News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Beto’s Beard Is the Border Crisis We Can Agree On

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Day 19 of the shutdown. The federal government did not pay $5 million of its DC water bill.

Stormy Daniels folds: Nearly 100,000 people watched Stormy Daniels fold clothes in her underwear as counter-programming to Trump’s Oval Office address. I tuned in and watched Stormy tidy up (for reasons that remained unclear at press time, she didn’t use the KonMari method) to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” Taylor Swift‘s “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “I Won’t Back Down.” After the stream was over, she posted a selfie wearing what appears to be a Penthouse Pet’s official necklace.

While there’s tons of online coverage about Trump’s falsehoods and race-baiting rhetoric during his speech, and enough analysis on the rebuttals to keep you busy for your commute, let me offer a simple argument: At a time when Americans are pursuing retail therapy and comfort food at record numbers to deal with news fatigue, the short live stream was a respite from the Scooby-Doo levels of zaniness coming out of Washington. Trump’s speech and the Democrats’ response both reiterated the same points they’ve been making for weeks, making Daniels’s display the only must-see TV yesterday.

To all the beardless politicians I’ve loved before: Speaking of live-streaming, unemployed Texas man Beto O’Rourke spent last night on Facebook Live with a family on the Mexico border. But what caught some people’s eye was his newly grown facial hair. I’m just going to cut to the chase: his beard is weak energy. At the risk of another “lawmaker beard” news cycle, Ted Cruz’s was better, honestly. 

Decide for yourself:

Welcome to Wednesday. I’m your out-of-focus Oval Office video, Brittany ShepherdE-mail me for or follow me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

Look at this good meme: I always stop and watch this video in full whenever it graces my timeline. Please look at this topical meme, because we live in hell now. (Looks like AOC’s a fan too.)

Steal her look: I couldn’t pinpoint Nancy Pelosi’s exact suit—but here’s a fresh matching set with the same flavor from Theory.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

DANCE Dancing With the Stars is not scheduled to start another season on TV until this fall, but you can get your fill of the dancers at the Theatre at MGM National Harbor. The performance features the professional and troupe dancers showcasing all the different styles of dance that viewers see on DWTS, from ballroom to hip-hop. This show will feature guest performances from Bachelorette alum Joe “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile. $45-$91.

Good reads:

Users of Turning Point USA’s internal app are sending rude jokes about Charlie Kirk’s head. (Daily Beast)

Big events from Washingtonian

You’re engaged?! Celebrate with us at Love Unveiled, the ultimate wedding showcase for all couples on January 27 at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. Visit for tickets before it sells out!

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.