“With @AOC, @RepDebDingell, @jahimes, @davidcicilline, @RepCartwright & @Twitter representatives at training session on Twitter for Democratic Members of Congress,” tweeted California congressman Ted Lieu, after the lesson. “The below pic is called a selfie.”
Nobody in the Democratic party – Michelle and Barack Obama included – has as much Twitter power as the 29-year-old congresswoman of New York’s 14th district.
Axios reported recently that from December 11 2018, to January 11 2019, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, had 11.8m Twitter interactions, second only to Donald Trump, – who had 39.8m – among politicians or the news media. Senator Kamala Harris was third with 4.6m, Barack Obama was fourth with 4.4m, and CNN came fifth with 3.1m.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s boss as head of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, had a relatively modest 2.6m interactions, and come sixth.
“Neither Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s background nor her position as a first-time representative are…noteworthy enough to be driving the national political conversation. And yet she is doing exactly that,” Ben Thompson, the founder of tech newsletter Stratechery, told the news site.
“In short, she is the first – but certainly not the last – of an entirely new archetype: a politician that is not only fueled by the Internet, but born of it.”
The below pic is called a selfie. pic.twitter.com/WHwlQHxpoj— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu)
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who has 2.42m followers, held Thursday’s lesson with congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut, who has 76,500.
“The older generation of members and senators is pretty clueless on the social media platforms. It’s pretty clear that a lot of members have 25-year-olds in their offices [running their social media],” Mr Himes told USA Today.
After the training session, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, whose Twitter handle is simply @AOC, tweeted: “Class was in session this morning! I was thrilled to offer some insights on Twitter and social media to my colleagues this morning.”
Since being elected last year, and during her campaign, the US’s youngest ever congressman has used Twitter and Instagram to explain her position on policies, and challenge her opponents.
She has also had a lot of fun. When Republicans sought to attack her by posting video footage that had been unearthed of her dancing as student, he responded by positing a clip of her briefly grooving outside her new congressional office.
“I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous,” she wrote. “Wait till they find out congresswomen dance too!”
Whether the congresswoman can teach this sort of flair to her colleagues remains to be seen. Or read.