News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Our First Punk President?

Photograph by Evy Mages

Happy Pi Day, especially to the White House pecan pie, a news cycle we all had to endure in December 2017. Long live the pie-cycle, forever in our hearts.

Do you hear that? Rolling thunder through a dusty barren land, boot spurs brushing up against the kickboard of a Ford 4×4 truck…it’s the sound of a glowing Beto O’Rourke profile, this time from Vanity Fair. And guess what? This morning he announced that he’s running for President. It’s arguably the splashiest rollout of a 2020 candidate thus far, and while it remains to be seen if he can get any real traction, Twitter was certainly worked up about his mention in the VF story of local hero Ian MacKaye:

“I have so much reverence for him and he means so much to me in my life. He really did represent this super-ethical way, not just of being in a band, or running a label, or putting on shows, but of just living.”

Yet Beto-mania is not universal. Is he a value add to the Democratic party? Slate’s Josh Voorhees says no. And today’s also a good day to read Nia-Malika Henderson’s January story about how Beto’s adventure is steeped in white-male privilege

Heads up: If you’re a weekend Metro rider, hear this: the WMATA announced that almost every Metro line will be operating at a slower pace.

  • The Green line will run every 16 minutes.
  • Ditto for the Red line, except between Farragut North and Silver Spring, where it’ll run every 8 minutes (until 9:30 pm).
  • The Orange, Blue, and Silver lines will run every 24 minutes.

I’m sure there’s some reason you deserve to Lyft instead. Or exercise the extreme power move of taking the water taxi in March.

I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. Email me at and follow me on Twitter. Will Peischel ( contributed reporting today. Please subscribe to this newsletter and we’ll promise never to send you a Google autocomplete email. Quick note: You won’t be getting a newsletter tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere—I’ll just be off. If you hear the blues a callin’ in my absence, feel free to read this Ringer piece detailing how Frasier found a second life on streaming platforms. We’re back to regularly scheduled programming on Monday.

What’s on my mind: Try seeing one—or all 160—of the films screening as part of the DC Environmental Film Festival, which begins today. Screening locations are all around the city, from the National Zoo to National Geographic to the French embassy.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • Selling MAGA merch in DC is not for the faint of heart
  • Current Georgetown University senior Christian Paz is the first in his family to attend college. He picks apart why the admissions-scandal story hits him—and many first-generation college kids—so brutally.
  • A millennial now runs the Gallup poll. We asked him about measuring public opinion and also a bunch of stuff about custard.
  • Zach Everson, a local reporter who covers the Trump Hotel, says he spots fewer cabinet secretaries and more junior staffers lounging around these days.
  • You should check out the new Busboys and Poets in Anacostia.   
  • Our food team is CANCELLING some tired dining trends. On the flip side, our food editors really love Portuguese fortified wine.
  • What’s it like being an escort in DC? We asked a former one. Sometimes all that clients wanted to do was wrestle, apparently.
  • Spend your weekend checking out lifestyles of the rich and famous at one of these open houses.

Our pick for things to do around town:

MUSEUMS The National Gallery of Art’s Evenings at the Edge event for March highlights women with a performance by the tap group Syncopated Ladies (who got a shout-out from Beyoncé for their “Formation” tribute) and pop-up talks about female-created art. Free (registration requested), 6 PM.

Good reads:

How much are Fox contributor deals worth? Jeremy Barr reports that former Trump-world officials banked up to six figures during their stints on the network. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Big events from Washingtonian:

Do you really love the drip coffee from Swings? Adore the sweets at District Doughnut? Our annual readers poll is now live–take it and let us know your favorite things in Washington. You could win two tickets to our fabulous Best of Washington party in June.

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.