Probably overblown, but a little schadenfreude at the thought of two pinkos fighting is good for the soul.
I mean, look at the mileage we got out of Warren confronting Bernie on a hot mic at the debate a few weeks ago.
Personally, I’m shocked at the notion that AOC might be a little more me-focused than Bernie-focused on the trail.
Following Ocasio-Cortez’s three-day stint, Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, texted AOC’s campaign manager to express his dissatisfaction with aspects of her performance, according to a source familiar with the exchange. Specifically, the Sanders campaign was miffed that Ocasio-Cortez didn’t mention Sanders by name when she closed out a campaign event at the University of Iowa on a Friday night at the end of last month—a fact that Fox News picked up on…
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments about the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol were also seen by some within the Sanders campaign as going too far, straying from Sanders’s stance on the issues in encouraging people not to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, according to this source. During an event in Ames, Iowa, Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd, “Organizing is about tipping people off if you start to see that ICE and CBP are in communities to try and keep people safe.”…
Ocasio-Cortez and her team, after all they’d done for Sanders, were said to be annoyed at being called on the carpet. And AOC’s team is also said to have had concerns about radio host Joe Rogan’s controversial unofficial endorsement of Sanders.
Team Bernie insists that if anything critical was said it was “good-natured ribbing.” In fairness it’s hard to imagine them being confrontational with her about it, for various reasons. Bernie’s not confrontational personally; he’s an ideologue, not the sort of guy who’d get hung up on his name not being mentioned. He arguably owes his campaign resurgence to her too, as her endorsement after he had a heart attack last fall was a key vote of confidence in his ability to go on and win. Ocasio-Cortez has also been received rapturously on the trail by lefties and Sanders needs all the excitement he can get given how tepid the turnout numbers have been in Iowa and New Hampshire.
“It is hard to stand up and fight for someone you don’t know when it is not popular, and he has done it his whole damn life!” Ocasio-Cortez exclaimed.
“Who stood up for women and gender-non-conforming people’s right to choose in the ’90s when it was unpopular? Senator Bernie Sanders!” she continued. “Fast-forward to this campaign. Who is the only candidate to call to break up ICE and CBP? Senator Bernie Sanders! That matters.”
She said that at his rally in New Hampshire two nights ago, proof that the rift has healed if in fact there ever was a rift. Bernie seems like a forgive-and-forget kind of guy to me. He and Warren are already back on friendlyish terms, no?
AOC’s clearly an asset to him — for now. If he wins the nomination, he and his team are going to huddle and figure out how to deploy her and where, knowing that Trump will use “AOC plus three” this summer as an attack line to emphasize Democrats’ radicalism. Bernie’s arguably invulnerable to that: He’s plenty radical enough in his own right that Trump doesn’t need to make a boogeyman of anyone else. But maybe Ocasio-Cortez is scarier to swing voters than a frumpy white socialist grandpa is and so she’ll need to lie low while he makes the case.
It may depend on how he seems to be doing in registering and turning out young voters, the chief selling point of his alleged “electability.” Sanders can lose suburbanites, we’re told, because he’ll replace them with young adults and disaffected older blue-collar Americans who’ve never felt stirred before to vote but will feel the Bern soon, supposedly. If he’s getting that done without AOC’s help, maybe he’ll send her on vacation. If not, he’ll turn her loose and hope that Trump’s attacks on her don’t matter.
She’s sort of the lefty Palin. No one in her party’s going to get a populist crowd going like she can. It’s just that sometimes her words … aren’t the best words.
An interesting soundbite from her today:
Ocasio-Cortez on if discussion about Burisma/Bidens in impeachment hearings/trial imperiled Joe Biden’s candidacy:
I’m not entirely sure of that…I very, very rarely hear that brought up..Joe Biden has struggled in primaries before.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 12, 2020
It stands to reason that she’d be skeptical of that, at least publicly. If she concedes that Trump’s Burisma insinuations wrecked Biden then Joe’s implosion feels like dirty pool. It’d be an asterisk on Bernie winning the nomination, reducing socialism’s grand victory to a lucky break caused by Republican ratf***ing. I tend to agree with her that Biden’s decline is more of a “past his prime” reaction by Democratic voters than a reaction to Burisma, but not everyone feels that way. Supposedly some of Biden’s 2020 rivals included a question about Burisma in their internal polling. (“It’s a real vulnerability, everyone knows that,” said a Dem operative.) Said David Axelrod of Biden’s Iowa meltdown, “I wonder if the Hunter Biden stuff spooked some voters. They’re worried he is going to be Benghazi-ed.”
In lieu of an exit question, here’s a preview of Bernie’s message next month from an attendee at a Mike Bloomberg rally today.