On Wednesday, New York’s 31-year-old Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Democratic Party needs new congressional leadership. When asked if the current party leaders, 80-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from California and 70-year-old Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer from New York, should go, she answered yes.
However, Ocasio-Cortez also admitted that there are no current younger leaders within the party who could easily take the role of Pelosi or Schumer should either step down. While both have concentrated power in their positions, she said, neither leader has helped prepare “a next generation of leadership.”
Ocasio-Cortez made her comments in an interview with research publication The Intercept.
Ocasio-Cortez said Pelosi has indicated that she expects the next two years to be her final year as a House Speaker.
“The Left doesn’t really plan on that,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “So I think it’s something we really need to think about.”
“I think we need new leadership in the Democratic Party … the internal dynamics of the House have made it so that there is very little opportunity for succession,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It’s easy for someone to say, ‘Well, you know, why don’t you run?’ “But the house is extremely complex, and I’m not ready for it. I can’t be. I know I couldn’t do that work.”
Pelosi’s leadership team, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, are 81 and 80 years old, respectively, the publication said.
A December 10 New Yorker The article cited Senate Democrats’ uncertainty about how to deal with 87-year-old California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, after showing signs of mental disability.
During a November 17 hearing, Feinstein repeated the same question twice in a row to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, Feinstein’s public comments angered Democrats who criticized their lack of tact.
Later in the interview with The Intercept, Ocasio-Cortez also reiterated progressives’ frustration with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden filling his cabinet and senior administrative positions with members of the former Barack Obama and Bill Clinton administrations, as well as from large millions of companies such as the investment bank Goldman Sachs, the technology companies Google and Facebook and the advisory group McKinsey & Company.
“A huge reason why we got Donald Trump in the first place,” she said, “besides just the racism waiting to be reanimated in this country,” [was there] was just an extreme disdain for this wealthy political establishment that rules Washington. ‘
Newsweek contacted the Ocasio-Cortez office for comment.