Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Politician season 2. You’re not the only one who wondered if Tino in The Politician season 2 was based on Beto O’Rourke. After the comedy-drama premiered on Netflix on June 19, Twitter lit up with fans who wondered if the character was inspired by another Texas politician.
Tino McCutcheon, who made cameo in season 1, is a Junior Senator-Elect from Texas in The Politician season 2. At the start of the season, we learn that Tino (played by Sam Jaeger) has a secret plan to run for President of the United States and wants Dede to be his Vice President. Fans have pointed out that the storyline is similar to Beto’s political track. The IRL politician ran to represent Texas in the United State Senate in 2018 before he narrowly lost to Ted Cruz. Beto also was a 2020 Democratic candidate for President of the United States before he announced the end of his campaign in November 2019. Fans have also pointed out that the names, Beto and Tino, have similarities, as reported by Men’s Health.
The main difference is that Tino is a senator, whereas Beto was not. However, had Beto won against Cruz, he would’ve had the same title as Tino, “junior senator from Texas,” so there are parallels to their political tracks. The Politician also filmed its first season in fall of 2018, around the time of Beto’s senate election. Season 2 filmed toward the end of 2019, which is around the time that Beto conceded in his presidential race, so it’s possible that creator Ryan Murphy could’ve been inspired by the politician for both seasons.
However, other than their similar political careers, the similarities between Tino and Beto end there. As viewers saw, Tino has an affair with Georgina Hobart, Payton’s mom and the Governor of California, who he also wants as his Vice President after he sees Dede struggling to win her election in New York. Along with Georgina, Tino has also cheated on his with with other women. His wife, who’s in a coma for Trichinosis (an illness from eating undercooked pork), exposes him when she wakes up from his coma and reveals everything she’s heard while he’s thought she was unconscious. (Beto, for his part, has been married to his wife for 15 years.)
As of now, the creators from The Politician haven’t confirmed if Beto loosely inspired Tino. But there’s no denying there are resemblances.