MoveOn's first endorsements for 2020: AOC, Tlaib, Omar, and Pressley

They are the Freshman Four. The four female freshmen in the House of Representatives who garner glowing praise from far left groups and their supporters in the press – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley – have all now been endorsed by for re-election. With growing concerns of corruption and anti-Semitic statements coming from them, it’s no surprise that MoveOn wants to get out early to show support.

AOC is quickly getting caught up in FEC complaints and even some smaller controversy, too. Ilhan Omar is being investigated for inappropriate use of campaign funds, and Rashida Tlaib is under investigation over the use of campaign funds,also.

Pressley has more experience in elected office and so far is only used in the press for her support of her freshmen sisters when they go big on criticizing President Trump or his administration’s policies. When Ilhan Omar made headlines for her anti-Semitic tweets in February, resulting in a House generic resolution loosely condemning hate in all forms in March, Pressley didn’t criticize her friend. She turned it back around on President Trump. She blamed him for promoting racism and division.

MoveOn’s first endorsement in the 2020 cycle went to Ilhan Omar. 77% of MoveOn’s members in Omar’s Minnesota district voted in favor of the group’s endorsement. The statement released uses all the regular talking points. It begins by mentioning Omar’s objection to the Trump administration’s travel ban which is a holdover from the Obama administration. MoveOn calls it a Muslim ban, as Trump’s opponents do. Then the announcement goes on to address the importance of an early endorsement. It’s for the sake of moral clarity, you know.

We don’t usually send out announcements like these outside of the district where constituent MoveOn members voted to make the endorsement. But in this case, given the way that Rep. Omar’s leadership is playing out in a national context, and given the intensity of national attacks aimed at her, we wanted to share out our first 2020 endorsement with all MoveOn members. During an era when moral clarity is of the utmost importance, we want to make it clear that Rep. Omar is definitely an important voice in Washington, D.C.—and in the country.

Will it be even a little awkward for Omar that MoveOn’s huge war chest will be used toward her re-election given the fact that she frequently bemoans the influence of big money in politics? MoveOn spent $3.5 million in the 2018 election cycle in support of Democrat candidates. That’s a lot of Benjamins, baby. I haven’t found a tweet thanking the group for their endorsement but she did re-tweet their announcement.

Tlaib won her district’s vote for MoveOn’s endorsement by a larger percentage than Omar did in her district. Tlaib received 88% support in her Michigan district.

“In her short time in Congress, Rep. Tlaib has already become a leader on progressive issues such as Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, strengthening voting rights and more,” Rahna Epting, chief of program at MoveOn, said of the endorsement. “And she’s been fearless in pushing Congress to hold this President accountable for his criminal and corrupt acts.”

“The positive and bold progressive vision for our country that Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib fights for every day is one that should be embraced by candidates everywhere,” Epting said. “Her fearless advocacy of progressive policies is galvanizing the public in her district and throughout the country.”

Ayanna Pressley is happy to take MoveOn’s endorsement. She refers to the Four Freshmen as her “sisters in service”.

Rashida Tlsaib hasn’t been tweeting very much during the past week. I don’t find any mention of the endorsement. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t mentioned it either in her Twitter account. My guess is that they’ll both quietly take the money when it comes in and continue to rail against everyone else accepting donations from large groups lobbying politicians in Washington, D.C. It’s business as usual in the swamp.

David Strom 4:41 PM on September 26, 2022