New book details tension between Pelosi, AOC, and how things changed after Pelosi stepped down

December 5, 2023

When former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stepped down from that role as well as her position as the leader of House Democrats, it was an answer to prayer for millions of Americans -- including progressive leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), according to Fox News.

The New York congresswoman, who reportedly had thought the entirety of House Democratic leadership was responsible for the "misery" she endured in her first few years in Congress, said her experience as a lawmaker was "completely transformed" once Pelosi was no longer Speaker and she realized that Pelosi had been the problem "the whole time."

That and many other surprising revelations are included in a new book from Ryan Grim, a reporter for The Intercept, that was just released titled "The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution."

AOC's life was "completely transformed" after Pelosi stepped down as House Speaker

Several media outlets were provided with an advanced look at Grim's book, including The Guardian, and shared some key excerpts, particularly regarding the tensions that arose almost immediately between then-Speaker Pelosi and freshman Rep. Ocasio-Cortez following her surprising 2018 primary upset of long-serving Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY).

One passage in the book cited a text message from Ocasio-Cortez about her realization of what service in Congress would be like after Pelosi relinquished her grasp on being House Speaker and the leader of House Democrats.

"I thought things would get worse. I thought a lot of my misery was due to leadership more broadly having a thing against me," the congresswoman known as AOC reportedly said. "But … my life has completely transformed. It’s crazy. And it’s that that made me realize it was kind of just [Pelosi] the whole time."

She added that post-Pelosi's rule, "senior members talk to me, [committee] chairs are nice to me, people want to work together. I’m shocked. I couldn’t even get floor time before."

"She got so mad at me"

The Guardian shared a few other examples from Grim's book that highlighted the tension between Ocasio-Cortez and Pelosi that began before the young congresswoman even took office and was centered on Pelosi's dismissal of Ocasio-Cortez's infamous "abolish ICE" catchphrase that referenced a supposed need to get rid of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency as being purported foreign propaganda.

The conflict grew a short time later during a phone call between the two in which Ocasio-Cortez was shocked that Pelosi hadn't inquired how the young progressive had overcome the considerable support Crowley had received from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

"I told her DCCC campaign vendors sucked," AOC reportedly said in a text message later, "and that it was strange that after I beat Crowley not a single person bothered to ask how I beat him … and how I think we should pay attention and ask questions when that happens, to spot weaknesses. She got so mad at me."

AOC's "arrogance" led to her being "alienated" as a "pariah" among fellow Democrats

The Daily Mail also received an advanced copy of Grim's book about "The Squad" and detailed some of the revelations about how Ocasio-Cortez had "alienated" and generated "hostility" among her Democratic colleagues and was, at least for a time, relegated to "pariah" status -- in large part due to her clashes with then-Speaker Pelosi and others within the Democratic establishment.

That included her openly displayed "arrogance" in trying to "remake the system," the rollout of her Green New Deal climate-related legislation that was deemed a "total s--t show," and, according to Grim's recounting of a confrontational sit-in in Pelosi's office with climate change protesters, her belief that she "could occupy the Speaker's office and have Pelosi appreciate it."

The book also referenced Ocasio-Cortez's thinly veiled and unmistakable allusion to Pelosi being racist in response to the then-Speaker's criticism of The Squad's disruption of normal business on Capitol Hill, which AOC characterized as the "explicit singling out of newly elected women of color," given the racial minority status of the small group of progressive legislators.

To be sure, tens of millions of conservative Republicans had prayed for years for Pelosi to resign and step aside as a Democratic leader, but it appears that progressives like Ocasio-Cortez were uttering similar prayers and, like their ideological counterparts, are glad that those prayers were answered and Pelosi is no longer in charge of Congress.

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