Beto O’Rourke has what many female candidates don’t: a partner who takes the lead on child care ( www.vox.com )

The newly minted presidential candidate says he “sometimes” helps with his kids.

Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas senatorial candidate who announced his run for president on Thursday, has three children. Sometimes, he even takes care of them.

The issue of his family came to the fore on Thursday when O’Rourke told a crowd that his wife, Amy Sanders O’Rourke, was raising their kids “sometimes with my help.”

Beto tells a coffee shop crowd that he just talked with his wife, Amy. “She is raising, sometimes with my help,” their three kids. Then says he’s running for president for his kids, and theirs.

— Matt Viser (@mviser) March 14, 2019

The comment, some said, was meant as self-deprecation and an acknowledgment of the hard work Amy O’Rourke did for their family. But despite his intentions, Beto O’Rourke revealed a fundamental inequality of American life: While men throughout history have been able to rely on their wives to provide child care while they fulfill their political ambitions, women have rarely been able to count on partners to do the same. And as New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister pointed out, a woman who joked about being a part-time parent while on the campaign trail would be harshly criticized — and might find her political career over before it began.

Being a “sometimes” parent is a luxury many female candidates don’t have

The O’Rourkes have three children: Henry, 8, Molly, 10, and Ulysses, 12. Their child care arrangements aren’t entirely clear (Beto O’Rourke has not yet responded to Vox’s request for comment), but O’Rourke has certainly spent time away from his family recently, as he traveled the country deciding whether

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