And here’s the thing: Beto O’Rourke is just another politician. The media, by and large, should be ashamed for drooling over a candidate with presidential ambition rather than doing their job and scrutinizing him. One example: No outlet truly pressed O’Rourke on his police record, which includes attempting to flee the scene of a car crash while drunken driving in 1998. During a debate with Cruz on Sept. 21, O’Rourke said, “I did not try to leave the scene of the accident” — a lie. Even The Washington Post called him out, but O’Rourke’s claim went otherwise unnoticed, let alone unchallenged.
Nor have O’Rourke’s overall background and familial connections been much mentioned. How many voters know that his late father was a county commissioner and a county judge? Or that his step-grandfather served as JFK’s secretary of the Navy, or that his father-in-law is a billionaire real-estate developer? Not many, because none of these biographical details squares with the portrait of the rebel Gen-Xer looking to shake up the system.
Much was made, rightly, of O’Rourke’s fundraising: a $70 million war chest, no PACs. But there was next to no criticism of O’Rourke’s refusal to share the wealth with other candidates in this most consequential midterm ever — as we were so often told — who lacked the money or the celebrity endorsements or the fawning profiles in publications ranging from The New York Times to Town & Country.