Rep. Alexandria, Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York is certainly on a roll. She has become practically a running mate for Bernie Sanders, lending her youth and star power to the campaign of the curmudgeonly, elderly socialist candidate.
Sanders has already offered her a roll in his hypothetical administration, which has been left as an exercise for the observer. The roll won’t be that of vice president, as much as the fans of both politicians may wish it. The United States Constitution is very firm on the age requirements for that post.
In any case, Fox News is reporting that AOC is exercised by the late entry into the race, one possible one by billionaire publisher and former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg and one actual one by former governor of Massachusetts and Bain Capital executive Deval Patrick. AOC took to Twitter to express her ire.
“Call me radical, but maybe instead of setting ablaze hundreds of millions of dollars on multiple plutocratic, long-shot, very-late presidential bids, we instead invest hundreds of millions into winning majorities of state legislatures across the United States? Just a thought!”
There is a method to AOC’s madness. 2020 is a census year. The state legislatures that will be elected in 2020 will be involved in drawing up district lines for both the house and the various state legislatures.
The more of these state governments that are controlled by Democrats, the more likely that the House will remain in Democratic hands. That development will be useful, at least in AOC’s mind, when Bernie Sanders is president and she is – what? – Green New Deal Czarina?
A couple of problems exist for AOC’s complaints.
First, as USA Today noted at the time, Bloomberg’s super PAC, called Independence USA PAC, dumped nearly $30 million helping to elect Democrats to the House in the 2018 election cycle. Bloomberg had vowed to spend $110 million in total during that election year.
Since Bloomberg is worth many billions of dollars, it is not a question of running for president or supporting down-ballot Democrats but doing both. Bernie Sanders has vowed that Bloomberg would not “buy” the presidency. However, he would not be displeased if the billionaire publisher would buy a few Democratic congresspeople and state legislators.
Or maybe he would be displeased since they are likely to be opposed to a wealth tax and some of the more onerous parts of the Bernie agenda. The idea of Bloomberg pouring a portion of his wealth into state legislature races may be a case of AOC having better be wary of getting what she wishes for.
Like Bloomberg, Deval Patrick gets scorn from Democrats like AOC for his wealth, even though it is a relatively paltry $4 million, twice that of Bernie’s $2 million. But Patrick is also scored by Republicans, mainly because he comes from one of the deepest blue or blue states.
According to Fox News, GOP officials are already comparing him to Elizabeth Warren, perhaps unfairly because Patrick so far has not come out in favor of a wealth tax, the destruction of private health insurance, or the horrors of a Green New Deal.
AOC also might want to hold her scorn at the rich guys because of what most pundits suggest their effect on the race might be. Bloomberg and Patrick might grab a lot of votes from former Vice President Joe Biden, who is considered a moderate compared to Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Bloomberg and Patrick might dilute the moderate vote enough to leave a clear path to the nomination for either Sanders or Warren.
However, AOC’s offering of scorn to a couple of rich guys entering the Democratic presidential race may be more visceral than strategic. Both Warren and Sanders do not give a stump speech without offering calumnies to the wealthy, especially self-made men like Bloomberg and Patrick. Both men rose from relative poverty to acquire the wealth and power they now possess.
Pundits who have looked at the Warren and Sanders campaign have noted that they have chosen to adopt a Saul Alinsky strategy by identifying a group of people and making them enemies.
The group that has been chosen is billionaires. It is a widely held opinion on the left that no one amasses billions of dollars by honest means. The facts refute this supposition. However, the fact remains that AOC is not so much offended that Bloomberg and Patrick are entering the presidential race. She is aghast that such men exist at all.