Former Democratic congressman and presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke posts journals of his life, his thoughts, and his travels; only some of those make it to the web. We’ve imagined one that got lost along the way. Welcome to the Beto Diaries.
Buenos dias, mi diario. Soy Beto.
Big night last night. El primer debate with my fellow Democratic candidates. Last time I was that nervous onstage I was holding a bass guitar and wearing a dress. But it went muy bueno, I think. The night started off on a high note when I learned the location of my assigned podium. Center stage, where I have always felt most comfortable.
The moderators threw me some curveballs I hadn’t planned for. I wasn’t sure what the marginal tax rate had to do with building bridges and not walls, but I answered the question in both English y espanol, which I could tell intimidated Booker and Warren. There was something of a dust-up between me and Secretary Castro, who continued to come after me this morning, but soon he’ll remember that the most important thing—other than no PACs—is that we all work together despite our differences.
As I write these words, I’m sitting in the truck, with my forehead resting against the cool glass of the front passenger seat’s window. I’m jotting down my thoughts in a notebook made up of old Whataburger receipts. We are in Miami still. Florida. Florida, to our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters.
Miami. Humid like Houston, but with a biculturality that reminds me of the cities and towns along Texas’s border with Mexico. But no one proposes to build a wall “protecting” the peninsula from the islands across the strait. Why is that? Is it because Florida’s all-sides access to the sea is what makes it special, what draws people of all persuasions to seek solace here? Hopeful, hardworking Latin American immigrants. Jewish retirees. Members of Leonardo DiCaprio’s social circle. In Miami they blend like the bay leaf, tomato sauce, and cumin in an authentic plate of arroz con pollo.
Como la conga de Gloria Estefan, we are more powerful when linked together than we are when dancing alone.
After we abandoned Biscayne Boulevard for the more efficient interstate, I saw a 747 fly above us, bound southeastward toward Miami International. I remembered running into Mayor Buttigieg in the Atlanta airport. I wish him well in his debate tonight. Vaya con Dios, Pete. I wonder if he’ll answer any questions in Norwegian.