From Beto to Zero in Six Months

So how did Beto O’Rourke go from being the golden boy of the media to a goat in just six months? The media is dunking on him more often than Dr. J or Michael J. in their prime. Margaret Carlson wrote of O’Rourke:

According to my unscientific poll asking every woman I see, Beto reminds them of the worst boyfriend they ever had: self-involved, convinced of his own charm, chronically late if he shows up at all, worth a meal or two but definitely not marriage material. When he should be home with the kids or taking out the trash, he’s jamming with his garage band or skateboarding at Whataburger. He’s “in and out of a funk” which requires long and meaningful runs to clear his head. Every thought he has is transcendent, worthy of being narrated, videotaped, and blogged. He is always out finding himself. At age 46, the man asking to run the country is currently lost.

So why were there no skeptical or critical pieces about O’Rourke when he was running for the Senate in Texas last year? Couldn’t be media bias could it? Back then he was running against the hated Ted Cruz, but now he doesn’t check off enough correct identity boxes and is running against a field of much more entitled Democrats, so media liberals have decided to trash him. Couldn’t be that, could it? You mean it could?

Vanity Fair, which put O’Rourke on its cover a few months back to help him launch his current ego trip, chronicles all the ways the media puffed up O’Rourke last year, but now is treating him harshly. Along the way Vanity Fair confesses that this quick turnabout is the result of media bias:

The most obvious reason for Beto’s boom-and-bust media cycle is that running against a reviled Republican in Texas is a far cry from running in a Democratic primary against a bevy of qualified opponents, many of whom have devoted followings in various corners of the left. “It’s not good enough to not be Ted Cruz anymore,” said Republican media strategist Matt Gorman. “In a state, you have a baseline of party support that’s with you no matter what if you’re running against a Republican. Not in a primary. He needs to make an identity for himself. When he is on that debate stage, what’s the rationale against Kamala [Harris] or Mayor Pete or Joe Biden? Why Beto?”

There’s much more in the story, but this may be my favorite bit:

“Intersectional” may be a gobbledygook term for your average voter, but the term carries weight among thought leaders who shape political coverage in the early days of the Democratic race. Nor should it be forgotten that the last two Democratic presidential nominees were a black man and a woman, both of whom leveraged their identity to win the hearts of Democrats. Buttigieg is a white man, but his political rise flows, in part, from his sexuality and the promise of making history as the first gay president.

“Thought leaders.” Are those like “influencers” on social media—the folks who hyped the Frye Festival? In any case, get ready for the Fyre Festival of primary campaigns. Where’d I put down my 55-gallon drum of popcorn?

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