Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has more than 2 million Twitter followers, and often makes headlines simply for firing off a tweet. But the freshman congresswoman’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, pushed back against claims that her constant use of Twitter is “Trumpian” in a Sunday interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter.
“Trump uses social media as a way to get to people’s lowest common denominator,” Chakrabarti told CNN. “He uses it to incite fear. He talks about simplistic ideas. He starts rhyming ‘wall’ with ‘fall’ and becomes the Dr. Seuss of social media. Alexandria is actually using social media to explain complex policy ideas and trying to build a movement around real solutions.”
Chakrabarti said Ocasio-Cortez’s policy ideas aren’t really very radical, because they’re plans that many Americans already agree with.
“What she does with social media is she just says these things that other people are too afraid to say,” he said. “And all of a sudden, it creates a moment.”
“It’s not about social media. She’s good at communicating and she’s good at taking a message and actually educating people and getting people to realize how these very complex policies work,” says @saikatc, the chief of staff to @RepAOC. pic.twitter.com/fVYUmwfOxX
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) February 3, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez gave her chief of staff a shout out on Twitter for explaining her social media strategy, adding that her team wants to share its tips in order to help future candidates replicate her success.
Really proud of my Chief @saikatc for doing a great job breaking down elements of our strategy for the public this morning!
We freely give away our “how-tos,” because we know there’s a lot more future candidates-in-waiting out there and we want to help you succeed✨ https://t.co/ztj39iTBZ4
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2019
The congresswoman personally responded to claims that her social media presence is similar to the president’s last week, telling Stelter on Twitter that she uses social media “very differently” than Trump.
Got it! Look forward to joining you all sometime (for what it’s worth, I think we use social media very differently as well. He’s got more of an “man yells at cloud” thing going on 😉)
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 27, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez’s ability to connect with voters via social media has made her a bit of an icon, even among her fellow members of Congress. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz told Politico that he aspires to be “the conservative AOC.” Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, also complimented her, telling Politico that she has what he calls “‘gameness’ or competitive heart — the combination of grit, determination, fighting spirit that you can’t coach.”
Regardless, AOC has made it clear that she doesn’t want to be compared to Trump in any capacity.
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