“Vote blue no matter who” is a common refrain in this election, one meant both to underscore the urgency of getting Donald Trump out of office as well as to chastise Democratic voters who were so unhappy with Hillary Clinton as the nominee that they stayed home or voted third party in 2016. But the refrain has new meaning now that Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls, prompting some alleged Vote Blue diehards to waffle on whether or not they’ll support any Democrat who wins the nomination. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would like everyone to please calm down.
In an interview with Time published Sunday night, AOC, who is currently serving as a Bernie Sanders surrogate in Iowa, said she hoped all Democrats would support the eventual nominee, Sanders obviously included. “Bernie has said this, I absolutely believe this: whoever gets the nomination, we have to rally behind them, no matter who it is,” she said. “And I would hope that everybody would do so if Bernie is the nominee as well.”
A potential Sanders nomination seems to be riling the Democratic Party—Clinton, for instance, has openly criticized Sanders and his supporters, though she said on Twitter last month that she will support whoever wins the nomination. NBC News reported over the weekend that former Secretary of State John Kerry was considering getting into the race in an effort to draw support from Sanders (Kerry says he’s not running). Alleged #NeverTrumper Bret Stephens seems much less concerned about a second Trump term than he is about a potential Sanders or Elizabeth Warren presidency, probably because he’s a rich white dude who will never have to worry about immigration or overturning Roe v. Wade.
All this has led to some speculation that the Democratic Party will try to mess with the nomination process if Sanders does seem to rise to the top. AOC told Time that would be a bad move on the Dems’ part:
Ocasio-Cortez also discouraged Democrats from using party rules or other mechanisms to block Sanders if he advances. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for people to try to use superdelegate or other kind of subversive policies to deny anybody the nomination because it’s incredibly divisive to do so, and very demoralizing, which is a direct threat in November,” she said, adding, “The moment you start playing games trying to deny whoever is the nominee, we really start to get into dangerous territory in terms of defeating Trump.”
And to think, we’ve only just made it to Iowa.