Why the progessive movement is suddenly torn over AOC

In the past few weeks, Ocasio-Cortez Likewise chided Sander’s supporter for online harassment and provided gentle criticism of Sanders and some of his allies to “conflict-based”. The steps were surprisingly praised by some moderate and experienced Democrats.

“The Democratic Party is the coalition party, not a cult,” said James Carville, a top strategist for Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign and vocal critic of Sanders during the primaries. “I’ve been watching her. I think she’s really talented, that she’s really smart. Maybe she concludes – I don’t speak for her – that she wants to be part of the coalition.”

Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Think Tanks Center for American Progress and longtime advisor to Hillary Clinton, described the move from Ocasio-Cortez as a “sign of leadership”.

“There are some people on the left who thought that their views were a strong majority, and the primary process has shown that voters are divided that Sanders wins a minority and a minority less than four years ago,” said Tanden.

Instead of supporting the entire list of incumbent judicial democratic challengers, Ocasio-Cortez launched her own PAC earlier this year, which focuses more on choosing progressives in Republican-held or vacant seats. Ocasio-Cortez declined to be interviewed, but her new communications director, Lauren Hitt, noted that Bush’s area code was still a few months away on August 4 and that the Congresswoman was monitoring other area codes.

“We usually don’t support so far out there,” said Hitt. However, Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Newman six months before her elementary school and supported Cisneros more than four months before her.

Of course, it is more difficult to support a primary challenger as an outsider than as an incumbent who works with the people who want to remove them. Some of the campaigns for established challengers said they understood this dynamic, but still hoped things could be different.

Bush campaign manager Isra Allison told POLITICO: “We support AOC and the work it has done and the attention it has brought to these important issues, although there is no confirmation this time.” Our opinion of this surpasses any recent decision you make. “

“It is believed to be in a precarious position to support incumbent challengers in Congress at all,” said Brandon Sharp, a senior adviser to Morgan Harper, a Democratic candidate-in-law candidate who challenges Rep. Joyce Beatty in Ohio . This primary was scheduled for earlier this month, but was delayed due to the spread of the novel corona virus. Sharp added that the campaign has not officially asked for confirmation.

Justice Democratic advisers said Ocasio-Cortez remains the most anti-establishment Democrat in Congress. They pointed to fundraising and advocacy work that she has already done for Cisneros and Newman. Cisneros lost her race while Newman won.

“I can’t imagine an elected politician doing more to support primary challengers and a new generation of advanced leadership in the Democratic Party than they are,” said the group’s spokesman, Waleed Shahid.

Still some left followers were less in love with the development of Ocasio-Cortez. However, many hesitated to speak publicly, given their stature and the fact that Sander’s expected loss made them a likely heir to his movement.

The changes go beyond rhetoric and include staff. Two of her oldest helpers, who worked on her insurgent campaign, left her operation – chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti, co-founder of the Justice Democrats, left in August, and communications director Corbin Trent left her team earlier this month.

Some Ocasio-Cortez employees thought Trent was hurting them by calling for tactics they thought were politically foolhardy. An ally recalled that Trent wanted Ocasio-Cortez to go beyond Medicare for All and introduce a fully nationalized health care system like the UK to further expand the boundaries of the debate.

Trent’s advocates in the advanced world believe that his willingness to make enemies and his indifference to what Pelosi thought has helped bring ideas like the Green New Deal into the mainstream.

Trent who works declined to comment on Sander’s presidential campaign.

Hitt’s hiring as a replacement for Trent speaks for Ocasio-Cortez’s new approach. As an experienced agent, Hitt has worked for more moderate Democrats like Governor John Hickenlooper and Rep. Beto O’Rourke during their recent presidential offerings, and for left-wing candidates like former New York governor candidate Cynthia Nixon.

Hitt said in a statement that “many employees have stayed out of the campaign – including their deputy district director, their political director for the campaign, and their field director for the campaign – and several junior staff.”

Chakrabarti was a fire on the hill. After Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in November 2018, he earned enemies in the democratic caucus by saying, “We have to be primary people.” They were angry in June when he called some members “new Southern Democrats”.

Ocasio-Cortez replaced him with legislative director Ariel Eckblad, who joined her office in January 2019 after working for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

Chakrabarti praised Ocasio-Cortez and her approach. “It’s hard to imagine someone who had more influence than you in your first year as a congressman,” he told POLITICO.

Other progressives said Ocasio-Cortez’s more accommodating stance was a smart long-term strategy for a movement that was looking for a way forward. “She speaks in a way to create a majority in a way that Bernie is not interested in,” said Max Berger, former director of progressive public relations in Elizabeth Warren’s campaign, who also worked for Justice Democrats.

“If Bernie is Moses, then AOC is Joshua,” added Berger, referring to the biblical prophets.

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