Speed Reads

well he probably is

Beto O'Rourke's friends never thought this 'weirdo musician might run for president'

At age 23, 2020 contender and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was working on her law degree. So was Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). And Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke was sleeping on a futon in a Manhattan apartment's maid's quarters, working as a nanny.

The Democrat's punk past in El Paso, Texas was well-documented during his failed run against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). But it was in New York that O'Rourke found a musician's life wasn't for him, The New York Times details in a profile published Wednesday.

After growing up in El Paso and going to boarding school in Virginia, O'Rourke headed to New York to attend Columbia University, going by his given name of Robert and "establishing himself as the school's gentle punk rocker," the Times writes. When bandmate Alan Wieder started telling audiences their band Swipe was actually called "Angry Swipe," O'Rourke would yell out "No, we're not. We're not angry," Wieder recalled. And as O'Rourke started to realize "music would become more passion than profession," that's when he decided his life ambition was to be "a simple man," a professor tells the Times.

After nannying, O'Rourke lived in an unfinished loft with what a friend described as "weirdo musicians" who O'Rourke says "smoked pot, but not habitually." That friend never expected "one of the weirdo musicians might run for president," he told the Times. Yet O'Rourke seemingly couldn't forget the ambitious life his politician father planned for him, friends say. And after too many days "smashed up against the glass" of a subway car, as O'Rourke put it, he bought a truck, packed his things, and drove back to Texas. Read more at The New York Times.