She’s about to be just one of 435 members of the House of Representatives, but Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortzez has been getting a lot of press.
There are three reasons for that: The 29-year-old former bartender is the House’s youngest member; She knocked off a one of the most powerful Democrats, Rep. Joe Crowley, to win her seat; And she never stops talking — which the media absolutely loves.
Usually when you’re new on a job, you keep a low profile, listen to your superiors and focus on the work at hand. But Ocasio-Cortez has done just the opposite, even joining a protest right outside the office of soon-to-be Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Not everyone — even in her own party — is agog about the newcomer.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who lost her re-election campaign in November, has been vocal about her befuddlement over the buzz surrounding a House member who hasn’t even been sworn in yet.
“I’m a little confused why she’s the thing,” McCaskill said on CNN last week.
“A bright, shiny new object. Came out of nowhere and surprised people when she beat a very experienced congressman. And so she’s now talked about a lot. I’m not sure what she’s done yet to generate that kind of enthusiasm.”
“The rhetoric is cheap. Getting results is a lot harder,” McCaskill added as she offered a piece of advice. “I hope she also realizes that the parts of the country that are rejecting the Democratic Party, like a whole lot of white working class voters, need to hear about how their work is going to be respected, and the dignity of their jobs, and how we can really stick to issues that we can actually accomplish something on,” she said.
But Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist pushing free health care for everyone, fired back on Saturday.
“Not sure why fmr Sen. McCaskill keeps going on TV to call me a ‘thing’ and ‘shiny object,’ but it’s pretty disappointing,” she wrote on Twitter. “McCaskill promised she’d ‘100% back Trump up’ on his anti-immigrant rhetoric & lost. In MO, almost all progressive ballot issues won.”
And she got rolling.