Stories about Democrats threatened by the success of a young politician make sense in a couple of ways.
Are Democrats threatened by the victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? It seems so. In the first place, she is very young and DNC leadership is getting very old. If Democratic voters are no longer impressed by their elderly leaders, one could see that Ocasio-Cortez represents a possible change in the Party.
But she also represents a shrinking and more extreme Democratic Party. As Representative Gregory Meeks points out in the story below, how is a more radical Leftist message going to give Democrats the House?
The Hill reports, “New Dem star to rattle DC establishment.”
Democrats are racing to figure out how to handle Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose primary win over a longtime incumbent is set to shake up the party’s Washington establishment.
Ocasio-Cortez’s shock victory over Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) made the 28-year-old an overnight sensation in the Big Apple and across the country, leading Democrats to bombard her with messages of congratulations and offers to cooperate in the future.
“The entire spectrum of House Democrats, party leadership, [campaign] leadership, is trying to assess what she wants to do and how ready she is to play ball,” said one Democratic source.
They want to know “how does her coming to Washington change my plan, or even help my plan?”
Democrats are largely thrilled to welcome the telegenic rising star to their ranks, though she is already ruffling some feathers.
Ocasio-Cortez plans to hit the campaign trail for at least three other Democratic candidates in primary races this year who are backed by Justice Democrats, a PAC that supports progressives.
That includes Missouri congressional candidate Cori Bush, a former teacher, registered nurse and pastor who is vying to unseat longtime Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay.
“We’re trying to take back the House, but it seems like they’re just trying to go after Democrats. It makes no sense,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), who vigorously defended Clay’s work on the Financial Services Committee. “I would hope that the new member coming in would … keep the eye on the prize.”
A source close to Ocasio-Cortez said the candidate is not interested in following the conventional Democratic playbook.
What’s the point, the source said, or “we’re gonna get the same results we have had for the last decade.”
Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said Democrats should take a lesson from Crowley, who accepted his defeat by serenading Ocasio-Cortez with a version of “Born to Run.”
“If we’re smart we’ll welcome her with open arms,” said Welch.
He nonetheless acknowledged that some Democrats may hold a grudge.
“We’re members of Congress,” he quipped. “We have a tendency to get things wrong as frequently as possible.”
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