Departing Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) slammed newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — as well as mainstream media outlets — this week for lavishing “the new shiny object” with extensive coverage while ignoring her own accomplishments as a senator.
McCaskill (pictured above left), one of the Senate’s most moderate Democrats, lost her re-election bid in November to Sen.-Elect Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).
President Donald Trump boosted Hawley’s election chances by campaigning for him multiple times in Missouri. Hawley defeated McCaskill, who has served in the Senate since 2007, by 52 percent to 46 percent.
Ocasio-Cortez (above right), meanwhile, pulled off a stunning primary upset victory this summer against 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), the heavily funded 56-year-old chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. She then easily won the general election on November 6, and at age 29 will be the youngest congresswoman in U.S. history when the new session begins on January 3.
The progressive Ocasio-Cortez became a star after her victory against Crowley, and mainstream media outlets have been showering her with favorable and nearly wall-to-wall coverage.
McCaskill wasn’t too keen on the coverage Ocasio-Cortez has garnered.
“When I first got here … the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a half-dozen reporters in Washington. Now there is one person covering the entire Congress,” McCaskill vented to Bloomberg this week. “It’s impossible. Now it’s all about social media, the cable networks, the unedited crap.”
“I worked on a bill that brought down the price of hearing aids. It was a big deal because hearing aids aren’t covered by Medicare. But nobody wrote about it, so nobody knew about it,” McCaskill complained. “But there is so much drama over that New York woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, like she’s the new shining object.”
“That’s how the media covers stuff now. And some of us are passing good old-fashioned bills, and we get nothing. Gimme a break!” McCaskill added.
Ocasio-Cortez herself compared her Election Day victory to the historic U.S. moon landing in 1969 and the establishment of civil rights in this country in late November.
“Because in every moment when our country has reached the depths of darkness, in every moment when we were at the brink, at the cusp of an abyss, and we did not know if we would be capable of saving ourselves, we have. We’ve done it,” Ocasio-Cortez declared during a press conference.
“We’ve dug deep and we’ve done what we thought was impossible. We went to the moon, we electrified the nation, we established civil rights, we enfranchised the country,” Ocasio-Cortez continued.
“We did it when no one else thought we could. That’s what we did when so many of us won an election this year,” she added.
As one of the House’s most progressive incoming members, Ocasio-Cortez made it known she will not moderate her views.
Just a week after winning the general election in November, Ocasio-Cortez joined hard-line climate change activists in a protest outside the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the first day of her own freshman orientation on Capitol Hill.
“There is a sugar high around here caused by all the political rhetoric.”
During the course of her own interview, McCaskill told Bloomberg that although she is “competitive” and hates losing, the Senate “is a grind.”
“It wasn’t as much fun as it used to be, and it was wearing on me. And … the middle is evaporating,” McCaskill lamented. “There is a sugar high around here caused by all the political rhetoric.”
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