An avowed socialist who blasted the leftist father of community organizing Saul Alinsky as a “paternalistic” moderate who “disparaged the idea of revolutionary change” is one of the top advisers to Beto O’Rourke in his 2020 White House bid.
Becky Bond, who was a senior aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign, has been floated as O’Rourke’s campaign manager. She was an organizer for his 2018 Senate run against Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz.
Her prominent role with the former Texas congressman highlights the clash on the Left between Sanders, who leads in many early 2020 polls, and O’Rourke. She is understood to have had a falling out with Sanders at the end of 2016.
Bond, 49, sports a rose emoji, the international symbol for socialism, in her Twitter handle and co-wrote a 2016 book Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything. The Texas Observer has described her as something of a legend in progressive organizing circles.
Before working for Sanders, Bond was political director of the activist group CREDO. She co-founded CREDO SuperPAC, which helped defeat five sitting Tea Party Republican congressmen. She lives in San Francisco with her partner Emily McVarish.
Rules for Revolutionaries was written by Bond and Zack Exley, who was also a senior Sanders adviser. Its title was a reference to the founder of left-wing community organizing Saul Alinsky, whose 1971 book Rules for Radicals inspired a generation of leftists.
The book criticized Alinsky for not being radical enough.”For all the things Alinsky got right, he was explicitly looking to outflank the populist movement of his time and provide an alternative that was more palatable to the liberal elite,” they wrote.
Hiring Bond sends a message to Democratic primary voters who have previously questioned O’Rourke’s left-wing credentials. An analysis of his history in Congress found that the Texas congressman often voted with the GOP on pieces of key bills, leading to some progressive activists and writers to dismiss him as a moderate.
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