Dana Milbank: Ocasio-Cortez just did Democrats a big favor

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Ocasio-Cortez, who less than a year ago was earning money by waiting tables while she launched her winning campaign, said that the outcome came as a surprise.

A 28-year-old socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, toppled the 10-term chair of the House Democratic Caucus in a NY primary on Tuesday and now stands to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. In an interview with a local news station, Ocasio-Cortez was quizzed on how she'd pay for policies like a jobs guarantee, and what it would mean to defund ICE.

"We beat a machine with a movement, and that is what we have done today", Ocasio-Cortez said in her victory speech. She said, "I believe that in a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live".

Crowley was seen as one of the likeliest candidates to succeed Pelosi as minority leader or Speaker of the House, potentially as soon as at the end of this year if she failed to muster enough support.

Crowley outspent Ocasio-Cortez ten to one, but Ocasio-Cortez's used Crowley's corporate contributions against him, making the race about the people in her district versus Crowley's corporate donors.

On her wish list are lots of things unlikely to pass a Congress held by either Republicans or centrist Democrats.

Voters in her district responded by giving her almost 60% of their vote, despite the mainstream news ignoring her and her opponent outspending her 18 to 1.

A viral Twitter post noted how less than a year ago Ocasio-Cortez was working in a bar in NY.

For his part, Crowley was gracious in defeat, saying he looks forward to supporting Ocasio-Cortez in November.

On Tuesday night, he reiterated his support.


Crowley blew off two debates with Ocasio-Cortez, earning him a scathing critique in the New York Times.

"You have given this country hope, you have given this country proof that when you knock on your neighbour's door, when you come to them with love, when you let them know that no matter your stance, you are there for them - that we can make change", she said.

"We spoke to communities that had typically been, I think, dismissed, and they responded", she added.

A trio of young progressives are attempting to beat three longtime Democratic incumbents in NY on Tuesday, something no challenger has done so far this primary season. "There's a radical empathy that she has with people". But to those who were paying attention to New York City's outer boroughs, the young liberal Latina's victory was not so shocking.

In a campaign ad, she said going into politics was never the plan.

Certainly we've seen so far this year that, particularly on the Democratic party side, there is an unprecedented number of female candidates who are running and have won primaries.

"I salute Chairman Crowley for a formidable legacy of achievement for the people of New York", Pelosi concluded. "Everything about Ocasio-Cortez, they could get from that fact about her", he said.

THIS is how we win.

"If there was any doubt that their party has moved drastically to the left, Democrats just elected a self-avowed socialist over the current chair of the House Democratic Caucus", Republican National Committee (RNC) Rapid Response Director Michael Ahrens wrote Tuesday.

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