Alternate headline: Conservative media expects recession in 2021. CNBC reported just a few minutes ago that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will face a Democratic primary challenge this year, and not by some faceless novice to national politics. Former CNBC reporter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has already filed her paperwork and set up a campaign website to take aim at the celebrity leader of Democratic Socialists.

I’m so torn on this …

Former longtime CNBC correspondent and anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has launched a challenge in the Democratic primary against freshman firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Caruso-Cabrera, who became a CNBC contributor when she left the network in September 2018, serves as a member of the board of directors for financial services firm Beneficient. She will take a leave from her role as CNBC contributor for the duration of the campaign, a CNBC spokesperson said.

At least we’ll have lots of AOC content this year, if not afterward. Caruso-Cabrera has been a registered Democrat “for several years,” CNBC notes, but let’s just say that her politics are slightly to the right of Ocasio-Cortez’.

Maybe she’s been reading Milton Keenes. Or Karl Burke. Or Salma Hayek. Whatevs!

According to a filing late Monday, she will run as a Democrat in that party’s primary in the 14th District. Caruso-Cabrera is known to be a skeptic of government and a proponent of free markets. In 2010, she published a book called “You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government.” She has been a registered Democrat for several years.

“I am the daughter and granddaughter of working class Italian and Cuban immigrants,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a statement. “I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had. That’s why I’m running.”

Caruso-Cabrera has her campaign website already up and running, and she’s making no bones about her purpose. This will be a showdown between “MCC vs AOC” for the Democratic title in NY-14:

Thus far, the website has nothing of substance up except Caruso-Cabrera’s biography, which emphasizes her life experience as an implied contrast to the bartender-turned-Representative:

For over 20 years Michelle Caruso-Cabrera was a lead reporter and anchor at CNBC. She held the title of Chief International Correspondent and traveled the world reporting live from Cuba, Iran, Ukraine, Iraq, Italy, Russia, Venezuela, and Latin America. She reported live from many major global events including the Greek debt crisis, the Brexit vote, the 2008 US financial crisis, not to mention the US elections.

She was named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in the country by Hispanic Business Magazine, and Broadcaster of the Year from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

There’s all sorts of irony in this, as Ocasio-Cortez barely took office before endorsing primary challenges against her fellow Democrats. Not too many of them will be happy to see Caruso-Cabrera in the race, but more than a few of them won’t get the sadz enough to bail AOC out of a two-way challenge, either.

Can Caruso-Cabrera pull this off? She’s got the celebrity factor in her favor, plus the endless stream of nonsense that flows out of the mouth of the incumbent, too. In a D+29 district, it’s unclear whether someone as free-market oriented as Caruso-Cabrera can compete against the siren song of socialism, though. And if more Democrats launch serious primary bids against Ocasio-Cortez, that might tend to split the I’m-so-embarrassed-AOC-represents-us vote in a primary.

Right now, AOC already has four other challengers in the June 23rd primary, all relative unknowns. Fernando Cabrera (presumably no relation) is on the city council, but James Dillon, Badrun Khan, and Jose Velasquez are apparently all novices. Caruso-Cabrera’s star quality might force them all out, and her ability to raise funds off of her celebrity status (and AOC opposition) will likely swamp them out as well. Unless someone of greater stature gets into the primary, Caruso-Cabrera is likely to get her “MCC vs AOC” narrative in June.

At the very least, it should be good for some popcorn-passin’ fun. If Caruso-Cabrera wins, though, the popcorn industry might also be in line for a recession. It’s a small price to pay to make Ocasio-Cortez a one-and-done politician.