The Candidate Must Be All Things

They are intelligent, but they are fun. They are pragmatic, but idealistic. They are athletic, but scholarly. They are thoughtful, but decisive. They are bold and cautious, mellow and dynamic, tender and tough. Do not be afraid to present a self-contradictory or incoherent picture: Simply string together one positive anecdote after another until the candidate has achieved every positive quality a human being can possess.

Former girlfriends describe O’Rourke as curious, wry, bookish but adventurous. He usually carried a novel in his pocket, whether Captain Corelli’s Mandolin or The Sun Also Rises. Maggie Asfahani, an El Paso native who dated O’Rourke while he was at prep school and college, said he was somewhat difficult to know. “That’s kind of the mystique of Beto, is that he seems to be accessible,” she says, “but there’s just this layer of protection. I don’t think it’s because he’s hiding anything. I