Will Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez be Sanders’ secret weapon?
The young Congresswoman has been one of the first to endorse a candidate for the Democratic Party primaries.
It is not surprising that the former organizer for the Sanders campaign in 2016, and now a Democratic congresswoman in the House of Representatives, decided to support the Vermont Senator in his new crusade for the U.S. presidency.
What stands out the most is how soon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has come out and publicly said so.
The congresswoman introduced the candidate last Saturday, in what many consider the biggest campaign rally so far in the race for the Democratic nomination.
"The only reason I had any hope of launching a long-term campaign for Congress was because Bernie Sanders showed that you can carry out a grassroots campaign in an America where we think it was almost impossible," said the congresswoman before to introduce the senator to the sound of AC/DC’s Back in Black, a nod to the campaign reboot of the candidate who had to be absent from the race for a heart condition.
“He is the man, the ally. I call him ‘Tío Bernie,'” she added.
In front of almost 26,000 people, Sanders had his triumphant return, a few steps away from Washington Square Park and in front of one of the largest public housing complexes in the area.
It was an event full of symbolism.
"I am more than ready to take on the greed and corruption of the corporate elite and their apologists," said the renewed candidate. "And I am more ready than ever to create a government based on the principles of justice."
"To put it bluntly: I'm back," he added.
Given the rise in the polls of his opponent, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and the staggering campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden, this was the right time for Sanders to pull an ace from under his sleeve.
"There are few more notable endorsements on the Democratic side than AOC’s," Rebecca Katz, a progressive consultant who advised the leftist campaign for the governorship of Cynthia Nixon in New York in 2018, told Politico. "This is a real shot in the arm for Bernie and helps energize the base.”
Together with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ocasio-Cortez has decided to give the missing momentum to one of the candidates with greater support in public opinion, but also the more vilified candidate by the Trump Administration, who has constantly attacked Democrats - known as the "Squad" - for being "socialists."
As the Washington Post explained, "for the first time in decades, the American left has a powerful presence in electoral politics."
It is no longer just a progressive and liberal movement, but a solid base of young people who have decided to change the course of things, finding in the presidency of Donald Trump the exemplification of everything that is wrong in the country.
"Anyone who counted out Bernie Sanders is going to be wrong," former Trump campaign advisor in 2016, Michael Caputo, told The Daily Beast. “I see Bernie as far more formidable now than he ever was.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most important political figures in recent decades, gave the last push to the Vermont senator to take the lead in the polls.
Her alignment with the common people, against the monopolization of political interests in Washington, and against that 1% that controls the wealth in the country, has now taken a common front.
“Last February I was waitressing at a restaurant in downtown Manhattan and I didn’t have health insurance, and I wasn’t being paid a living wage, and I was facing sexual harassment at work, and to think now that I’m on the other side of this as a member of Congress, and understanding the pressures there are on the inside to conform," Ocasio-Cortez told CBS News in an interview following the rally. "And to have seen them and experience them firsthand, it’s astounding me that the senator has been there fighting for me, long before I got to the halls of Congress, and fighting for people like me."