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14 Jan, 2019 21:37

Sanders looking to hire Ocasio-Cortez media team amid 2020 rumors – report

Sanders looking to hire Ocasio-Cortez media team amid 2020 rumors – report

Senator Bernie Sanders is looking to hire the media firm that helped newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) shoot to political stardom last year, fueling speculation that he will announce a 2020 bid for the US presidency.

According to Politico, the Vermont senator has entered talks with Means of Production, the team which created a viral campaign video for Ocasio-Cortez ahead of her stunning primary victory against ten-term incumbent Joe Crowley — an upset which shook the Democratic establishment.

Means of Production was launched by Naomi Burton and Nick Hayes, two activists involved with the Democratic Socialists of America. They won widespread praise from progressives after producing the Ocasio-Cortez campaign launch video, which received 300,000 views in one day and more than 4.6 million views overall.

Burton told Politico that the Detroit-based firm had “certainly been talking” with Sanders’s team, adding that if the senator launched a bid for 2020, he would be the “only” candidate the company would want to work for. Apparently parodying US President Donald Trump’s mannerisms, Burton said that Means of Production would create “big, beautiful ads” for Sanders.

Sanders has also been rushing to recruit former staffers from his 2016 campaign, according to the report – including digital fundraising director Tim Tagaris and digital production director Robin Curran. A number of other staffers from the 2016 campaign are also reportedly being brought on board.

If he runs again, Sanders will likely have a digital media and social media juggernaut ready to roll, unlike many other candidates in the crowded Democratic primary field.

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It’s not all good news for Sanders, however. Some former campaign staffers have decided to jump ship and lend their support to Beto O’Rourke, a Texas Democrat who has emerged as one of the party superstars, despite losing the 2018 Senate race against the incumbent Republican Ted Cruz. O’Rourke is also wildly popular on social media, and rumored to be considering running for president.

Sanders represents the more socialist wing of the Democratic Party, which has seen its popularity grow since 2016. The sudden prominence and popularity of Ocasio-Cortez, a Sanders protégé, has worried establishment Democrats and Republicans alike.

The Vermont independent would likely hope to capitalize on the growing popularity of more socialist ideals, among younger Democrats in particular, if he launched a new bid for 2020. He lost to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary due to what some claimed was a concerted effort by the official party structure to ensure that his campaign was sidelined in favor of the more establishment-minded Clinton.

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