Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
When it comes to Twitter, it looks like President Donald Trump has some competition.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was one of a wave of new faces joining Congress earlier this month, made C-SPAN history when a video of her speech from the House floor went viral on Twitter on Thursday.

"In just over 12 hours C-SPAN tweet of [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's] floor remarks last nite have become most-viewed twitter video by @cspan of any remarks by a member of House either party. 1.16M," wrote Howard Mortman, the broadcaster's communications director. He then confirmed that Sen. Kamala Harris holds the record for most-watched tweet video of the Senate, with 7.14 million views.

As of Friday afternoon, the just-over four minute video had 2.48 million views.

That record-breaking stat follows a recent study of total engagement on Twitter, in December and January. While Trump ranked far and away at No. 1, Ocasio-Cortez - unknown a year ago - was No. 2.

In her floor speech, the 29-year-old congresswoman - also referred to by the abbreviation "AOC" - drew attention to individuals suffering in a historic government shutdown precipitated by the president's call for a southern border wall.


Ocasio-Cortez outlined how an air traffic controller in the Bronx, whom she represents, is suffering as he misses paychecks. (Some 800,000 federal workers are going without pay.)

"It is terrifying to think that almost every single air traffic controller in the United States is currently distracted at work because they don't know when their next paycheck is coming," she said.


Then she went wide, criticizing Trump, who has refused to pass a spending bill until he is given money for a wall.

The president has argued a barrier is needed to stem a so-called "crisis" of drugs, violence and human trafficking coming over from Mexico. He has implored Democrats to negotiate with him while refusing to concede on the one thing they say he cannot have. In return, empowered by the midterms, Democrats have dismissed a wall as immoral and ineffective.


"It is actually not about a wall, it is not about the border, and it is certainly not about the well-being of everyday Americans," Ocasio-Cortez said in her floor speech. "The truth is, this shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms."


Comment: So the 'well-being of everyday Americans' is a secondary concern and unchecked illegal immigration is not a erosion of 'American democracy'?


She continued: "Each and every member of this body has a responsibility to this nation and to everyone in the United States of America, whether they voted for us or not. And this president shares in that responsibility as well, which means he has a responsibility to my constituent."

Ocasio-Cortez's facility with social media, her progressive politics and her star-making story (rocketing to national prominence less than a year ago when she won her primary unexpectedly) have made her a target of fascination and scorn, depending on the viewpoint.


Comment: Ocasio-Cortez's story has uncomfortable parallels with Emanuel Macron's meteoric rise in France. Who is backing her behind the facade and to what end? It appears the arch-meddler George Soros is one of them


Not only has she been booed by some of her new Republican colleagues in Congress, a Twitter user's attack went viral after he tried to demean her with an old clip of her dancing in college.

"Here is America's favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is" the anonymous account wrote alongside the clip. (The tweet was later removed.)

In actuality, the footage was from a larger video put together by Boston University students in 2010, CNN reports. Ocasio-Cortez graduated from there in 2011.

She soon responded to the apparent trolling ... by tweeting out another dance video, this one outside her Congressional office.


She's also come under attack by the conservative actor James Woods, who tweeted Thursday that the representative is "the most dangerous person in America right now."


That same day Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman elected to Congress, held a Twitter lesson for House Democrats, according to ABC News. And her colleagues loved it. Some of her advice?

"Social media is not just for young people," she said, ABC reports.

"Sometimes the culture here is to fit in and keep your heads low," she said. But: "We don't want to separate ourselves" from constituents on social media.