Former El Paso U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke ended his vagabond run on Tuesday afternoon, emerging from the haze of dentist appointments, morning runs and road trips to sit for an interview with Oprah in Times Square PlayStation Theater. The interview isn't set to air on the media maven's Oprah Winfrey Network until this weekend, but thanks to the number of reporters tweeting from the scene, we can tell you all about what the guy who lost to Ted Cruz but came out the other side more famous, more liked and more handsome had to say.
As she introduced O'Rourke, Oprah told the audience that he'd first come to her attention during the child migrant separation crisis last summer.
“He’s a tall guy. He looks sorta like Robert Kennedy or one of those Kennedy guys," Oprah said to her best friend, Gayle King, telling her to track O'Rourke down. "I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.”
O'Rourke told Oprah that he wasn't sure why he lost and that he still believes he could've beaten Cruz in their election, which O'Rourke ended up losing by about 1.5 points.
He offered "something new and almost dangerous," he told the talk show host, because his campaign didn't hire any speechwriters or pollsters.
Oprah and O'Rourke dissected his Senate loss a little more — O'Rourke said he didn't see the division many people believe exists in America as he campaigned across Texas — but, of course, their conversation quickly turned to the only reason a losing Senate candidate is capable of getting as big a platform as the one O'Rourke was afforded Tuesday.
“I have been thinking about running for president,” O'Rourke said, setting off a round of applause from the audience.
From there, Oprah went digging, but O'Rourke refused to give her a yes or no answer about his 2020 intentions, saying that he needs to talk things over further with his family. Finally, after Oprah went so far as to point out that President Barack Obama got to spend more time with his kids once he was actually elected president, O'Rourke gave the strongest indication yet that he intends to run.
"The serious answer [to when I'll decide] is really soon. Before the end of this month,” O'Rourke said.
Later, with O'Rourke off the stage, Oprah made light of his indecision.
"OK, end of the month. What’s today? Couldn’t he say Valentines Day?” she said. "We should have started with tequila shots. That would have got it out of him."
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