Democratic rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seconded the nomination of fellow progressive Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont, as the party’s presidential pick during the Democratic National Convention roll call vote Tuesday evening, even though Joe Biden was the only candidate left standing.
Ocasio-Cortez’s nomination was largely procedural since convention rules call for nominations for each candidate that passes the delegate threshold. Even though Sanders rescinded his candidacy, he netted enough delegates during the primary to qualify.
“In a time when millions of people in the United States are looking for deep systemic solutions to our crises of mass evictions, unemployment, and lack of health care, and espíritu del pueblo and out of a love for all people, I hereby second the nomination of Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
United Auto Workers union president Bob King was the first to nominate Sanders.
The DNC drew mass critical attention for allotting Ocasio-Cortez a mere minute of speaking time while non-Democrats like John Kasich and Colin Powell are given prime billing. Critics believed the speaking slot lengths were examples of the party prioritizing an olive branch to GOP voters over the concerns of members of their own party.
Ocasio-Cortez’s brief roll call vote was made, she said, in solidarity with the goals she shared with Sanders, including universal health care and a higher minimum wage, as well as a dozen other progressive platforms.
In January, Ocasio-Cortez flatly declared that in “any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party.” Still, Ocasio-Cortez has said she would vote for Biden and support the Democratic ticket.
Since Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most influential surrogates for fellow progressive Sanders, an endorsement by her, even if belated, carries significant clout, not only with younger Democrats but with those who felt alienated from centrist policies and abandoned by Washington’s status quo.
She did not mention Biden by name during her Tuesday night remarks, however.
The lack of tacit support may telegraph struggles ahead for the Biden campaign in their courting of progressives.
On Twitter shortly after her appearance, Ocasio-Cortez wished Biden well.
“I extend my deepest congratulations to @JoeBiden - let’s go win in November,” she tweeted.
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