Robert “Beto” O’Rourke (L) and Tim Ryan (R)
Robert “Beto” O’Rourke and Tim Ryan have been tapped by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics as Pritzker Fellows to teach politics.
According to the Pritzker Fellows application website, “OP Pritzker Fellows presents a unique opportunity for political and public service leaders to learn and grow. Whether through engaging with students and faculty, auditing classes, or conducting research, The IOP Pritzker Fellows Program provides a rare opportunity to enjoy eight weeks of paid enrichment at one of the world’s great universities.”
“While on campus, Pritzker Fellows lead weekly non-credit discussion seminars on issues of local, national, and international importance. These 75-minute, off-the-record sessions are student-only, and take place at the IOP House.”
“Criteria to become a Pritzker Fellow include the applicant’s background in politics or public service, as well as an ability to work well with students, faculty, and the Fellows cohort. Fellows are chosen via our online application process and through targeted recruitment.”
In the last three election cycles, O’Rourke and Ryan are a combined five time pair of losers.
O’Rourke lost his bid against Texas Senator Ted Cruz in 2018, fizzled out of the 2020 Democrat presidential primary, and failed yet again in the mid-terms against Greg Abbott in the Texas governor’s race.
Tim Ryan was a brief blip in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary and lost the Ohio senatorial race to J.D. Vance.
Anthony Fowler, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago, told The Fix that although “there have probably been more fellows from the political left than the right” he believes the program “gives students the opportunity to learn from and make connections with these prominent and accomplished individuals.”
“Former members of Congress are not, by and large, academic scholars, and we’re bringing them to campus for reasons largely unrelated to their intellectual contributions,” Fowler said. “So students should not think of IOP events as substituting for their work in the classroom.”
Other fellows include former Michigan Congressman Pete Meijer, a Republican who lost his primary in 2022. One of Meijer’s first votes as a new congressman in 2021 was to impeach President Donald Trump.
Former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who lost his re-election bid in 2022, will also join as a fellow.
The program began in 2013 and has since hosted almost 200 fellows. Former Pritzker fellows include Anthony Blinken, the current secretary of state and a former national security advisor to President Barack Obama, Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA under Obama, and Vox reporter Jane Coaston.
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