slavery and justice for victims of police brutality. Then, when people got bored of that, he gave it up and played the gun card, arguing for confiscations of assault rifles without a concrete plan for how to confiscate assault rifles from people who don’t want their assault rifles confiscated from them (did I mention they have assault rifles?) Needless to say, with this policy change Beto flushed any ounce of bipartisan support he once had down the toilet, and Beto for America succumbed, at long last, to irrelevance.

The O’Rourke campaign is survived by its grandfathers, Biden for President and Bernie for President; its grandmother, Warren 2020; its mean aunt, Amy for America; its cool aunt, Marianne 2020; its landlord, Julián Castro for President; its billionaire friends Tom 2020 and Yang 2020; its attorney, Kamala Harris for the People; its pharmacist, Cory 2020; its washed-up friends from college, Bullock 2020, Wayne for America, Tulsi 2020, Joe Sestak for President, Bennet for America, and Delaney for President 2020; and its younger brother, Pete 2020. The O’Rourke campaign was one of many children of Obama for America and Hillary for America.

A memorial service will be held at Whataburger #330 in El Paso, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that punk music CDs be sent to their home in El Paso, where Beto is no doubt jamming in his basement, neglecting his children, and dreaming of the days when he was still a star.

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