Barack Obama waded back into politics last week, publishing a list of 81 endorsements for the November midterm elections – a list which curiously did not feature New York’s rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez, who identifies as a Democratic Socialist, pulled off a stunning victory back in June when she defeated 10-term Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district primary after launching a massively successful grassroots campaign.
Various theories have been put forward as to why Obama “snubbed” the 28-year-old up-and-comer in his party. Some have noted that this is just the “first wave” of Obama endorsements, and that he quite possibly will endorse her later, while others say that he is not quite ready to attach his name to Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of Democratic Socialism, particularly given the unease it is causing among more traditional Democrats. There’s also the theory that he didn’t endorse her because, in her very left-leaning New York district, she is regarded as an absolute shoo-in come November.
Whatever the reason, and whether Obama endorses her or not, it is still as clear as day that there is now a big split in the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez’s primary win sent shivers down the spines of establishment figures everywhere.