Having failed to make it as a blogger, Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke, best known for his failed Senate campaign against Ted Cruz, has decided to run for president. Vanity Fair is first out of the gate with an exclusive profile, which is eerily similar to the one they published of John Edwards back in 2008.
"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
Notable revelations include: 1) Beto is the sort of person who would name his first-born son Ulysses and his dog Artemis, 2) He's a huge fan of indy music and of Beto O'Rourke, and 3) That infamous drunk driving arrest occurred toward the tail end of a late-night booty call with an old flame.
This stunning feat of journalism offers a helpful reminder: The key to great reporting is often just showing up, and learning to love your subjects as they deserve to be loved.
I convinced Beto O'Rourke to do this cover story after walking up to his house and introducing myself one Sunday afternoon. He was lounging on the front veranda, barefoot in blue jeans and T-shirt, talking on his cell phone. https://t.co/sNkzocRT3p
— Joe Hagan (@joehagansays) March 14, 2019
The Vanity Fair cover is causing quite a stir among nerds, and has been much remarked upon by social media users. It is classic Beto, to say the least. The lost soul. The inquisitive pioneer. The reluctant warrior. The jingle-janglin' troubadour. Returned from wilderness. Bound for glory.
But the magazine could have opted for a different look. Here are a few alternatives.
THE DRIVER'S SEAT
THE WHITE OBAMA