Why Won’t Squad Members Like AOC Commit to Biden in 2024? – Rep. Cori Bush, the progressive “Squad” member representing Missouri, refused to answer whether she would support current President Joe Biden seeking office once again in 2024 during an interview this week.
Speaking to KSDK in her campaign office in St. Louis, Bush didn’t just avoid the question – she explicitly stated that she didn’t want to give an answer.
“I don’t want to answer that question because we have not, that’s not, yeah, I don’t want to answer that question,” Bush said. “I mean, he’s the president, he has the right to run for a second term, absolutely.”
Not only did Bush’s comments reveal her possible contempt towards the president or lack of enthusiasm about a second term, but the congresswoman’s staff promptly ended the interview as soon as she answered the question.
“She’s got to go,” one of Bush’s aides reportedly said, bringing the interview to a close.
The comments reveal a fracture in the party that has existed at least since the late Obama years, and Bush herself is facing pressure from moderate liberal candidates in her own party. State Senator Steve Roberts, who is challenging Bush in the Democratic primary that’s due to conclude on Tuesday, has repeatedly painted Bush as too far to the left. Roberts has also used Bush’s non-committal to back President Joe Biden as a stick to beat her with during the campaign, telling local media that he supports the president “full stop.”
“I’m curious to know who Rep. Bush intends on supporting,” Roberts also said.
What Does AOC Think?
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – the founder of the progressive “Squad” – also refused to commit to backing Biden in 2024 during an interview in June. Speaking to CNN’s Dana Bush on “State of the Union” about the president’s re-election campaign, Ocasio-Cortez was vague in her response.
“I think if the president has a vision, then that’s something certainly we’re all willing to entertain and examine when the time comes,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
When Bash pointed out that she didn’t simply say “yes,” the New York representative said that the party “should endorse when [we] get to it.”
AOC Has a Plan? Is There A Progressive Plot Underway?
The first and most obvious reason why Democrats may not be immediately on board with a second Biden presidential campaign is his bad poll numbers. The president’s approval ratings hit a new low in a public poll this month, with just 31% of American adults saying they approve of his performance in the White House so far.
The Quinnipiac University poll found that 70% of respondents didn’t want the president to seek another time in the White House.
Polls also show that Democrats want options in the 2024 presidential primary.
For progressive Democrats like AOC and Cori Bush, however, that may not be their immediate concern. The “Squad” – a group of six Democratic members of the House of Representatives who are economically and socially to the left of the party – is ideologically motivated and consistent. Matters like racial “equity,” socialism, and restrictive gun and speech laws matter more to them than straight electability – at least, that’s true most of the time.
Another possible explanation, then, is that the AOC progressive wing of the Democratic Party already has plans underway to throw their weight behind a more progressive candidate than President Joe Biden. While that candidate may not necessarily be more electable than President Joe Biden – given the general unpopularity of the Woke ideology in public life and in America’s education system – they would better reflect the views and priorities of the Squad and younger Democratic voters.
Perhaps the most electable candidate the progressive wing of the party could throw their weight behind would be independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but he has already ruled out the possibility of running in 2024.
If not Sanders, it could be Elizabeth Warren – but she has ruled out another run in 2024, too.
If not Sanders or Warren, then who? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez herself hasn’t ruled it out, and she would be old enough to assume office by January of 2025. At this stage, however, it appears as though Democrats are waiting for the first candidate to put their head above the parapet and challenge Biden before committing to one side or the other. Though, it will likely need to be a more high-profile name than Jerome Segal, a political activist who this week announced his decision to seek the presidential nomination from his party.
Less than a week after Segal conceded in the Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary, Segal announced a 2024 presidential campaign focused on job security and establishing peace in the Middle East. After receiving less than one percent of the vote in Maryland, however, it’s unlikely that Segal’s announcement will motivate big names to come forward any time soon. Or, at least until after the midterms.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.