Beto becomes a first-name-only celebrity

Win or lose tonight, Beto O’Rourke’s name has become part of the American vernacular.

I suspect he’ll be known from here on as “Beto.” No last name needed. It’s just like a former secretary of state, former U.S. senator and former Democratic Party presidential nominee is known to many Americans as “Hillary.”

Beto’s given name is Robert Francis O’Rourke, the same first and middle names as my first political hero, the late Robert Francis Kennedy. “Beto” is a nickname popular along the border with Mexico, says the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Of course, Beto is unique enough of a name to stand alone. There are zero other Betos out there in the public arena.

Occasionally, you get celebrities known only by their first names. Arnie, Wilt, Serena, Cher come to mind immediately.

So it will be with Beto.

Yes, I hope he wins tonight. My penchant for insisting on good manners means I’ll likely refer to him as “Sen. Beto O’Rourke” initially. Subsequent references, though, likely will become just plain “Beto.”

You’ll know who I’m talking about.

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