“Ah, so,” Beto O’Rourke began a series of Instagram videos Thursday morning, “I’m here at the dentist.”
The former Texas congressman and potential 2020 presidential candidate started a series of posts with his dental hygienist, Diana, pulling teeth-cleaning tools out of his mouth.
“We’re going to continue our series on the people of the border,” he says, introducing Diana and saying she was “going to tell us a little bit about growing up in El Paso.”
Six more short video posts to O’Rourke’s Instagram story followed. Diana explained that her mother was from Mexico and her father the United States, and she was born in El Paso. She said her neighborhood helped her mother study to become a US citizen.
Asked by O’Rourke about life on the border, she says, “It’s a beautiful community. We all support each other. We love each other. And it’s not what everybody else thinks, sadly, about us. It’s actually a wonderful place to live and grow up.”
The post caught fire on social media as the political world waits to see whether O’Rourke – who shattered fundraising records for a Senate campaign last year and became a viral sensation on the left – will seek the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination. O’Rourke is unlikely to decide before February, two sources close to him recently told CNN.
During his failed bid to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz last year, O’Rourke often drew massive audiences to his livestreams on social media – which sometimes focused on campaign events, but often were of O’Rourke talking politics during more mundane activities like eating Whataburger with his wife.
O’Rourke’s more recent social media activity has focused on countering President Donald Trump’s characterizations of life on the US-Mexico border.
On Tuesday night, he spent an hour and a half on Facebook Live, responding to Trump’s speech arguing for a border wall by visiting friends and walking through the streets of El Paso, showing views of the border while talking about how safe the area is.
Wednesday night, he posted several videos to his Instagram story from what appeared to be a youth sports complex featuring a woman from McAllen, another Texas border town, who explained that US and Mexican citizens cross the border every day and said she’d always felt safe there.