At a Beto O’Rourke rally near Dallas shortly before the midterms, Sonia Qutob, 41, turned to her friend and asked what was clearly the most pressing question about the candidate.
“Do you think,” she said, “that he needs a second wife?”
O’Rourke seems to me plenty happy with the first. But a fangirl can dream. And I got the sense that many fangirls and no small number of fanboys did precisely that. At the rally immediately preceding the one where Qutob swooned, dozens of them mobbed O’Rourke and clamored for selfies. The passions that animated them were clearly more than political.
Before we leave the midterms too far behind and exhaust our fine-grained analysis of the electorate’s every cough and sputter, let’s take a moment to be shallow, which is to say honest. O’Rourke and Andrew Gillum soared to fame and impressive vote totals in, respectively, Texas and Florida because they were eloquent, energetic and empathetic counterpoints to their Republican rivals and to Donald Trump.
Also, they’re hunks.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York became the youngest woman ever elected to the House on the strength of her story, the purity of her vision and the smarts of her strategy.