For the last few years, the consensus has been that the squad is pretty much united in just about everything. Here stand four young women of color who time and time again vote as far left as possible. But perhaps their group is not as cohesive as we thought.
This week squad member and Massachusetts US Representative Ayanna Pressley has made a decision that singles her out and puts significant distance between the other members.
She has chosen to endorse 2020 presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren. The other three members have made it clear that they support the Vermont senator and the communist favorite Bernie Sanders.
And this decision says a lot about Pressley, as well as the rest of the squad.
Firstly, it says that she might not be quite as radical as the others, or as we were led to believe. Warren, while still being a far left-wing candidate, is nearly so progressive as ever-candidate Bernie Sanders. And when Bernie ran in 2016, Pressley didn’t vote for him then either. She, instead, was a Hillary Clinton supporter. This alone says that she is a bit more centrist than the other members.
But it’s not just for elections or candidates that she has differed from her group members’ opinions. Just a few months back, the House voted whether or not to condemn the anti-Israel BDS movement. Only 17 members voted no. Squad members Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib seemed to lead the nos. And AOC was not far behind them.
And since the other three voted no, most just assumed that Pressley did too. However, she voted against the movement with a yes.
In fact, with all the press attention and times that AOC and Omar mostly, but even Tlaib, has been in the spotlight to point out their extreme leftist views, it would be easy for just about anyone to assume that Pressley has just tagged along. It would be simple to mistake her for having the same sort of rationale, beliefs, or characteristics that the others do.
However, we apparently would be wrong.
And this vote for Warren proves it more than anything. Perhaps she no longer wants to be criticized for the squad’s ideals and extreme views. Maybe, she is using this opportunity to position herself a separate entity from the rest.
But maybe she has also chosen this candidate for far more realistic reasons.
As I mentioned before, Pressley is from Massachusetts, as is Warren. Now, if Warren won the nomination and then the presidency, Pressley knows it would leave a senior senator seat open in her state.
Naturally, if this came to pass, Pressley would not be the only state official rushing to claim that seat. However, if one of the aspiring senators were to say, endorse the would-be president-elect and help her claim a victory, then that new president might then help to push things along so a certain someone could be ensured of a recently vacated seat.
Therefore, it stands to reason that Pressley could be breaking from her pack for a slightly more selfish motive, one that stands to bring her career advantages.
And Pressley finds herself in just the right position to offer such an arrangement for Warren. She, after all, is one of the few that can provide such left-wing credibility that comes with being a part of the squad. The squad for the last few years has proved to be the future of the party and the left in particular. they are all young, women, of a minority group, and not afraid to voice their opinions, no matter how outrageous they may seem.
In a race against the farthest left candidate ever, Bernie Sanders, Warren could use a little more of that in her campaign. Sure, she already proves herself to be somewhat progressive. But in comparison to Sanders, she lacks a bit. Pressley helps prove to constituents that you don’t have to vote for Bernie just because you are progressive. And she points to Warren as a viable alternative.
Pressley also adds to Warren’s campaign by being a minority, and in particular, of African American descent. So far in the race, Warren has struggled to gain the vast numbers of black votes that Sanders has. But Pressley could change that for her.
And then who would owe a favor to who? Yes, we have no doubts this a wise move for Pressley, but maybe not for the squad.