Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Intends To Support Biden But Wants The Partnership To Be ‘Uncomfortable’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), once a prized surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) presidential campaign, says she plans on supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in the general election but wants the Biden campaign to reach out and court her personally.
In a wide-ranging profile in The New York Times, published Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez says her “enthusiasm” for Biden’s presidential campaign — and her level of involvement — is entirely up to Biden, and that she plans on waiting in the wings until she’s approached by Biden’s presidential campaign to take an active role on the stump.
And she plans on making the partnership process “uncomfortable,” she says.
“The whole process of coming together should be uncomfortable for everyone involved — that’s how you know it’s working,” she told the NYT. “And if Biden is only doing things he’s comfortable with, then it’s not enough.”
“I’m not trying to needle as a way of making a point or to score points. I want to win. And I want to make sure that we win broadly,” she added, suggesting that she is eminently valuable to Biden’s campaign and could be the difference between effectively attracting young voters and losing to President Donald Trump. 
“I think people understand that there are limits to what Biden will do and that’s understandable — he didn’t run as a progressive candidate,” Ocasio-Cortez told the NYT. “But, at the bare minimum, we should aspire to be better than what we have been before. And I just don’t know if this message of ‘We’re going to go back to the way things were’ is going to work for the people for who the way things were was really bad.”
Being “better,” Ocasio-Cortez says, involves real olive branches to the party’s far-left contingent, not “throwing the progressive wing of the party a couple of bones,” and so far, Biden’s efforts have been largely “insulting.” 
Unfortunately for Ocasio-Cortez, though, Biden, clearly failing to see her obvious value, hasn’t reached out.
Instead, it seems, the Biden campaign courted Sen. Bernie Sanders directly, preferring to go straight to the top of the Democratic socialist food chain and make Sanders an active policy partner in the Biden presidential campaign, rather than waste time dealing with Congressional celebrities like Ocasio-Cortez. 
In a joint livestream appearance on Monday, Sanders endorsed Obama’s former vice president, pledging to do all he could to help Biden defeat Trump, including the tough job of convincing his supporters that its in their best interest to back Biden. Sanders also committed to a series of joint policy working groups, covering everything from economic justice to climate change — the kind of policy partnership Ocasio-Cortez seems to believe is essential for an ongoing, beneficial relationship between moderates and progressives.
Ocasio-Cortez may be trying to recapture the measure of glory she experienced as a notable surrogate for the Sanders campaign. But according to reports, as the Sanders campaign wore on, Ocasio-Cortez became less valuable and, in some cases, actually problematic. In Iowa, she failed to mention Sanders once in her campaign appearance, and Sanders’ top aides felt she simply wasn’t worth the trouble.

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