Things That Matter

AOC Says She Isn’t Sure She Wants To Be In Politics Anymore But People Are Still Hoping For A President Ocasio-Cortez

Despite winning her reelection to Congress by a landslide and being praised (at least in public) by President-Elect Joe Biden, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) isn’t totally certain on what her political future holds.

That uncertainty will likely come as a surprise and a disappointment to her millions of followers – let alone her constituents back in the Bronx. For the past two years, AOC has been at the center of nearly every idea and every piece of progressive legislation that has come up in Congress.

Now, with a Democrat taking the presidency in January, her ideas and policies have a real chance at becoming the law of the land. Of course, all of this also depends on who controls the Senate, which will likely be decided in January just before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

Although AOC has been tight lipped about her political future before, many are hoping that her latest statements on her future are little more than a moment and that she continues to harbor ambitions for a future senate or presidential run – because lord knows that’s what her followers would love to see.

Could these next two years be AOC’s last go at politics?

In an interview with The New York Times, the congresswoman, arguably one of the highest-profile figure of the progressive left right now, expressed frustration with the “smothering approach” she said she was experiencing from within her own party. “The last two years have been pretty hostile. Externally, we’ve been winning. Externally, there’s been a ton of support, but internally, it’s been extremely hostile to anything that even smells progressive,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Times.

When asked about a possible run for Senate, her answer wasn’t much more convincing.

“I genuinely don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year,” Ocasio-Cortez said. Noting that she chose to run for re-election at least partly to prove she “wasn’t a fluke,” she said the “lack of support” from within her own party had almost changed her mind.

Her future looks so bright (at least to outsiders) that experts have predicted her future presidency.

Many have said that AOC is more than a politician, she’s an influencer. As a Congresswoman, she knows how to turn social media into political power – though she is certainly not the first political figure to leverage new media into fame and influence. Television enabled Martin Luther King to rise to national consequence just as TV news was coming into its own in the late 1950s. The same can perhaps be said for John F. Kennedy also famously drew power from his mastery of television, and Franklin D. Roosevelt from radio.

It’s hard to draw comparisons between older figures who mastered other forms of media, but clearly Ocasio-Cortez has utilized social media as effectively as anyone in the county. She is basically one of two elected officials in America who can, with one tweet, change the entire line of public discourse for the day. The other is Donald Trump, which gives you an idea of her stature.

Her politics and star power is even shaping the current strategy for retaking the Supreme Court of the United States.

Credit: Yegor Aleyev / Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) is in charge of shaping the Democrats’ agenda in the Senate. Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Schumer and AOC appeared together at a joint press conference to discuss how they would move forward with regards to the Supreme Court.

It was a striking moment because, for months, AOC has refused to rule out challenging Schumer from the left come 2022. “I don’t know,” she said this spring of a potential primary race. “Honestly, this news cycle is so insane, who knows where any of us are going to be in 2022?”

But even her potential challenge to his seat seems to be influencing Schumer’s move from proud centrist to loud liberal. When asked about the possibility of Senate Democrats adding Supreme Court seats or eliminating the filibuster entirely if they win back the majority, Schumer responded this way: “Well, it will be a decision that is … comes to the Senate. We first have to win the majority before that can happen. But once we win the majority, God willing, everything is on the table.”

That response is a reflection of just how aware Schumer is of the potential threat AOC poses to him in a 2022 Democratic primary — and how much he is going out of his way to move to the ideological left to shut down the possibility.

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