The Slatest

Pelosi Calls Ocasio-Cortez Upset a Random Outlier, Also Dismisses Rumbling in Distance as “Probably Nothing”

Side by side images of Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez.
Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Photos by Alex Wong/Getty Images, Scott Heins/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives—New York Rep. Joe Crowley—lost a primary election to 28-year-old self-described Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Slate’s Jim Newell described it as “an earthquake in Democratic politics”: A warning to the party’s aging, instinctively cautious, corporate-donor-friendly and questionably competent establishment that its position is not secure.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, on Wednesday, gave a slightly different take:

They made a choice in one district. So let’s not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics and the rest of that within the caucus or outside the caucus. We have an array of genders, generations, geography, and opinion in our caucus and we are very proud of that. The fact that in a very progressive district in New York it went more progressive—Joe Crowley is a progressive, but more to the left than Joe Crowley, is about that district. It is not to be viewed as something that stands for everything else.

“The persistent, deep rumbling I keep hearing on the horizon is probably nothing to be worried about,” the California representative continued. “While it may sound like the growing rumble of ten thousand hooves, their relentlessness beating a rhythm of mutiny and revolt, it’s also possible that we’re just hearing cars going by on the interstate.” Pelosi was later seen climbing into a steel-reinforced hatch while carrying an axe, a satchel of canned food, and a revolver and has not been heard from since.