Obama Snubs Ocasio-Cortez in First Wave of 2020 Endorsements

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., prepares to do a television interview on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 27, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Former President Barack Obama unveiled a list of 2020 endorsements, backing dozens of progressives but prominently failing to formally endorse “Squad” leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

“I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic, and highly qualified Democrats,” Obama wrote on social media, providing a list of his first wave of endorsements and encouraging individuals to vote for them, whether by mail or in person.

“They make me optimistic not just about our party’s chances in November, but about our country’s future long after that,” he wrote in a Medium post:

The former president’s list — covering 118 candidates across Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia — contains several recognizable names, from California’s Rep. Katie Porter (D) to North Carolina’s Gov. Roy Cooper (D).

However, Ocasio-Cortez — a prominent progressive — is noticeably absent from Obama’s list of New York endorsements.

His New York endorsements are as follows:

Jackie Gordon, U.S. House, NY-02
Max Rose, U.S. House, NY-11
Jamaal Bowman, U.S. House, NY-16
Mondaire Jones, U.S. House, NY-17
Antonio Delgado, U.S. House, NY-19
Dana Balter, U.S. House, NY-24

Obama did not immediately offer Ocasio-Cortez his endorsement in 2018 but included her in his second wave of endorsements in October of that year.

Notably, Obama also did not endorse his own former running mate, Joe Biden (D), until April, after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Biden’s final viable challenger, dropped out of the primary.

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