Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has become a political force in Congress, though she admits an ascent into White House may not be in the cards.
Undoubtedly now one of the most recognizable faces in Washington, D.C., the 32-year-old ex-bartender first took office in 2018 when she defeated incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley. She has since been outspoken about issues related to the environment, reproductive rights, workers’ rights and economic inequality, and easily won re-election in 2020.
However, when asked if she thought she or someone like her would become president one day, Ocasio-Cortez expressed doubt because of her status as a woman of color in a white, male-dominated environment. While she believes “anything is possible,” she told GQ she’s is aware of the reality of her potential career trajectory.
“So many people in this country hate women,” she told GQ. “And they hate women of color…And it’s not just the right wing. Misogyny transcends political ideology: left, right, center.”
She’s often asked about future political plans though she’s unsure whether she could be successful against the “grip of patriarchy.”
“I admit to sometimes believing that I live in a country that would never let that happen,” she said.
Fundraising also remains a big question if she did decide to run for the highest office. She admitted that her opposition to Wall Street would be difficult to overcome in a national election.
John Kerry, a former Democratic presidential candidate and current special presidential envoy for climate, told GQ that he could see someone “like” Ocasio-Cortez becoming president but would not say whether it could be her specifically.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also had her tiffs with the young congresswoman. In 2019, Pelosi took a jab at Ocasio-Cortez’s election victory over Crowley in New York’s 14th District, saying a “glass of water would win with a D next to its name in those districts.”
Ocasio-Cortez made headlines in December 2020 when she said Pelosi and current Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer needed to leave their positions of leadership. It was due to a lack of preparation for the “next generation,” she said.
In her GQ interview, Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged that she did not have a “personal” relationship with Pelosi.
Schumer has in recent years adopted environmental and student loan debt forgiveness worldviews similar to those of Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats. But Ocasio-Cortez said that if she gave a speech like Biden or Schumer did, with “Green New Deal framing,” that she would be perceived as “radical, impossible, flippant, uninformed.”
“But now the president of the United States is saying it,” she said. “And so it feels very powerful because I wrote a lot of those words. That he wouldn’t be invoking these frames if it wasn’t for the work of movements and what we pushed.”
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