Beto O'Rourke Went by Robert to Fit in at an Elite Boarding School. He Still ‘stuck Out So Badly'

MADISON COUNTY, Va. — Beto O’Rouke, 15 and stewing, wanted to make a break.To leave his hometown of El Paso. To have a bit of adventure. To get out of his home. To gain some independence from his father, Pat, a county judge and “larger than life figure” whom he loved but found himself increasingly at odds with.Finding his escape in 1988 through Woodberry Forest School — an elite, all-male boarding school nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains’ foothills — he also made a critical choice.O’Rourke decided then and there that he “wanted to fit in,” that he didn’t “want to have a weird name that people don’t know how to pronounce.” He decided, for the first time, that he would no longer go by his childhood nickname but instead introduce himself by his given name, Robert.“I’m now a grown-up,” he recalled thinking, revisiting his three years at Woodberry in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. “And I want a grown-up name.”Beto, of course, is now a one-word political phenomenon that’s making a return to the national spotlight.The El Paso Democrat is considering a White House run — to both the bemusement and chagrin of O’Rourke’s detractors, some of whom mock him by calling him Robert — after earning viral attention last year for his closer-than-expected race against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.  Continue reading...

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