OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Some Democrats who have apparently moved on from President Joe Biden are now floating another choice whom they believe could defeat former President Donald Trump, who is heavily favored to make another run in 2024.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who beat 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in 2018 to win her seat, has been suggested as someone who has the “best shot” against Trump amid what many political observers see as an incredibly weak Democratic bench heading into the next presidential cycle, which is just over a year away.
Michael Starr Hopkins, a comms expert who served on the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, laid out the case for ‘AOC’ to run for president.
Writing in The Hill on Tuesday, Hopkins said: “When Barack Obama came out of nowhere to win his Senate seat in 2004, it almost felt preordained. As if he was the person we had been waiting for to breathe fresh air into the Democratic Party.”
He then likened AOC’s rise to that of Obama: “Flash forward to 2018, and the meteoric rise of a 29-year-old bartender from Queens feels eerily similar. She has been unafraid, unapologetic and unwilling to bend to the will of Washington. She is a force to be reckoned with, and in 2024 Democrats are going to need her force to reckon with Republicans.”
He noted further:
[She] is less of a personality and more of a movement. Yes, the smart, photogenic congresswoman is the face of the rising progressive movement, but she is also the future of the Democratic Party. AOC has cultivated a following beyond politics. She’s an influencer in its purest form. Her ability to relate to her supporters and allow them a glimpse into her private life is a blueprint for Democrats trying to act less like mannequins and more like humans.
She’s the voice of a movement that began after the banks were bailed out by the government, while homeowners were left to default. The simplicity with which she talks about everyday struggles hints that she’s not just a persona for consumption. She isn’t beholden to corporations, is a prodigious small-dollar fundraiser, and could out-Trump Trump like no other politician has been able to.
Hopkins then noted that a lot of the most progressive ideas of today were first pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont “independent” who caucuses with Democrats and sometimes has issues with its progressives. But he went on to suggest that Sanders’ time is done and that he should ‘pass the torch’ to the Bronx Democrat.
“Ocasio-Cortez represents the possibilities and opportunities that make our country great. Where else could a 29-year-old bartender upset a political heavyweight and become a symbol for her generation? AOC was never supposed to win her race. Few gave her a chance, but a funny thing happened: Voters loved her honesty, youth and humble beginnings. Voters were sick of career politicians who rarely came back to their districts. So they voted Joe Crowley out and AOC in. That wasn’t luck, that was fate,” Hopkins wrote.
Coincidentally, another New York progressive ripped Ocasio-Cortez for rarely appearing in her district just last month.
Continuing, Hopkins wrote, “There is no denying that AOC would boost GOP turnout as a result of coverage on right wing networks built to scare elderly white voters. But she would electrify the party’s base, turn out the youth at record levels and bring the party together by acknowledging the threat posed by electing Trump Republicans.”
There will never be another Barack Obama, but I have a feeling we’ll be saying the same about AOC. When opportunity meets preparation and history creates the moment, the cream of the crop always rises, leaving everyone else behind.
Democrats want a fighter, not a politician. They want someone who punches back and isn’t afraid to say what they mean.
In a June appearance with late-night host Stephen, Colbert, Ocasio-Cortez dodged a question dodged a question about her potential future presidential ambitions.
“Listen, I think that we need to focus on keeping a democracy for anybody to be president in the next couple of years. And that’s my central focus is helping the people of this country right now,” she said.