While a number of people are excited about the newest young face in Congress, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one outgoing member, doesn’t seem to understand all the hype around her.
Speaking to CNN, outgoing Missouri Democratic Senator Clair McCaskill suggested that her party needs to heed caution toward some of the incoming politicians such as Ocasio-Cortez, whom she referred to as a “bright shiny new object” who shocked people when she beat out 20-year incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary.
“And so she’s now talked about a lot. I’m not sure what she’s done yet to generate that kind of enthusiasm but I wish her well,” McCaskill said. “I hope she hangs the moon.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who is now the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, doted major policy changes during her campaign, including, Business Insider noted, Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee and tuition-free college. For McCaskill, however, her words mean nothing until she proves that she can follow through on them.
“The rhetoric is cheap,” she said. “Getting results is a lot harder.”
And while Ocasio-Cortez has argued that her bold policy proposals have gone over well among working-class voters across the political spectrum, McCaskill warned that not everyone may see them as a top priority and that making promises that do not get fulfilled may cause more people to reject the party.
“I hope she 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 job, and how we can really stick to issues that we can actually accomplish something on,” the outgoing senator said.
McCaskill will be leaving office after serving two terms in the Senate, losing her bid for a third term during this year’s midterm elections to 38-year-old Republican candidate Josh Hawley, whom she related to Ocasio-Cortez by also labeling him a “bright shining object,” and attributed his lack of experience partially to his win.
As for the Republican party as a whole, McCaskill revealed during her CNN exit interview that while it’s members publicly support President Donald Trump in fear of the backlash they may face, privately, they aren’t afraid to say what they really think of him.
“Now they’ll tell you if it’s just the two of you, ‘The guy is nuts,'” she said. “But in public, if they go after him…they know they get a primary, and they know that’s tough.”