Late Night Open Thread: Saikat Chakrabarti Is Leaving AOC’s Staff

Seems like maybe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez *is* as smart as Nancy Pelosi hoped — or, at least, lived experience is making her smarter. She gave Political Twitter a couple of weeks to get distracted by newer targets, and has now “enabled” the most toxic member of her staff to “pursue other opportunities”. Sensibly, her campaign went to the most sympathetic media outlet possible to break the news:

Saikat Chakrabarti, her chief of staff, and Corbin Trent, her director of communications — who, through their work with Justice Democrats, have been alongside Ocasio-Cortez since her primary run — will leave the lawmaker’s office. Chakrabarti will go to New Consensus, a nonprofit focused on climate issues and promoting the Green New Deal. Trent will direct communications on Ocasio-Cortez’s 2020 campaign, the same role he played during her first congressional run.

Chakrabarti wants to prioritize working on advancing the Green New Deal, something he can focus on more at New Consensus than he can while managing Ocasio-Cortez’s office and deflecting attacks from House leadership. He also has a new baby, and will have more time to devote to parenting.

Ocasio-Cortez asked Trent to move to the campaign, she told The Intercept. Trent is “shifting to our campaign side so we can work on some ambitious comms projects we’ve been looking forward to working on,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a text message. Ocasio-Cortez is facing one Republican opponent, Scherie Murray, a businesswoman from New York who immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica as a child.

Chakrabarti’s last day is Friday, August 2, and Trent’s transition timeline is still unclear, Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept. Trent told The Intercept he expects to continue serving as spokesperson through the end of August. Trent, who has been directing communications for the Ocasio-Cortez campaign part time since 2018, will now do so full time. Ariel Eckblad, Ocasio-Cortez’s legislative director, will take over as chief of staff.

The news comes just as a drawn-out fight between House Democratic leadership and the progressive wing of the party — which at times put Ocasio-Cortez’s staffers in its crosshairs — seemed to be smoothing over…

According to Ocasio-Cortez’s office, the departures are not a result of the dust-up with leadership, and were decided well before the public feuds took place. The idea from the start was to have Ocasio-Cortez’s office continue to build out a movement beyond the walls of Congress, a member of her staff told The Intercept. They had never really planned to build a career on the Hill, and always had their sights on returning to on-the-ground activism after they got things rolling. With the momentum building around her signature proposal for a Green New Deal, and Congress entering recess, the staffer said, it made sense to formalize the transitions, which had been in the works for some time, now.

“With the Ocasio2020 campaign beginning to ramp up, I’ve asked Corbin to transition to the campaign full-time and he has agreed to do so,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept. “I’m looking forward to growing the movement with him in Queens and the Bronx and across the country…

Much more information about the original “feud” at the link, if you care. Politico is a little more, uh, explicit about some of Chakrabarti’s issues.

My translation: Dirtbag Leftist/’Progressive’-in-Chief was given his walking papers because he wouldn’t stop fanning the flames of the conflagration he’d deliberately set. As I said at the time, no matter how fiercely (or not) she may have agreed with him, no Congressional would-be leader can be seen as meekly conceding to an employee who makes a point of bragging in a high-profile outline that he took “somebody’s little sister” and single-handedly upgraded her from a bartender to one of the most talked-about new Democrats. Especially since, predictably, AOC now has a potentially dangerous Republican challenger in 2020.

So Mr. Big Shot is out, and his assistant will be moving back to NYC to assure the voters that AOC has not forgotten who really put her on the big stage, no srsly. Good for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, long may she serve!

(Also, quite possible Nancy Pelosi actually is Snake Plissken.)






62 replies
  1. 1
    Joey Maloney says:

    I thought she’d be bigger.

  2. 2
    patrick II says:

    Also, quite possible Nancy Pelosi actually is Snake Plissken

    You thought she’d be taller?

  3. 3
    ThresherK says:

    “Who makes a point of bragging in a high-profile outline that he took “somebody’s little sister” and single-handedly upgraded her”

    I haven’t been following much politics lately and did not know this. Good riddance.

  4. 4
    Just One More Canuck says:

    The Intercept’s comment section is a wretched hive of scum and idiocy

  5. 5
    patrick II says:

    I just saw the earlier Pelosi/Omar trip to Africa pics posted earlier today. I hate to sound too sexist, but that looked so kind and sweet. I don’t think I could get the same vibe from a guy politician — unless maybe Obama talking to a child.

  6. 6
    Jay says:

    Especially since, predictably, AOC now has a potentially dangerous Republican challenger in 2020.

    LMFAO, twitter is arguing over how you can shoplift 279 items from a Target, at one time.

  7. 7
    Mary G says:

    Calling black representatives from the South as bad as racist Democrats in the 1940s and 50s was inexcusable. Smart of her to wait a while then do a Friday dump when everyone’s out of town. AOC is madly talented and doesn’t need these Justice Democrats whackos any more.

    Also, Nancy SMASH went to Ghana with Ilan Omar to mark the 400th shameniversary of American slavery.

  8. 8
    Jay says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    All comments sections,……

  9. 9
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay:

    Her district is pretty safely D, is it not?

  10. 10
    Mary G says:

    @patrick II: While I was pecking out my comment a letter at a time, you beat me. I loved the trolling of Trump by Omar with “the Speaker didn’t send me back, she went with me.”

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Peale says:

    @Jay: that’s Ilhan Omar’s opponent. Crazy as all get up and thinks she doesn’t have to go to court if she believes herself to be innocent.

    AOC’s opponent so far is a Jamaican American. That’s all I know about her. Because the right wing was convinced that having another immigrant somehow cancels out the only reason people voted for her.

  13. 13
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Jay:

    LMFAO, twitter is arguing over how you can shoplift 279 items from a Target, at one time.

    No, you’re thinking of Rep. Omar’s challenger, in Minnesota. AOC’s challenger (see extract) is a Jamaican immigrant in NYC.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Searcher says:

    @Peale: They really, really believe their own stories about “identity politics” and assume that the positions of the candidate don’t matter as long as they check certain boxes.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Just One More Canuck: Reflects the mentality of its founder.

    I’m thinking Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me?” would be an appropriate soundtrack to this episode.

  17. 17
    jl says:

    @Searcher: These days, the GOP lives and dies by identity politics for their favored ethnic group, so they assume others live and die by the same ethos too.

    Their identity group politics shows utter contempt for the actual welfare, and intelligence, of their supposedly favored group, so they assume other others have the same contempt as well.

    The operate on the assumption that their favored ethnic group will fall for any absurd BS, so they assume other groups will fall for BS too.

  18. 18
    Martin says:

    I missed the previous thread but I want to say that my white-ass 72 year old dad wants Michelle Obama to run more than anyone, and was asking me which candidates support reparations because he’s for that.

    There are a lot of white males that are are way to the left of this field.

  19. 19
    Martin says:

    @jl: Why wouldn’t they assume that. It’s worked for them so far. I think it’s dawning on guys like Hurd that the GOP fall is going to be so brutal that they just don’t want to be around when it comes.

  20. 20
    ruemara says:

    “Deflecting attacks from House Leadership.” You fucking assholes and that fucking pair of assholes. Fall in a ditch and be lost forever.

    In far more interesting happenings, here is a cat butt. Got no idea why they sit like little loaves but I am grateful because that was funny.

  21. 21
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Peale:
    Ironically, that shows that the GOP are the ones that believe in “identity politics”

  22. 22
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay:
    Thanks

  23. 23
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Jay: except here – nothing but civilized thoughtful debate here

    @Villago Delenda Est: perfect analogy

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: That’s Omar’s challenger.

    You use two carts at the same time, not one.

  25. 25
    Mary G says:

    Even Warren’s dog is making fun of Delaney:

    Me when @ewarren completely dunked on John Delaney in the 2nd debate pic.twitter.com/YfjeHNtpAp— Bailey Warren (@FirstDogBailey) August 3, 2019

  26. 26
    Yarrow says:

    the Ocasio2020 campaign

    Is that how she brands the campaign? I think she’s stealing from Baud!2020!

  27. 27
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They both fit inthe tumbrel they hold up to 12.

  28. 28
    patrick II says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    When Obama was president Bobby Jindal was the next big thing and gave the State of the Union rebuttal and Michael Steele was made the head of the RNC.

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: I think you need to start limiting your exposure to TenguPhule’s comments.//

  30. 30

  31. 31
    Mary G says:

    Another happy dog video:

    I have watched this loop so many times, this made my day better pic.twitter.com/b8uZC9fH0O— James (@vastidity) August 2, 2019

  32. 32
    Cathie Fonz says:

    This news doesn’t surprise me in the least, I thought it would happen sooner but I appreciate also how politically astute AOC is to wait until an August Friday to get this done. She left these staffers with their dignity intact as well — she is a class act. I don’t care who is running against her, she won’t have any difficulty getting re-elected.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Well the Democratic Socialists of America have chosen their course of action:

    With allies like these, we don’t need enemies.

  34. 34
    Mary G says:

    A boy and his chicken, 1912 pic.twitter.com/HNVgEJGVXI— 41 Strange (@41Strange) August 3, 2019

  35. 35
    janesays says:

    @Jay: I think you’re mixing up congresswomen – the kooky Target shoplifter is Danielle Stella, but she’s from Minnesota, and she’s running against Ilhan Omar, not AOC.

    The only GOP challenger I could find for AOC was some 38 year old Jamaican immigrant businesswoman named Scherie Murray. But AOC is in a D+29 congressional district, meaning it’s one of the safest blue seats in the nation. Literally no Republican in that district could ever be characterized as a “serious challenger”. Part of the reason her upset victory in the primary got such outsize attention is that in her district, the Democratic primary is effectively the election. The moment she beat Crowley last summer, that seat was basically guaranteed to be hers.

  36. 36
    Redshift says:

    @Adam L Silverman We need all the voters we can get, but I’m not going to shed a lot of tears about them not endorsing and maybe not canvassing. They don’t seem like sort who could stick to the candidate’s message instead of their own.

  37. 37

    @ruemara: In my house we call that “splooting” and it’s adorable.

  38. 38
    Anne Laurie says:

    @janesays:

    The only GOP challenger I could find for AOC was some 38 year old Jamaican immigrant businesswoman named Scherie Murray. But AOC is in a D+29 congressional district, meaning it’s one of the safest blue seats in the nation. Literally no Republican in that district could ever be characterized as a “serious challenger”. Part of the reason her upset victory in the primary got such outsize attention is that in her district, the Democratic primary is effectively the election. The moment she beat Crowley last summer, that seat was basically guaranteed to be hers.

    IIRC, some years the Repubs didn’t even bother to nominate a challenger in AOC’s district. But the stupid internet spat Chakrabarti started convinced the NYC GOPers that, well, if all it takes to win is a non-white woman “immigrant”*, we gotcha covered, Queens!

    (*Yes, Puerto Rico is part of the US, but how many Repubs know/will admit that?)

  39. 39
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ: In our house, that pose is known as the Full Frog. As opposed to the Dying Cockroach, which is flat on the back with all four feet sticking up…

  40. 40
    Quinerly says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Thanks for that earworm.😈 I am now back in 1982 when I interned in the Senate and every bar in Georgetown was playing it. Related, my roommates were a Greek chick nick named “Sexy Lexie” from Philly and a 6ft tall strawberry blonde chick from Texarkana who sounded and dressed like she just came from the set of “Dallas.” She drank upside down margaritas. Ah…. the Fabulous ’80’s. We were so young and innocent during the Reagan Administration.😈😈

  41. 41
    Quinerly says:

    @Mary G: That is strange. Kinda freaky.

  42. 42
    Shalimar says:

    I assume lots of people pointed out to Chakrabarti that he backed dozens of little sisters and Ocasio-Cortez is the only one who won. The key ingredient clearly wasn’t him.

  43. 43

    @Anne Laurie: Full Frog, I like that one. If they lay with their legs under them but spread their hips out, we call that Loaf Butt for obvious reasons. I have many a photo of them in Loaf Butt pose. And with that statement I realize I have publicly declared myself to be a crazy old cat lady.

  44. 44
    TS (the original) says:

    @patrick II:

    unless maybe Obama talking to a child

    President Obama and his family visiting Gorée Island 2013

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69T24RQgZ9Y

  45. 45
    eponymous coward says:

    LOLz at “potentially dangerous”. Said Jamaican immigrant is a perennial candidate and it’s a D+29 district. This ain’t Mia Love in Utah, this is the local R’s version of Harold Stassen trying to make her actually work in the district instead of going national for some colleagues.

    This has about as much chance of working as knocking off Nancy Smash with Cindy Sheehan back in the day.

  46. 46
    Quinerly says:

    Woke up a couple of hrs ago. Can’t get back to sleep. Found this interesting piece on Trump’s trade representative. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/02/trump-hired-robert-lighthizer-to-win-a-trade-war-he-lost/

  47. 47
    J R in WV says:

    @ruemara:

    In far more interesting happenings, here is a cat butt. Got no idea why they sit like little loaves but I am grateful because that was funny.

    That’s a really cute cat butt, that is. I would have laughed out loud, but wife is sound asleep. I’m going back to bed soonest. Thanks for the giggle and the pretty cat.

  48. 48
    J R in WV says:

    @Mary G:

    Another happy dog video:

    I have watched this loop so many times, this made my day better

    That’s really good, why doesn’t that dog drown when one of those buckets drops all the water on him… nope. He’s having a great time chasing the fountain’s splashes of water. Plus it’s cool in the summertime.

  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    Pierside in Liverpool. Appears to be a quiet Saturday morning with not much activity on the streets. Sun has broken through the clouds; mostly mild and breezy conditions with light rain in the late afternoon. Killing time until the coach tour after lunch, then we’re off to Belfast late tonight.

    Going down to Guest Services to acquire a city map in a few minutes.

  50. 50
    raven says:

    @Mike in NC: There’s an app for that!

  51. 51
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Mike in NC: It’ll liven up. Don’t know if you saw my comment last night but the Albert Dock, Museum of Slavery and Tate Northern are close to the Cruise terminal and well worth a visit.

  52. 52
    Mike in NC says:

    @Sloane Ranger: Thank you. Once cut loose by the tour guide(s) we hope to see them. Would really want to take in the maritime museum but that is a separate tour and additional fee.

  53. 53
    BobS says:

    @Martin: I’m nearly as old as your dad (just as white), and I’ve thought for over a year Michelle Obama would win a presidential election going away. I was convinced while spending time in a standing room only hospital emergency room waiting area with dozens of other people. One of the daytime talk shows was on the tv and no one seemed to be paying attention until…Michelle Obama came on promoting her book. Virtually everyone in the room turned their head toward the set and continued watching until the segment was over. With respect to her qualifications, she’s an extremely intelligent woman who spent 8 years in the White House acting as the president’s most trusted adviser- on the job training is the best kind (and notice I wrote “extremely intelligent”, which immediately disqualifies Ivanka).
    A Michelle Obama candidacy in 2020 would have had the added feature of her getting to shiv the motherfucker who continues to piss on the Obama legacy.
    By the way, I also agree regarding reparations.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    Especially since, predictably, AOC now has a potentially dangerous Republican challenger in 2020.

    Ocasio-Cortez is popular in the party, in NYC, and in her overwhelmingly Democratic district. Seriously, a black female Trump-supporting right-wing opportunist like Scherie Murray, grifting Fox News and other white Trump supporters, is not dangerous competition for AOC – no matter how much money the right sends Murray, and, as far as I know, they haven’t sent her much yet.

  55. 55
    debbie says:

    @Mary G:

    That second photo is disturbing.

  56. 56
    VOR says:

    @Major Major Major Major: no vetting for Director of National Intelligence! This isn’t 3rd assistant deputy somewhere, this is a position with access to all the most sensitive information. Staffing for this administration is an underreported horror story.

  57. 57
    Barbara says:

    I don’t know whether Chakrabarti perfectly embodies male entitlement or just a particular species of dude bro arrogance, but the epitome of unjustified privilege is assuming that you are in a position to define groups you aren’t even a part of. As if he knows more about old guard Southern Democrats than the current House Reps who by and large replaced them in their districts.

  58. 58
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @BobS: Some of her popularity, though, likely comes from the fact that she’s not a political candidate. This is a pattern for prominent women. Consider how much public approval Hillary Clinton gained when she wasn’t running for something, and how much she lost when she was a presidential candidate.

  59. 59
    Steeplejack says:

    @Barbara:

    I don’t know whether Chakrabarti perfectly embodies male entitlement or just a particular species of dude bro arrogance [. . .].

    Why not both?

  60. 60
    Anya says:

    Chakrabarti can choke. OAC should’ve fired him when he disrespected Sharice Davids and accused her of enabling a racist system. What a thoughtless douchebag. I am still gobsmacked at his tweet: “I don’t believe Sharice is a racist person, but her votes are showing her to enable a racist system,” but also calling the AA southern Democrats the new South Democrats and comparing them to Dixiecrats. He is a shit head who’s full of himself. He needs to learn history if he wants to lecture Democrats on social justice.

  61. 61
    Cameron says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Damn. It’s looking more and more like quitting DSA was the best political decision I’ve made in the last year.

  62. 62
    Wapiti says:

    @JGabriel: Regarding AOC, we went to a Warren event in Seattle; the campaign person demonstrated one of the tools they were using in canvasing and explained that it had been developed for Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign – there was a lot of applause for that. The overlap sort of surprised me, though there are common economic/fairness threads in their foci.

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