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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) at the Capitol on Friday, March 27, 2020. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images)

DNC Appears Ready to Sideline Progressive Standout Ocasio-Cortez at Upcoming Convention

"You want Bill Clinton to speak but maybe not AOC. Okay, dummies."

Eoin Higgins

Progressives expressed their discontent with the Democratic establishment Friday after reporting from Politico indicated that it was "unclear" if popular Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be guaranteed a speaking slot at the party's convention.

"It would be stupid not to give" Ocasio-Cortez a role at the convention, Corbin Trent, a former top adviser to the New York Democrat, told Politico. "She's one of the best speakers the Democratic Party's got."

As Politico reported, the convention has lined up a number of party stalwarts and leaders, including more centrist types like former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State and 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton, as well as progressives like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). 

The party has also invited former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, to speak in a show of anti-Trump unity that goes past party. 

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a powerful member of the party's centrist wing, told Politico that he doubted Ocasio-Cortez would be offered a role at the convention. 

"I think Bernie and Warren will speak, and they'll represent the progressive wing of the party very ably," said Rendell. 

Kasich's inclusion and Ocasio-Cortez's possible exclusion rankled advocates and activists on the left.

"You want Bill Clinton to speak but maybe not AOC," tweeted progressive activist and former Sanders campaign advisor Winnie Wong. "Okay, dummies."

Calling the decision "classic Dem shit," journalist Paul Blest opined it was unlikely that the party would ever see a repeat of former President Barack's famous keynote speech at the 2004 convention that propelled him to political stardom and the White House.

"She's one of the three most visible and culturally relevant politicians in the country," said Blest, "and she's particularly popular among young and left-leaning people, two blocs Biden needs even more in states like Wisconsin where the margin is narrow."


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