What Crowley's 'Titanic' Loss Says About the Party's Future

It may be good news for women
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2018 8:04 AM CDT
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) "A seismic blow." "Titanic upset." Such are the phrases being used to describe Rep. Joe Crowley's Tuesday-night loss in New York. It ushers in the end of a 20-year House career for the man who occupied the No. 4 spot among the Democrats within it. Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez, the 28-year-old woman who bested him, has advocated Medicare for all, an end to ICE, and affordable housing. The New York Times notes the former Bernie Sanders organizer has said she decided to run after her experience fighting against the Dakota Pipeline at Standing Rock. Here's what her win may mean for Nancy Pelosi and House Dems:

  • It had long been assumed that once Pelosi bowed out, it would be a Crowley vs. Steny Hoyer match-up. "Crowley’s defeat could put pressure on other members of the caucus to declare their ambitions now, given that spots rarely open up in House Democratic leadership without an assumed successor," observes Heather Caygle for Politico. She offers this list of potentials: the No. 5 Dem, Rep. Linda Sanchez; Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY), Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.), and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM).
  • But who might step up isn't the only question Caygle sees. That a 28-year-old former Sanders organizer won serves as "a reminder of the generational demands for change at the top of the party hierarchy" and "renews questions" about the viability of Pelosi and Hoyer, who are both nearing 80.

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