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.)