Three decades later, I asked the congresswoman that infant grew up with whether she now believes she has power. “That’s a good question,” Ocasio-Cortez replied, pausing to consider her answer. She says she doesn’t define power as domination over others, but that she feels power over her own choices. “Sometimes I don’t feel strong. Sometimes I feel so small, and sometimes I feel the least powerful here.” I asked another. Does she feel? politically strong?
“There is the political power of public opinion,” she told me. “There is the political power of social movements. Platforms have political power, and in those ways, I feel powerful. But since I got here, literally the first day, even before the first day, I’ve experienced a lot of target decline from my team. And the pervasiveness of that decline, sometimes it’s all-encompassing. Now I feel a little more solid on my feet. But can I say that I have the right to change the elected federal Democratic Party? No.”
Indeed, when she arrived, the response from parts of the already established Democratic Party was indispensable. “It was open hostility, open hostility before my presence, my existence,” Ocasio-Cortez recalls.
Her first days in Congress were destined to be difficult. Crowley still chairs the Democratic caucus, which means he’s there to guide new members. Each newly elected Democrat was presented to their colleagues with stadium-style music and intros. “From the first county of this state and that state,‘ said the congresswoman, imitating the voice of a booming broadcaster. “It will be like these loud applause and not like it. And then it came to me. And obviously the reception wasn’t the same, just a tingle of applause.”
At one point when Crowley was on stage, Ocasio-Cortez recounted that an older male member of Congress sat down beside her, gestured to Crowley, and appeared to have no idea who he was talking to. , speak, It’s a shame that girl won. “I turned around and said, ‘You know that’s me, right?’ ‘, she recalls. “And apparently, his face turned pale.”
Crowley was once a revered figure, and his defeat became a traumatic event for many elected Democrats. If he could be beaten, by a bartender no more, no less, are any of them safe? Ocasio-Cortez quickly became an icon – a representative, more than a fully realized person – whose every utterance could be exploited for implications of the Democratic Party’s ideological split. Ownership and political status during the tumultuous Trump era.
Every move she makes is a breaking news banner. President Trump soon grasped Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of “The Squad” – then a coalition of four progressive black congresswomen all elected in 2018 – as a front, leveling the racist attacks against them in his tweets and rallies. The women were flooded with death threats.
One month later During his election, in December 2018, Ocasio-Cortez had a two-hour lunch in the Senate Dining Room with Ed Markey, the Massachusetts senator involved in nearly every significant legislation effort. climate and environment for decades. His most recent attempt, in 2010, passed the House but not the Senate. That bill is 1,400 pages long. Now, together, they want to try again — and with a rule that’s only 14 pages long. Markey was immediately impressed. Markey told me, “It became clear to me that her knowledge was only in line with her express purpose. “We need a movement. She is the generational leader sparking a revolution that will change the political dynamics of how climate change is viewed in Washington.”
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