Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with a few other Democratic lawmakers, recently met with former President Barack Obama.
The meeting didn’t seem especially remarkable, with Obama offering long-winded political advice.
But the meeting suggests that Obama, a generational figure in the Democratic Party, thinks AOC has a legitimate future in politics. No one really disagrees on whether AOC will have a prominent future (she is one of the most recognizable names in the entire Congress), but what exactly that future looks like, what exactly AOC’s objective is, remains unclear. Some are speculating that AOC could make a relatively near-term push for the presidency.
Is that possible?
Could AOC be a contender in, say, 2028? I hope not – but I suppose it’s possible.
The 2028 presidential election is a long way off. And of course, the 2028 field will be nearly impossible to discern before the 2024 election plays out. Some outcomes facilitate an AOC 2028 run. And some outcomes do not.
Say for example Biden wins the 2024 election and either steps aside or becomes incapacitated, allowing Kamala Harris to ascend to the presidency. Then Harris will be an incumbent with two terms of eligibility remaining. Democrats would align fully behind Harris for 2028, and if she won in 2028, Democrats would back her again in 2032. If that happened, AOC, or any fresh Democrat, wouldn’t get a shot until 2036 – at which point the political landscape may be unrecognizable relative to today. Who knows.
Alternatively, if Biden won the 2024 election and finished the term, the Democrats would run a wide open primary in 2028. Similarly, if the GOP nominee won the 2024 election, Democrats would run a wide open primary in 2028. Either scenario opens the door for an AOC presidential run.
Would AOC be a viable candidate?
2028 is a ways off and it’s hard to say where AOC will be come 2028. But right now she’s in the House and has not indicated a desire to leave or to challenge for one of New York’s senate seats. And viable presidential candidates aren’t often found in the House of Representatives. President Ford was a member of the House before he slid in to replace Spiro Agnew as Nixon’s vice president. Then, of course, Nixon resigned and Ford was suddenly the president. But he’s something of an anomaly in modern politics – and he wasn’t elected. So, members of the House are, statistically speaking, a long-shot.
Then again, AOC isn’t exactly just another member of the House. She’s a name brand, by far the most famous member of the House. And frankly, most of AOC’s legions of fans probably couldn’t tell you the difference between the House and the Senate, so what’s the difference? AOC will always be viable just like Taylor Swift albums are always going to chart. AOC is just embedded in the culture, and as she keeps working social media so well, as long as she keeps playing the victim card so sympathetically, AOC is going to be A-OK.
Personally, I think the progressive movement can do better. AOC is a false prophet. She’s hot air. She’s inauthentic. She’s unimpressive. She markets herself as some working class city chick but she grew up very comfortably in Westchester. She often says the right things but doesn’t always do the right things.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.