You might want to view it as the Greening of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.
New York’s most popular (sorry, Chuck)—and most-controversial Member of Congress (she’s the co-author of the Green New Deal, an early draft of which pledged financial aid to “those unwilling to work” as well as those unable to do so) may have taken her first giant step into the Democratic mainstream with the jettisoning of her abrasive Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti.
Officially, he left that job Aug. 2 for a position with New Consensus, a nonprofit that deals with climate issues including the Green New Deal. But more than likely, AOC gave the man whose name rhymes with Whack the Party a strong nudge toward the door after a series of early-summer tweets in which he disparaged House Democrats for voting in favor of a border-relief bill that his boss and several other progressive Congresswomen believed didn’t go nearly far enough.
Mr. Chakrabarti, violating congressional protocol in which staffers don’t publicly criticize members, labeled the moderate Democrats who had opposed as politically problematic a more-expansive aid package “new Southern Democrats” in a tweet that claimed they “certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the ‘40s.”
He took pains to single out for criticism Kansas U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, one of two Native Americans in Congress, saying she had enabled a “racist system” by voting for the package, which not incidentally had been backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Democratic House leaders, using their caucus’s Twitter account, had responded, “Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color?”
Ms. Pelosi wasn’t through: she subsequently told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd regarding AOC and three other first-year Members, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Talib, who branded themselves The Squad after stirring up a few controversies of their own, “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”
That bit of dissing was the talk of D.C. for a few days, and then President Trump kicked it into another gear with his tweet saying of the Squad members, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.” That in turn led to some of his supporters chanting during a rally, “Send them back,” notwithstanding the inconvenient truth that three of the four women were born in the U.S.
Mr. Trump’s race-baiting apparently convinced the Democratic women that it was better to mend fences than continue the internal sniping, which led to a meeting between Ms. Pelosi and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. More than likely, one product of that sit-down was the departure of Mr. Chakrabarti from the staff of the woman he had helped to upset 10-term Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley 14 months ago.
His exit was announced at the same time that it was disclosed that AOC’s director of communications, Corbin Trent, would be leaving that position to work on her re-election campaign.
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While Vice President Joe Biden still holds a double-digit lead over his opponents for the Democratic presidential nomination, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was judged the best performer in the two debates July 30 and 31 and earned a bump of six points from a poll taken just prior to their being held, according to one released Aug. 6 by Quinnipiac University. Among 807 voters nationwide, Mr. Biden was the choice of 32 percent, Ms. Warren of 21 percent and Bernie Sanders of 14 percent. Kamala Harris slid back to just 7 percent.
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