Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stressed the importance of broad progressive priorities during a brief speech to the virtual Democratic National Convention Tuesday night that made no mention of the party's nominee.
The New York Democrat, who was given a 60-second slot as part of her role in the symbolic nomination of Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, opened her speech by offering her thanks to a “mass people’s movement working to establish 21st century social, economic, and human rights, including guaranteed health care, higher education, living wages, and labor rights for all people in the United States.”
She ended by formally seconding the nomination of Sanders, I-Vt., to be her party's presidential nominee, a procedural move. Joe Biden officially claimed the party's nomination moments later.
“In a time when millions of people in the United States are looking for deep systemic solutions to our crises of mass evictions, unemployment, and lack of health care, and espíritu del pueblo and out of a love for all people, I hereby second the nomination of Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America,” she said.
The convention proceedings Tuesday included a formal roll call of delegates, an archaic procedure by which each candidate who won sufficient support during the primaries and caucuses to receive delegates can then be nominated for president (unless the candidate has already turned over those delegates to the presumptive nominee). It’s all part of the convention process of actually nominating the party’s nominee.
That she nominated Sanders at a convention designed to formally nominate Biden, however, caused a bit of confusion on Twitter among those who tuned in. Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter after her speech to clear up the point of her remarks.
It came as little surprise that Ocasio-Cortez — like Sanders, a democratic socialist — was invited to formally back Sanders, who she also endorsed and campaigned for during the primaries.
But it was notable that Ocasio-Cortez — one of the most outspoken, progressive and youngest members of Congress — spent no time pushing the specific policies that she and Sanders have championed. She did not mention by name any of the signature policies that she and Sanders support, including the Green New Deal or Medicare for All, nor did she namecheck Joe Biden or President Donald Trump.
The convention organizers' decision to give the Ocasio-Cortez only a minute of speaking time rankled activists who noted that former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, had more time to speak at the Democrats’ convention on Monday. (Kasich had criticized Ocasio-Cortez in an interview prior to the event kicking off as not being "representative" of the Democratic Party, and she responded sharply on Twitter.)
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At the same time, in a tweet posted hours before Tuesday night’s convention programming kicked off, Ocasio-Cortez, who is known for stinging her critics on social media, said she’d aptly be able to “speak to progressive values in 60 secs,” noting that she has been able to “regularly roast Trump sycophants in 280 characters or less.”
Her speech was similar in length to other nominating speeches.