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The news of O’Rourke’s candidacy was met with overall enthusiasm. Supporters from his close Senate loss followed him into the presidential race. Within the first 24 hours, O’Rourke had raised more than $6 million. But photos and videos of numerous speeches and fundraisers in the days leading up to and following his announcement revealed something: He likes to stand on top of things.
Dozens of photos began emerging of the candidate perched on tables, counters, chairs—really anything that could support his weight. Rarely is there a photo of the 46-year-old standing on solid ground. Within no time, the lovely and industrious people of the internet took to memeing O’Rourke’s love for high places—in particular, a photo of him reportedly in Detroit. On a counter.
If you look into a shiny counter top and say "Beto" 3 times, he'll instantly appear standing on it to give a stump speech.— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) March 18, 2019
is he running to be president or spider-man pic.twitter.com/O5c4qkiqx1— Jamie McKelvie was at ECCC, but he's not anymore (@McKelvie) March 19, 2019
Libras on Tinder: Yeah I'm v chill let's do coffee— Astro Poets (@poetastrologers) March 18, 2019
Also Libras: pic.twitter.com/80UqaI2KDI
When you tryna lock down that SpiderVerse vote pic.twitter.com/qxhAQ1nMCI— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) March 18, 2019
the floor is single payer pic.twitter.com/bg2ISuHeoS— hanni b (@nanpansky) March 19, 2019
One user compared O’Rourke’s counter-standing to “the ‘cool’ teacher who sits backwards in chairs.”
Beto standing on counters is the politician equivalent of the “cool” teacher who sits backwards in chairs— Max Kroll (@kingkroll14) March 19, 2019
anyone:— porg (@EFFLORESCENE) March 18, 2019
beto: stands on your fucking counters with his shoes on
“What does Beto stand for,” another user wrote. “I have no idea. What does Beto stand on? Tabletops, counters, bars, pretty much any surface intended for eating.”
What does Beto stand for?— Bad John Brown (@BadJohnBrown) March 19, 2019
I have no idea.
What does Beto stand on?
Table tops, counters, bars, pretty much any surface intended for eating.
Warren: I have a long list of policies.— Kashana (@kashanacauley) March 19, 2019
Beto: I’ve stood on a long list of counters.
Biden: Sometimes I wink.
beto stands on counters bc he knows he’s a snack— Graham Drennan (@grahamdrennan3) March 19, 2019
Twitter user Addy Baird thought to ask the hard questions. “Does anyone have video of how Beto gets ON the counters in the first place,” she tweeted. “Is it, like, a colton-level fence jump? Or like an awkward butt-first, leg, leg thing?”
I’ve spent years training my cats not to jump up on the tables and counters and now they’re all like “BUT BETO DOES IT”.— Molly Hodgdon (@Manglewood) March 19, 2019
Even The Daily Show got in on it late Monday, tweeting numerous photoshops of O’Rouke perched on high with the accompanying text, “Damn has this guy been on EVERY counter?”
Damn has this guy been on EVERY counter? pic.twitter.com/G4eSkO2yHJ— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 18, 2019
O’Rourke’s strange obsession with raised surfaces even started not one, but two Twitter accounts—”Beto on elevated surfaces” and “Beto Standing On Counters.”
3/16/19- Beto on a side table in Dubuque, Iowa pic.twitter.com/KyNww91zgh— beto on elevated surfaces (@betolovestables) March 19, 2019
3/15/19- Beto on another countertop in Mount Pleasant, Iowa pic.twitter.com/fc9kpzm2Ya— beto on elevated surfaces (@betolovestables) March 19, 2019
The discussion may have nothing to do with policy, but O’Rourke certainly has people talking. Now to get them talking about something other than countertops…
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.