New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is the new “it” girl on the Hill. Sweeping away the establishment candidate, Rep. Joe Crowley, who had long represented her district, AOC captured the hearts-and-minds of the Democratic Party voters with her “Jenny from the Bronx” routine.
She was an everyday girl.
Of course, AOC wasn’t just a young bartender with a more equitable vision of the future. She had an agenda that transcended just fighting for “the people.” Like so many of my fellow Millennials, AOC was going to “get hers” no matter what—and laugh at the rest of us trying to do things honestly.
AOC followed Barack Obama’s pathway to power. She ingratiated herself with the most rabid, radical elements of the Democratic Party when running. AOC billed herself as an outsider aiming to take down a corrupt elite and bust up the inherently unfair system in Washington, D.C.
But her actions belied any real interest in fulfilling his stated goal of not just being an outsider in insider-friendly Washington, D.C. From the start of her political career, AOC was angling for something higher: absolute power.
AOC Charts Her Rise
Just remember AOC courted the Justice Democrats. As a young Left-wing firebrand, AOC sojourned to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in 2016. AOC had claimed she was concerned about our beloved environment. Yet, AOC went there to make contacts with the political world so that she could elevate herself from concerned citizen to power-hungry elected leader.
Once AOC got on the Justice Democrats’ radar, she befriended one of their leaders of that movement—Harvard-educated software engineer, Saikat Chakrabarti—who became integral to her rise.
According to one friendly documentary about AOC’s rise in 2018, the young bartender “auditioned” for Chakrabarti and the rest of the leadership of the Justice Democrats, to gain their support for her to run in Crowley’s congressional district. The documentary implied that AOC won the skeptical activists over with nothing more than Progressive glint in her eyes and the kind of “can-do” spirit that makes watered down and overpriced drinks at whatever posh New York bar she worked.
Although, I have strong suspicions that the Justice Democrats saw in AOC that empty vessel that they had been longing for. In fact, the entire Justice Democrat model was cynically copied from the traditional lobbyist model: garner a bunch of money together and then dump it into a candidate so that your organization owns that candidate and can force them to do what you want. The candidate is beholden to the electorate whereas you, the true power behind the candidate, are insulated from the voters—just how the elites like it.
After winning over Saikat Chakrabarti and the rest of the Justice Democrats, AOC became their champion. She was not the champion of “the People” as she claimed. She was a conduit for their extreme political ideology.
As an aside, Saikat Chakrabarti was rewarded for his support of AOC with a plum position as AOC’s first chief of staff. Yet, Chakrabarti didn’t last more than a year as his elite sensibilities could not suffer the public scrutiny that came along with the job. He routinely courted controversy as AOC’s chief of staff—even going so far as to proudly wear a shirt with the image of infamous Indian nationalist (and supporter of Adolf Hitler), Subhas Chandra Bose.
Did AOC know that her first chief of staff was a supporter of a Nazi apologist? Did she care? No, because Saikat Chakrabarti got her to where she needed to go.
Oh, and once ensconced in power, did AOC defend the Justice Democrats or champion their causes?
AOC was quickly co-opted by the Democratic Party’s establishment. She now makes Mussolini-style speeches on the House Floor where she throws a veritable temper tantrum about whatever culture war cause of the day she’s glammed onto and achieves very little legislatively.
Yet, she is on everyone’s mind. All the time. And she has real political power because of it.
Biden is Desperate Going into 2024
With President Joe Biden seeking reelection he finds himself in a political quandary.
The economy is in trouble and the world is on fire under his presidency.
While Biden has some advantages that come with being an incumbent running for reelection—especially given the chaos befalling the Republican Party as they enter what will be a tumultuous primary in 2024—Biden still has many negatives.
He is very old and that makes people uncomfortable. What’s more, his vice-president is a total failure. Meanwhile, Biden is under what will be an increasing level of suspicion and investigation as it relates to his son, Hunter’s escapades around the world in which the First Son may have been taking money illegally from foreign governments to give those governments access to his father.
Biden needs to do something to signal to the electorate that he understands that changes need to be made. The easiest thing he could do to herald those changes would be to loop in a new vice-presidential candidate. A major problem for Biden is that his entire presidency rests on a promise he made to the influential Senator James Clyburn (R-SC), an important civil rights leader and upstanding member of the African-American community.
In 2020, Biden was losing bigly to his opponents in the Democratic Party primary. To save his flailing campaign, Biden likely vowed to Clyburn that he’d nominate a woman of color as his vice-president, if Clyburn threw his support to Biden during the critical South Carolina primaries that year.
Even though many African-American voters (notably male African-American voters) disapprove of Kamala Harris, the fact remains that if Biden were to cut her from the ticket he’d risk alienating at least part of the essential African-American vote as well as much of the female vote. These two voting blocs, more than any others, are must-haves for Biden in 2024. He needs to keep these voting blocs on his side.
So, while there’s been much talk of possibly putting someone like California Governor Gavin Newsom as Biden’s vice-president in the 2024 campaign – even though Kamala Harris is officially on the ticket – that might backfire on Biden at an important moment in his reelection bid.
AOC Fails Upward
By placing AOC on the ticket, though, that solves many problems both for Biden going into 2024 as well as the party.
You see, AOC is an airhead. Anything she touches dies. She is unqualified in any sense of the word.
While I am not a Democrat, the fact that she is rumored sometimes to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) who is a policy wonk and skilled at her job, would do much damage to the Democratic National Committee from a legislative angle.
Plus, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), likes having Gillibrand as his number two from New York because she doesn’t challenge him. AOC is an attention hog. She’ll complicate life for Schumer in the Senate at a time when he doesn’t want that.
Biden elevating AOC to the vice-presidency would alleviate these problems. He could also keep many of the minority voters he worries about losing from possibly cutting Kamala Harris out of his reelection ticket. President Biden might even win over those all-important youth voters, whose support for him might be flagging since the 2020 campaign.
And while I find AOC’s speeches to be little more than shrill struggle sessions, the fact of the matter is that she is more coherent than Kamala Harris will ever be, which is a plus for the Biden team, which has been chafing under the repeated public failures of Harris.
So, it might sound outlandish but between AOC’s calculated power-seeking in DC and Biden’s desperation to get reelected, AOC just might end up as the next vice-president if Biden wins his reelection.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.