At South by Southwest, the 29-year-old freshman congresswoman drew bigger crowds than any of the half-dozen presidential candidates who came to Austin, too.
A freshman congresswoman drew bigger crowds at South by Southwest than any presidential candidate, and no one was surprised because it was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The annual festival of music, film and tech has gotten political this year, with more than a half-dozen declared and potential 2020 candidates of all political stripes making the pilgrimage to this mecca for upwardly mobile young techies and hipsters.
But Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old left-wing Democrat from New York, was the star of the political track, attracting more interest Saturday than two senators — Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar — a former governor, a mayor and the former CEO of Starbucks.
More 2020 candidates are set to speak Sunday, but in smaller venues than the massive ballroom that Ocasio-Cortez filled to the brim, which didn’t come close to accommodating everyone who wanted to get in.
In her remarks, Ocasio-Cortez torched political moderation, which she equated with worshiping mediocrity, defended democratic socialism and took a question from Bill Nye, better known as The Science Guy.
“Moderate is not a stance. It’s just an attitude towards life of, like, ‘meh,’” she said, shrugging her shoulders for emphasis. “We’ve become so cynical, that we view ‘meh,’ or ‘eh’ — we view cynicism as an intellectually superior attitude, and we view ambition as youthful naivete when … the greatest things we have ever accomplished as a society have been ambitious acts of visions.