Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., should be the 2024 Democratic presidential nominee, political strategist Michael Starr Hopkins argued on Tuesday.
In an op-ed for The Hill, Hopkins compared the congresswoman to former President Barack Obama as the “fresh air” Democrats need for their party.
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) 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,” Hopkins wrote.
He added, “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.”
Although Hopkins previously supported President Joe Biden in 2020, he has since admitted that Biden “deserves a primary challenger” in 2024 to provide a “fighter” for the Democrats.
In his perspective, if Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the “Godfather” of the progressive movement, then “Ocasio-Cortez is Michael Corleone.”
“AOC wields a superpower that is rarely found in Washington: She isn’t afraid to lose. Her 2018 victory wasn’t just historic, it was shocking, and felt predestined — much like when we first saw a brilliant speaker with a funny name and big ears remind us that through hope and change we could put our country on a new course,” Hopkins wrote. “AOC has the ability to tell the story of her generation.”
Hopkins also acknowledged polls that showed up to 75% of Democrats want the party to nominate someone other than Biden in 2024. Ocasio-Cortez on the ballot could be, he claimed, “a fresh start.”
He wrote, “Should President Biden announce that he will not seek a second term, AOC would represent the bridge that he hoped to create. Much like Barack Obama talked about his student loan debt, AOC can uniquely talk about the struggles of a forgotten generation waiting for someone to speak up for them.”
Finally, he insisted that Ocasio-Cortez would be the perfect candidate “to embarrass a bully like Donald Trump or Florida governor Ron DeSantis” should either one be the Republican nominee.
“Democrats want a fighter, not a politician. They want someone who punches back and isn’t afraid to say what they mean,” Hopkins closed.
With Biden’s falling approval rating and his advanced age (he will turn 80 in the fall), many Democrats and media pundits have suggested replacing him for the 2024 election. On MSNBC, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., refused Tuesday to discuss whether he plans to support Biden for president in his next election.