“I hereby second the nomination of Senator Bernard Sanders for president of the United States of America.” Those were the only words that mattered in New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks at the Democratic National Convention. Notably, Joe Biden, the man who will appear on the ballot in November as the Democratic nominee, did not merit a mention. It seems odd that Ocasio-Cortez — who lamented that she would only have a minute to speak at the convention — decided not to be a part of the push for party unity at the DNC.
While she’s already thrown her support behind Biden, it’s hard to take her speech, which was dedicated to a word salad that stood in for the Sanders agenda, as anything but a message that she doesn’t plan on staying quiet in a potential Biden administration. Instead, she may become a thorn in his and House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s side, both of whom embrace a more practical approach to politics. Time will tell if Ocasio-Cortez will be able to assemble a red rose, or progressive caucus that can effectively move the party to the left. If so, the results of a similar effort in the GOP conference indicate that Biden and Pelosi could find governing more difficult than they anticipate, even if the Democrats retake the Senate.