The Democratic presidential primary is still a long ways off and at the moment it looks as disorderly as the proverbial herd of cats. But as a devoted voter—I’ve never missed a presidential election since I became a U.S. citizen in 1970—I have begun winnowing down the mob of presidential wannabes, even if my evaluations may seem a bit premature and even arbitrary.
Let’s see. Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, 69, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 77, are just plain grating. They get on my nerves, no matter how much they might know about economic policy. And by the way, Bernie, enough already.
|My man, at least for now.|
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, 58, may be a genius, but a short-tempered one who reportedly screams and throws erasers and other office supplies at her staff when she gets angry. Such character trait becomes a little scary in the proximity of a red button.
Senator Kamala Harris of California, 54, could be a possibility, except I haven’t heard her say anything memorable yet.
I once saw Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, 49, being interviewed on TV. Physically, he is a tall, handsome and impressive but his sound bites were as canned and insipid as Spam.
The avuncular former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, is just old; for God’s sake, he’s five years older than I, and I wouldn’t even think of running for anything.
Former San Antonio Mayor and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, 44, is the sole Latino entry in this multi-gender and multi-ethnic presidential gumbo. I don’t know much about him except he’s hard to tell apart from his identical twin brother, Joaquín, a U.S. Congressman from San Antonio, who has recently grown a scraggly beard that looks really awful. More information, please.
Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is good-looking, articulate and scarily smart (B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard and subsequently attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship), and served as an officer with the U.S. Navy in Afghanistan. He’s also openly gay and married, which I’m afraid would rile up the horses in the evangelical stables. We should wait on this one.
|Separated at birth?|
Then there’s a conga line of relative unknowns, at least to me, pretending to run for president: U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, 37; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, 52; former Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, 67; Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, 68; Andrew Yang, a businessman from New York, 44; Marianne Williamson, 66, a Texan who is Oprah Winfrey’s spiritual advisor, and finally, former U.S. Representative John Delaney from Maryland, 55.
So we’re left with Beto O’Rourke, 46, someone Stew and I gave money to during his run for the Senate seat from Texas because we thought he could pull the neat trick of unseating incumbent Ted Cruz, 48, who’s a loathsome human being. For one thing, Cruz, who looks like Grandpa from the TV show “The Munsters,” is no friend of the gay community. We would have given money to Imelda Marcos if she’d been running against Cruz.
At first, Beto was the longest of long shots but as the race warmed up, he stirred up Texas voters, including quite a few Republicans, with his enthusiasm and charisma. Friends from Texas said they were amazed at the guy’s political mojo.
He opposes building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; supports legalization and eventual U.S. citizenship for children who came to the U.S. without papers when they were minors—the so-called “Dreamers”—and opposes the policy of separating families from their children at the border. Based on those three points alone he’s got my support.
On the broad issues of “gay rights,” Beto scored 100 percent from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization. Beto also supports national legalization of marijuana.
Aside from Beto’s specific political agenda, though, we have his persona, which could have a great impact during a campaign to unseat “Individual 1.”
Beto has very large hands—huge, in fact—something that’s bound to drive “Individual 1” nuts, if you know what I mean. Not that we want “Individual 1,” with his child-size paws, to get even nuttier.
Beto has a full head of real hair, not the Kilauea of orange fuzz that “Individual 1” keeps in place with a daily blizzard of hair spray.
Beto is thin, fit and agile enough to sometimes jump on tables and countertops to give his spiels. Compare that to “Individual 1,” a Jabba the Hutt decked out in ties a foot too long.
Indeed, have you seen “Individual 1” waddling around one of this golf courses wearing white shorts? As my friends from Texas would exclaim: Mercy!
Beto also speaks truthfully, compared to the daily torrent of lies we get from “Individual 1.”
Beto is adept at using Twitter (@BetoORourke), except his messages come in complete sentences with correct spelling and grammar, and no CAPITALS and EXCLAMATION POINTS!! spread around haphazardly like mustard on hamburders.
Beto’s fluency in Twitterese may a function of his incredibly long fingers, or just the fact he’s not out of his mind like “Individual 1.”
For now, Beto is the leader of the pack, although of course, we still have interminably long months of politicking ahead of us before the actual presidential election.