Beto O’Rourke Regrets Being On Vanity Fair’s Magazine Cover; Its Editor Responds
By Mikelle Leow, 16 May 2019
Image via Vanity Fair
Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke believes his declaration of running for presidency via Vanity Fair magazine was a mistake, as it portrayed him in a less-than-gentle light. The publication’s chief editor, however, thinks it went the way it was supposed to.
Telling ABC’s talk show The View on Wednesday, the presidential candidate said being featured on Vanity Fair magazine’s April 2019 cover, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, “reinforced” the perception of his privilege as a white man.
The cover was headlined with, “Beto’s Choice: ‘I want to be in it. Man, I’m just born to be in it.’”
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“Man, I’m just born to be in it.” Beto O’Rourke seemed to come from nowhere to the brink of a presidential candidacy—but he’s been on this journey for his whole life. For our April issue, O’Rourke spoke with Joe Hagan. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz.
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He now retracts his statements. “There are things that I have been privileged to do in my life that others cannot,” he told The View. The more he went around listening to people’s stories, “the clearer that becomes to me.”
He also told reporters in Wisconsin after the Vanity Fair interview that he was quoted to have said that he was, “‘born to run’ or ‘born to do this.’”
“Man, I hope I didn’t say that,” he regrettably said. He expressed his remorse again on The View, lamenting that, “No one is born to be president of the United States of America, least of all me.”
The magazine’s lead editor, Radhika Jones, believes it is what it is. She told CNN, “I mean, he did say it,” adding that it was “clear what he meant.”
Nevertheless, Jones acknowledged that everyone would interpret the cover differently, and this was a positive thing. Even with her experience as former editor of TIME magazine and editorial director of the New York Times’ books department, she said there’s no telling how crowds would react to a magazine cover; what’s important is it sparks a discussion.
“And if we are driving part of that conversation… that’s exactly what our job is,” Jones said.
[via CNN, cover image via Vanity Fair]
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