Pelosi’s endorsement of Eliot Engel in House primary falls short of the mark

While Democrats are surely unified in their opposition to President Donald Trump, their party still has serious divisions. Such was clear last month when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) endorsed veteran Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) for re-election, while progressive darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) formally supported the challenger who ultimately won, according to Forbes.

“I firmly support Eliot Engel for Congress and I support Alexandria for Congress as well,” Pelosi told reporters at the time, according to the New York Post. “I think the people of New York are very blessed to have them both in the Congress.”

Ocasio-Cortez picks winner

For her part, Ocasio-Cortez was far less nuanced in her commentary as she gave a full-throated endorsement to Engel’s challenger — and eventual primary winner — Democrat Jamaal Bowman.

“This second requires renewed and revitalized management throughout the nation AND on the poll field,” she declared via Twitter on June 3.

“Jamaal has dedicated the last decade of his life serving his community as a school principal and community servant,” the freshman representative continued.

Referencing a Bowman campaign video she had retweeted, Ocasio-Cortez declared: “I could tell you all about him, but he tells his story better than anyone else.

“Not only is Jamaal a profound community leader, but I believe he’d make a fantastic colleague in the United States House of Representatives,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

A former middle school principal, Bowman resides on the far-left fringes of the Democratic Party, recently calling for the diversion of significant funds away from the police in New York City. This is indicative of the worldview he will assuredly be taking with him to Washington, D.C., as he is virtually assured a victory in November due to the electoral composition of the district from which he hails.

Internal divide resurfaces

The dispute between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez over congressional primary candidates is just the latest example of rising tensions between the pair.

Last summer, Ocasio-Cortez implied that the veteran lawmaker and House speaker might in fact be racist due to her criticism of “the Squad,” a group of left-wing freshman congresswomen of which she is a member, as The Washington Post noted.

Whether this House primary was a harbinger of things to come in the continued friction between the Democratic Party’s old guard and its firebrand progressive arm remains to be seen.

But if the past is any indicator, these temporarily warring factions will find a way to unite in time for the general election battle this fall.

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