by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Beto O’Rourke and Tim Ryan could not win a United States Senate race, but maybe they can get a spot on the faculty senate.
The pair of former congressmen landed at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics after losing a handful of races in the past few years. Their fellowship at the IOP is part of a trend of failed Democratic politicians landing in higher ed to fulfill the maxim that “those who can’t do, teach.”
O’Rourke joined UChicago after losing a Senate race in 2018, the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, and the governor’s race in 2022. Ryan lost out in the Democratic presidential primaries before losing to J.D. Vance in the 2022 U.S. Senate race in Ohio.
Other prestigious universities have helped failed politicians get a paycheck after voters asked them kindly to leave their current positions.
Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot could not even make it out of her own party’s primary, despite being the incumbent. Now she will teach a course on public health policy and leadership. Lightfoot’s “public health” experience includes mandating vaccine passports to eat a burger inside a restaurant, explicitly saying that the goal was to make life “inconvenient” for people who declined to receive a COVID-19 shot.
When it comes to “leadership,” Lightfoot used the stage at a June 2022 LGBT event to scream, “F*** [Justice] Clarence Thomas.” She also explained why, after shutting down beaches and businesses in Chicago, it was fine for her to join a massive rally after Joe Biden won the presidency in November 2020.
The rules are different if you’re celebrating a victory for liberalism.
“Yes, there are times when we actually do need to have … relief and come together, and I felt like that was one of those times,” she told the media. “That crowd was gathered whether I was there or not, but this has been a super hard year on everyone. Everyone feels traumatized.”