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July 17th, 2019

Running With Beto

HBO Documentary

 

**1/2

 

Why the heck would a rich guy want to run for office?

You’ll be out on the road for months, begging for money from people who have way less than you. You’ll be immediately disliked by approximately half of your state.

“Running With Beto” showed me that a politician sacrifices even more than I had imagined when he chooses to go out on the campaign trail.

We see Beto O’Rourke tearing into his Deputy Campaign Manager for not preparing him for an event to his satisfaction. You can tell that Beto is a good-natured guy, but stress has overwhelmed him and the only one he can safely take it out on is this poor woman who works for him. 

Even worse, we see Beto alone in a hotel room, recounting a story his wife told him. Earlier that day, their son had gone outside with a baseball and a glove. But he had to toss the ball up and down to himself because his father isn’t there to play catch. This incident hit home. For a reflective moment, Beto wonders what the heck he’s doing. 

It would be different if Beto had some important issues that he’s passionate about. But he doesn’t.

According to the documentary, Beto focused on two core goals in his stump speeches: a ban on assault weapons and reversing the policy of separating undocumented immigrant families when they are arrested. 

“But I agree with that wholeheartedly!” Thought every Democrat reading this. Of course you do. These are the safest positions a candidate can choose. They are non-economic issues that are universally popular with Democrats and changing them would do no harm to the globalist monied status quo. 

The disingenuousness and cynicism of Beto’s pet issues was proven on June 20, 2018, when the President signed an executive order demanding that immigrant families must no longer be separated.

Did Beto rejoice and move on? Nope. He banked on the fact that his voters didn’t know what happened and kept making the same nakedly partisan anti-separation speeches. 

It’s a wonder that O’Rourke thinks he can compete with politicians who honestly want to improve life for American workers like Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders.

Documentarian David Montigliani tries to paint the 2018 Texas Senate race as a David vs Goliath story. I basically agree, except I think Rep. O’Rourke is Goliath in this analogy. 

Beto is tall, good-looking, charming, and charismatic. He had the media and the entertainment industry on his side. He inherited $millions in real estate money and married a lovely woman with an even richer real estate inheritance. As loaded as he is, supporters willingly parted with $80 million of their own money to fund his campaign.

Poor Ted Cruz had less money and way less charisma. In contrast to Beto, Sen. Cruz is short, doughy, ugly, and socially awkward. Nobody likes him, even members of his own party. You have to feel for the guy as he holds desperate-sounding rallies, awkwardly trying to convince lukewarm Republican crowds to save him from losing.

Beto is a born showman who gets a rush from being the center of attention. You see his joy on stage, even when he’s giving his concession speech.

In the end, “Running with Beto” does help us understand why a guy like Beto O’Rourke wants to spend the best years of life running for office. He loves performing.

Good for him. Seriously. But not so good for his family. I’m sure glad my dad was there to play catch with me.

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