Watch: AOC Hosts Town Hall in the Bronx, Then Camera Turns and Exposes Who Was There to See Her


In April of 2019, three months after New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was sworn into office for the first time and was still the hot new name in Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw a bit of shade at the hip, young democratic socialist.

“When we won this election, it wasn’t in districts like mine or Alexandria’s — however, she’s a wonderful member of Congress I think all of our colleagues will attest,” Pelosi told an audience at the London School of Economics.

“But those are districts that are solidly Democratic. This glass of water would win with a ‘D’ next to its name in those districts,” she added, hoisting a glass.

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It was easy to dismiss the quip as sour grapes at the time. OK, boomer, young progressives said at the time. It’s just jealousy from the oldsters.

Three years later, the clip remains one of Pelosi’s rare moments of clarity. AOC got returned to Congress, but the novelty has worn off. As her opponent in the November midterm election pointed out, nobody wants to turn out to see a glass of water anymore.

Tina Forte, a Republican and Marine Corps veteran who’s challenging AOC in the 14th District, published a Twitter post on Wednesday showing just how little interest Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents had in a town hall meeting the same evening.

This was Ocasio-Cortez’s Wednesday town hall in the Bronx — her home turf.

You’d think the hall would be packed. Flowers being thrown at the lectern. Joyous cheers. Dancing in the aisles.

Instead, the town hall — focused on “Legislative Victories & Opportunities for Constituents,” according to an AOC Twitter post — seemed to draw a thoroughly bored audience, according to Forte’s video.

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“AOC is having a Town Hall right now in the Bronx. Barely any supporters have shown up to hear from her,” Forte wrote in another Twitter post. “Most of the people in the room support me, not her.”

“So, I’m looking out for you all,” AOC said in one of the clips. Which is pretty easy, considering there weren’t too many of “you all” in attendance.

“We have had enough! Oust AOC!” she tweeted, along with video of someone in the hall with a Forte banner.

Will Forte oust AOC? There’s no polling data on the district for this cycle, and for good reason. While nothing is impossible, Pelosi’s point about the glass of water with a “D” was well made. I’d put Forte’s chances on par with the Libertarian Party taking control of the Senate.

But that’s the thing: AOC won an upset in the Democratic primary back in 2018, against Joe Crowley, a congressional veteran so established in power he was considered a potential House speaker succeeding Nancy Pelosi.

AOC became a nationwide sensation for the David-and-Goliath aspect to her victory, her youth and her far-left views.

For a while, love her or loathe her, she was everywhere. She was supposed to be the new face of the Democratic Party — progressive, aggressive and willing to rock the boat.

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However, if the keys are ever turned over to AOC and her ilk in the “squad,”  it won’t be anytime soon. Four years after she won her first election, she’s no longer an overnight success or an Instagram darling.

The Democratic Party may be moving left, but Ocasio-Cortez is hardly the one moving it. If anything, Bernie Sanders — an ossified socialist with an eerie resemblance to Waldorf from the Muppets — has done far more to drag the party leftward at a policy level.

She’ll keep her job, of course. As Pelosi said, voters in NY-14 would support a glass of water if it managed to get nominated as a Democrat.

But they’re not going to show up to see a human glass of water speak at a town hall, either, no matter how famous that glass of water may be.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture