It has been clear for a long time that Eric Adams wasn’t the candidate for mayor of New York City that AOC preferred. Adams is a former cop who ran promising to bring safety back to the city by supporting the NYPD, while AOC is a leading figure in the defund police movement who is also talking about abolishing prisons.
"I want to abolish our carceral system that's design to trap Black and Brown men. I want justice. I want peace. And I want prosperity." – @AOC
— Our Revolution (@OurRevolution) July 24, 2021
Given their very different views on these issues (Adams won the Democratic primary and AOC’s candidate, Maya Wiley, came in 3rd) it was probably inevitable that some sparks would fly between them. Earlier this week they did. Adams gave a speech where he didn’t single out AOC by name but he did put a big target on her party.
Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams declared his opposition to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist “movement” — which includes defunding the police and shuttering prisons — during a fundraiser co-hosted by a Republican member of the City Council, The Post has learned.
“I’m no longer running against candidates. I’m running against a movement. All across the country, the DSA socialists are mobilizing to stop Eric Adams,” he said.
“They realize that if I’m successful, we’re going to start the process of regaining control of our cities.”
Singling out the DSA is new but Adams made news last month when he announced, “Look at me and you’re seeing the future of the Democratic Party. If the Democratic Party fails to recognize what we did here in New York, they’re going to have a problem in the midterm elections and they’re going to have a problem in the presidential election.” That was seen at the time as a dig at Maya Wiley but even then he was clearly speaking beyond his own campaign to the broader issue of far-left progressivism in general.
“We have allowed a group to hijack the term progressive,” Adams said. “So what I’m saying to the Democratic Party — stop believing a numerical minority is what the numerical majority is.”
“New Yorkers and Americans want to be safe and they don’t want to exist on programs; they want to exist on possibilities and opportunities,” he added. “I believe my message is going to cascade across the entire country.”
Again, Adams wasn’t naming anyone in particular but you can kind of see, at least in retrospect, how he was talking about the DSA and their most high-profile office-holder: AOC. Yesterday the NY Times reported that there was a meeting of the New York congressional delegation where Adams was warned to be careful about criticizing fellow Democrats:
At a closed-door meeting of New York Democratic elected officials, Representative Nydia M. Velázquez advised Mr. Adams, the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City, to avoid any appearance of criticizing members of the delegation, according to seven people familiar with the exchange.
“I said I wanted to remind him that in the age of social media and communications, that we needed to be careful as to what we say and that it is important that we treated everyone with respect,” said Ms. Velázquez, an emerging leader of the party’s progressive wing in the state, confirming the account.
No one is mentioning AOC by name but it’s clear to everyone who they are trying to shield from criticism. AOC herself offered Adams some advice after the meeting:
In a brief interview Wednesday evening, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez declined to discuss the meeting with Mr. Adams specifically but offered him a piece of advice.
“It is always a good idea for any mayor to respect all of the members that are responsible for representing the delegation, and not just to respect us as individuals but to respect the communities that we represent,” she said. “I think it’s important to preserve that on a higher note.”
That’s nice of AOC to say but does she follow her own advice? She hasn’t attacked Adams by name but as for showing respect for the voters who elected him that’s not quite as clear. When Adams became the apparent winner, AOC went on Democracy Now! and said essentially the opposite of what Adams did, i.e. that his race was not a bellwether for the country and that his win didn’t represent a turn away from DSA progressives.
According to AOC, the results of the race weren’t really about ideology at all. “This race want not—I don’t believe it was a primarily ideological race,” she said. She suggested other factors might explain Adams’ win including NYC’s first experience with ranked-choice voting and recovery from the pandemic. Then she suggested his win was the result of a strong “logistical” operation.
What AOC doesn’t admit is that support for police and public safety is why Adams won. “The message should not be that we should continue to over-police and over-surveil people,” she said. Is it respecting the “communities” that put Adams in first place to ignore the reasons they put him there? You can judge for yourself. Here’s AOC completely ignoring Adams’ voters and the message they sent. Maybe she should try taking her own advice before offering it to others.