A new book, sheds light on the complicated and often adversarial relationship between former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the group of progressive lawmakers known as “the Squad.”
“The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution” by journalist Ryan Grim explores the conflicts between Squad-affiliated Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez and Pelosi, according to new excerpts published in The Guardian.
Clashes between the two strong personalities began to surface after Ocasio-Cortez’s surprising victory over longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District.
Their first significant interaction occurred in San Francisco, California, in July 2018. During this meeting, Pelosi reportedly dominated the conversation.
“Getting Pelosi’s unfiltered thoughts was both eye-opening and disturbing,” Grim reveals. Ocasio-Cortez was particularly taken aback by Pelosi’s claim that the slogan “Abolish Ice” [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement], central to Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, was a Russian-injected phrase in American politics, which Democrats needed to suppress.
Another point of contention arose from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s lack of inquiry into Ocasio-Cortez’s successful campaign strategy against Crowley. Ocasio-Cortez recalls in the book that Pelosi became extremely agitated when she suggested the party should be more attentive and inquisitive about such political upsets to identify potential weaknesses.
Text messages from Ocasio-Cortez, cited by Grim, highlight the nearly 50-year age gap between the two politicians. Ocasio-Cortez expressed frustration with Pelosi’s remarks about her youth.
“The amount of times she told me that stupid ‘I have protest signs older than you in my basement’ s***. Like yeah but mine don’t collect dust,” Ocasio-Cortez reportedly wrote in a text message.
Since Pelosi stepped down as Democratic House leader after the 2022 election, Ocasio-Cortez has noted a decrease in hostility to party leadership. She observes that senior members and committee chairs are more amicable and willing to collaborate.
Pelosi remains a member of the House of Representatives and plans to run for reelection to her San Francisco seat in 2024, while her successor as Democratic leader is Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
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