Will be interesting to see over next few months if she does fall into the line and adapts more traditional and suppressed means of doing business in Washington.
The effort, described by nearly 20 lawmakers and aides, is part carrot, part stick: Some lawmakers with ties to Ocasio-Cortez are hoping to coax her into using her star power to unite Democrats and turn her fire on Republicans. Others simultaneously warn Ocasio-Cortez is destined for a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.
“I’m sure Ms. Cortez means well, but there’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). “We just don’t need sniping in our Democratic Caucus.”
Incumbent Democrats are most annoyed by Ocasio-Cortez’s threat to back primary opponents against members of their ranks she deems too moderate. But their frustration goes beyond that: Democratic leaders are upset that she railed against their new set of House rules on Twitter the first week of the new Congress. Rank and file are peeved that there’s a grassroots movement to try to win her a top committee post they feel she doesn’t deserve.
So far, most of them have kept their criticism of Ocasio-Cortez private, fearful she’ll sic her massive following on them by firing off a tweet. But a few are engaging with her in the hopes she’ll opt for a different M.O., especially when it comes to trying to take out Democrats in primaries.
Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) is playing a key role. Like Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez knocked off a longtime Democratic incumbent to win her seat, and they share Puerto Rican roots.
In private conversations with Ocasio-Cortez over the past few months, Velázquez counseled Ocasio-Cortez against targeting her Democratic colleagues in future elections. The two had a “long, long conversation” about the dynamics of Congress and Washington, and how there shouldn’t be a “litmus test” for every district, Velázquez said in a recent interview.
“I think she needs to give herself an opportunity to know her colleagues and to give herself a sense of the chemistry of the body before passing judgment on anyone or anything,” said Rep. Yvette Clarke, a fellow New York Democrat.
“She’s new here, feeling her way around,” added Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.). “She doesn’t understand how the place works yet.”
Ocasio-Cortez is an enigma to most House Democrats. She’s very friendly in person, chatting up fellow lawmakers and security workers in the Capitol as she’s tailed by admirers and reporters.
Then they see the Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter, where she frequently snaps at critics and occasionally at fellow Democrats.
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/11/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-democrats-establisment-1093728House Democrats were also unhappy when she made a play for a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Lawmakers suspected Ocasio-Cortez was behind a massive online campaign pressing Pelosi to appoint her to the panel, though her office said she was not.
Critics inside the caucus felt she didn't deserve it, given her lack of professional experience on tax issues and her status as a freshman.
“It totally pissed off everyone,” said one senior House Democratic lawmaker of the campaign. “You don’t get picked for committees by who your grass-roots [supporters] are.”