According to both parties, it was a “lovely” conversation.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has joked that President Donald Trump’s government shutdown has given her “a lot more free time to make trouble.”
But with the end of the shutdown looming, Ocasio-Cortez and all the other government workers are heading back to the office. For the 29-year-old congresswoman, and the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives in the US, that means setting up meetings with some of the biggest names in global politics.
Like Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The two politicians got on the phone with each other last night to shoot the breeze about the current political climate.
“Great to speak to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the phone this evening and hear first hand how she’s challenging the status quo,” Corbyn tweeted. “Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet.”
Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted about their “lovely” conversation. “It was an honour to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you Jeremy Corbyn! Also honoured to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity and justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race and identity both at home and abroad.”
This meeting of the minds has sparked renewed debate over claims of anti-Semitism within the Labor party.
Jewish writer Elad Nehoria tweeted at Ocasio-Cortez: “I’m a huge huge fan of yours. I hope you’ll take a look at the amount of Jews trying to call attention to Corbyn’s long, documented history of anti-Semitism. The left’s blind spot in this regard can still be fixed. But we need leaders like yourself to listen.
Ocasio-Cortez responded: “Thank you for bringing this to me. We cannot and will not move forward without deep fellowship and leadership with the Jewish community. I’ll have my team reach out.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Corbyn’s phone call has come just days after Knock Down The House, the documentary about Ocasio-Cortez’s journey to Congress, premiered to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious audience award.
Director Rachel Lears approached Ocasio-Cortez about appearing in the documentary, and it wasn’t a hard sell. “Alexandria has always been interested in transparency,” Lears told The Hollywood Reporter. “Early in her campaign, she decided to communicate her process to her supporters. So making a documentary dovetails with that.”
After raising funds on Kickstarter, Lears started trailing Ocasio-Cortez and three other women running for election in 2018 around with her camera. Of the four women, Ocasio-Cortez was the only person to win her primary, and so the second half of the documentary’s focus shifts to her. The rest of the film follows Ocasio-Cortez on the campaign trail that led to her election in November.
“In the beginning, the fundamental question is ‘Why you? Why do you think you can do this?’” Ocasio-Cortez notes at one point in the documentary, when discussing making a bid for political office. The answer, she concludes, is: “Because no one else would.”