Sanders is a candidate who presents himself less as a personality than a conduit for a movement. And in the Bernie bubble, Ocasio-Cortez is seen as the future of the movement embodied. What makes her so effective as a surrogate, beyond her star power, is that if you campaign on electing a movement rather that a person, there’s no difference between hearing the message from the 78-year-old white male candidate or his 30-year-old Latina supporter. The perception among her supporters is that a vote for Sanders is also a vote for Ocasio-Cortez to continue her rise.
The vision he offered was of a capitalism that would be judged, he said, “not just by how much it produces, but how widely it shares; how good it does for how many; and how well it takes care of all of us.”
The speech amounted to an effort to guide his party toward a vision for how to tackle one of the most salient issues facing the country: the growing divide between the very rich and everyone else.