Though she is only a freshman member of Congress — and has yet to serve even a full year in office — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has already vaulted to the forefront of the Democratic Party. And she isn’t hesitating to wield that incredible influence.
AOC is set to throw her support behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race, according to The Washington Post.
Socialists endorsing socialists
The Post reported that Ocasio-Cortez’s expected endorsement of Sanders comes on the heels of a similar announcement by the congresswoman’s fellow “Squad” member, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has reportedly been working with Sanders on various pieces of legislation.
“Bernie is leading a working-class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnicity, and geography,” Omar said in a statement.
Though there is no word yet on whether the other two “Squad” members — Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) — will follow suit with similar endorsements of Sanders, the odds are good that they will soon join their comrades.
Sanders gets a boost
The endorsements of Sanders from the two “Squad” members were announced during the Democratic presidential primary debate in Ohio on Tuesday night and have been viewed by pundits as a much-needed boost to the Sanders campaign.
The senator had been sidelined over the past couple of weeks after suffering a heart attack at a campaign event in Nevada, which led to speculation that he might soon drop out of the race. However, his campaign is now hoping to revive itself with additional support from excited young voters.
“You’ve heard Senator Sanders talk a lot about [how] the revolution is going to happen when you have a lot of young people get involved in the process,” Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said. “And you have a couple individuals here who I think have a unique ability to inspire young people, so we’re excited about the direction of this campaign.”
During Tuesday’s debate, Sanders cryptically teased that he would be joined by a “special guest” at an upcoming rally on Saturday in New York City. It has now been confirmed that Ocasio-Cortez will be that special guest. “We’re looking forward to Saturday,” AOC’s spokesman, Corbin Trent, told the Post.
Previously, there had been some speculation that the “Squad” would throw their support behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Warren had reportedly been actively courting support from the influential group of freshman legislators.
However, it also isn’t particularly surprising that the openly socialist Ocasio-Cortez, who had worked as a volunteer on Sanders’ 2016 campaign and was supported in her congressional run by the pro-Sanders Justice Democrats group, would offer up an endorsement for the openly socialist candidate.
It will be interesting to see how this endorsement of Sanders from Ocasio-Cortez will play more broadly among the Democratic Party, and particularly the more moderate establishment wing, which isn’t particularly fond of Sanders and his radical policy prescriptions for transforming America as we know it.