Everyone’s Obsessed with AOC

The freshman Congresswoman is getting it from all sides.

The cluster of stories atop political aggregator memeorandum this morning is amusing:

I haven’t looked into the dueling stories about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff. I’ll wait until it’s either debunked or makes it to more reputable outlets. Ditto the attacks from Greenpeace.

I have little interest in her opinion on Venezuelan politics and she has no obligation to announce one.

Meanwhile, I have no opinion whatsoever as to whether AOC should marry her boyfriend. But, geez mom. In an ideal world, AOC should marry her boyfriend—whether this one or a future iteration—before having kids.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jen says:

    This obsession is all so very weird. I keep thinking at some point, people will settle down and wait until she actually does something substantive, but then we’re treated to this…bizarre collection.

    Her line of questioning at the Cohen hearing was interesting and thoughtful. It is of course disappointing that that is notable (shouldn’t ALL of the questions be thoughtful?), but my guess is that some of this is blow back from that favorable coverage–which, again, should be the standard.

  2. James Joyner says:

    @Jen: Mostly, she came out of nowhere to defeat a senior Democratic leader nobody thought vulnerable and then catapulted herself to celebrity status by a combination of youth, good looks, taking some well-left-of-center positions, and being incredibly savvy with social media.

  3. Thomm says:

    Also, she speaks an authentic left wing populist message that doesn’t alienate the shifting base of her party. A surprisingly accomplished person that doesn’t try to overtly broadcast it. She is a future threat that must be snuffed early.

  4. Thomm says:

    Sorry. I am a fan. I am actually amazed on how well, in general she has handled the spotlight.

  5. Jen says:

    @James Joyner: Sure, agreed. I expected some of this, but not the sustained, near-constant coverage as the screen capture above shows.

    @Thomm: Agree here too. I keep trying to think back to when I was that age, and there’s no way I would have been as self-assured and had such a sophisticated response to the public glare/scrutiny. Then again, I’m fairly introverted so probably not the best person to try to quantify this. 🙂

  6. Teve says:
  7. MarkedMan says:

    This just speaks to the vapidity of the current crop of “conservatives”. They aren’t “for” anything, instead they spend their time on this nonsense. But if it wasn’t her it would be some other woman or a black man.

  8. Kit says:

    Early days, but she’s simply been electric so far. Being in the right place at the right time and saying the right thing can just sort of happen now and then. But she seems to make it happen. I’m reserving judgement, but she has my attention.

  9. James Joyner says:

    @Teve: Hoooooly. Between the errors in grade school grammar and punctuation and the racism, that’s quite a franchise he’s got going there.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    Though she frequently starts my eyes rolling, I do enjoy AOC’s passion. But when I saw the Memeorandum links copied above I did think WTF?

  11. reid says:

    The rightwing is finally starting to run out of steam with Hillary (to put it mildly), so they need someone new to demonize.

  12. Teve says:

    @James Joyner: that’s the third AOC cartoon he’s done in the last month. Believe it or not, the other two are even less creative.

  13. Hal_10000 says:

    @James Joyner:

    catapulted herself to celebrity status by a combination of youth, good looks, taking some well-left-of-center positions, and being incredibly savvy with social media.

    This, I think, is a big part because she works in an industry where most people are none of these things. That makes her a bit of a novelty. I have sort of mixed feelings about her. I like her enthusiasm and the way she exposed the kind of lobbying Congresscritters are exposed to early on. I think she’s very naive about how politics and economics work but frequently does her homework (as we saw in the Cohen questioning). I agree with her once every few weeks, disagree with her a lot. But overall, I’m positive on her. I’m conservative and obviously prefer a conservative Congress. But with 535 members, we can tolerate the occasional AOC.

  14. Teve says:

    Washington free beacon
    Gateway pundit
    Fox news
    The blaze
    New York post (Murdoch, for those who don’t know)
    Daily caller
    Pj media
    The new neo(conservative)
    Watt’s up with that (climate denial)
    Front page magazine (David Horowitz)
    Daily mail (conservative tabloid)
    Climate Depot (more GOP climate denial)

    I know she’s getting attention from liberal/neutral media, but these conservatives are obsessed.

  15. Teve says:

    I think she’s very naive about how politics and economics work but frequently does her homework

    She must have done her homework to, you know, get a BA in economics from Boston University.

  16. Kathy says:

    Seeing how the right is so afraid of her, it’s a pity we can’t clone and army of Alexandrias to solve the world’s Trump problem.

  17. Kylopod says:

    I hate to nurse people’s worst nightmare, but if Trump wins reelection, especially if it’s against an old white moderate like Joe Biden, I think AOC would be instantly catapulted to front-runner status for 2024–despite the fact that she’d be barely old enough to qualify and unprecedentedly young (she turns 35 in Oct. 2024).

  18. Tim D says:

    Long-time reader, occasional commenter, and (full disclosure) a Greenpeace staffer. Just to correct the record, Greenpeace did not attack AOC. The person who did — Patrick Moore — was not a co-founder of Greenpeace and hasn’t worked for the organization since the 1980s. He is now is a climate denier and a television “anti-environmentalist” who uses the Greenpeace name to get press.


    You probably won’t be surprised to hear the Greenpeace actually supports the Green New Deal.


  19. James Joyner says:

    @Tim D: I’m a GND skeptic but am not the least bit surprised that Fox’s report was fake news.

  20. Tim Donaghy says:

    @James Joyner: Thanks! This is the world we live in apparently.

    And on the GND, I bet I could convince you it’s a good idea if I had a half hour… or to at least consider it. For me the main takeaway of the GND is that there are lots of really smart ideas out there for decarbonizing our economy, but they need lots of government help to get implemented at the scale and pace we need to avoid dangerous levels of warming.

    There probably was a hands-off “market solution” that could have worked 30 years ago. Can’t say we weren’t warned, James Hansen’s testimony to Congress was 1988 and Exxon scientists knew everything in the late 1970s. But we’ve delayed too long for that and now we need to take some more aggressive steps to avoid serious harms to people and the economy.

  21. Teve says:

    Well this is interesting–Target just announced that by the end of next year their min wage will be $15/hr.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    If it were possible to turn all of the mental space AOC occupies rent free in people’s heads into a tangible asset, we could probably solve the infrastructure related elements of homelessness in America within a week or three.

    The socioeconomic elements of homelessness would still be there and would still be formidable, but the actual housing part would be in much better shape than it is now.

  23. PJ says:

    Clinton isn’t running again and Pelosi has set a date for how long she’ll be the Speaker. Both of them are old and so is Warren.

    AOC is young, so I guess the RW can scream about her for lots and lots of years.

  24. Eric Florack says:

    It’s called low-hanging fruit

  25. An Interested Party says:

    This is funny coming from someone who works for a network that constantly shills for an elderly man who regularly throws childish temper tantrums…