Trump and Ocasio-Cortez use the same tricks to win at politics

They’re both brash outer-borough New Yorkers, each with their own notorious nickname — she’s AOC; he’s The Donald.

Both shocked their parties by coming out of nowhere to win their elections, defeating members of the establishment, despite being greatly outspent.

And both have broken the rules of DC politics in strikingly similar ways, using social media to push policy and usher in previously uninspired voters.

Though they have very different ideological bents, President Trump and newly minted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are two sides of the same coin, heralding a new era of fresh, unbridled, unapologetic politics that delights a frustrated base of voters who feel forgotten.

“The similarities between the two New Yorkers are striking,” said Jeff Brauer, political science professor at Keystone College in LaPlume, Pa.

“Much like the way Donald Trump used social media in 2015 and 2016 to disrupt and energize people on the right who felt ignored, Ocasio-Cortez is energizing people on the left who felt left out of the process,” agreed Democratic strategist Mike Mikus.

Just take AOC’s tweet on Sunday, where she defended rapper (and fellow Bronxite) Cardi B, who was swapping insults with Fox News personality Tomi Lahren:

“Why do people think they can mess with Bronx women without getting roasted?” AOC tweeted. “They act as though our borough hasn’t been perfecting the clapback game since the Sugarhill Gang . . . y’all just found it on Twitter.”

She also mocked former Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Lieberman earlier this month for saying he hoped she was not the future of the party, tweeting simply: “New party, who dis?”

It’s the same kind of gut punch Trump brings to the ring to knock out his foes, including Kim Jong-un (“Little Rocket Man”), Elizabeth Warren (“Pocahontas”) and Ted Cruz (“Lyin’ Ted”).

Numbers from data company CrowdTangle compiled by Axios show that AOC had nearly 14.3 million total interactions on Twitter, far less than Trump, who had 41.8 million, but nearly three times as many as former President Barack Obama, who had 5.3 million during the 30-day period between Dec. 17, 2018, and Jan. 17, 2019.

Both AOC and Trump see themselves as consensus builders and dealmakers. At the same time, both profess boldly populist platforms — AOC from the left and Trump from the right. Both won and maintain support by speaking for those who’ve felt left out of economic and political power compared to traditional politicians who move toward the middle to try to attract those who disagree with them.

And whether or not you agree with AOC’s politics, you have to recognize her ability to impact the national debate.

“I think the most important question of the congresswoman’s rising importance is, are we paying attention to why she resonates?” asked Mark Durdach, a Trump supporter who is studying at Keystone College and fascinated by the new representative.

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