Three days after her upset victory over a ten-term congressman in the 2018 Democratic primary, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a photograph of her cracked, battered sneakers. Some analysts had attributed her win to changing demographics, but she was having none of it. “Here’s my 1st pair of campaign shoes,” she wrote. “I knocked doors until rainwater came through my soles. Respect the hustle.” It was a tribute to old-school progressive campaigning and engagement, her viral videos notwithstanding. But what if door-knocking and hand-shaking and showing up for parades and community festivals and church-basement meetings are all off the table, because of a pandemic? How does a new candidate get her non-household name in front of voters when she’s mostly stuck at home—and when there’s a lot else going on?
欧洲杯买彩票That is the challenge facing Lindsey Boylan, the thirty-six-year-old who is running for Congress against Jerry Nadler, in New York’s Tenth District. Her candidacy would be a long shot even in normal times. Nadler, low-key but likable, is in his fourteenth term; he chairs the House Judiciary Committee and has been a steady media presence in recent weeks as one of the stewards of the Democrats’ police-reform bill. Boylan is part of a wave of progressive candidates who are challenging incumbents, inspired by Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, who also knocked off a long-serving, supposedly safe congressman in 2018. But Nadler has one advantage those ex-incumbents didn’t: A.O.C. has endorsed him.
欧洲杯买彩票By the end of March, Boylan had raised more than seven hundred thousand dollars, enough to maybe get her foot in voters’ doors, metaphorically speaking. But how do you ask for more during an economic crisis? And how will the combination of a pandemic and New York’s first-ever experiment with early voting affect turnout? (Election Day is June 23rd.)
A few weeks ago, Boylan was sitting in her apartment, in Chelsea. (The gerrymandered Tenth District, which looks like Cape Cod rotated ninety degrees, encompasses most of Manhattan’s West Side, then skims the Brooklyn waterfront, taking in slices of Red Hook and Bay Ridge, before widening out to claim Borough Park and big bites of several other neighborhoods.) She was hosting a virtual coffee hour on Facebook, the pandemic alternative to canvassing a busy subway station. Upwards of two dozen people had tuned in, many of whom she seemed to know. Questions weren’t immediately forthcoming, so she filled the time with her thoughts on various issues: systemic racism, economic inequality, student loans. Still no questions? She could keep talking “day and night,” she said, adding, “At this point sometimes I feel like a standup comedian, even though I’m not that funny.” The admission actually was sort of funny, at least by politician standards; it was definitely disarming. So was the way she talked about increasing access to mental-health care (a core issue for her) and about her own therapy sessions, which, she said, were essential “to rationalize all the new experiences that happen to you when you’re running for Congress.”
The thrust of her case against Nadler is that the congressman, while reliably progressive, hasn’t been very effective. By Boylan’s lights, he dragged his heels on whether to impeach President Trump, and many feel that he did a lacklustre job managing his committee’s eventual hearings. Boylan’s pitch—basically: I’m new blood欧洲杯买彩票—is underscored by her wonky energy and a kind of “What do I have to lose?” enthusiasm for typing “fuck” and “shit” a lot on Twitter. But, to whatever extent an anti-Nadler vote exists, she will have to share it with a third candidate, Jonathan Herzog, a law-school student who helped organize Andrew Yang’s Presidential campaign.
欧洲杯买彩票Boylan isn’t a complete novice. In an update of the mythic moment in 1963 when sixteen-year-old Bill Clinton shook hands with President John F. Kennedy, Boylan waited outside a Senate hearing room in 2001, as a high schooler, in order to meet Hillary Clinton, then a new senator. (“It changed my life, obviously,” Boylan said.) Following in Clinton’s footsteps, she went to Wellesley and became student-body president. She later got an M.B.A. at Columbia and, again like Clinton, spent time in both the private and the public sectors, including an unhappy year as deputy secretary for economic development under Governor Andrew Cuomo. “It was absolutely the most toxic experience of my life,” she told the virtual coffee group, alluding to a work environment rife with “egos” and “pissing contests.”
Her last pre-shutdown campaign event was on March 13th, when she handed out flyers on Broadway and 110th Street. But, as the city has started to open back up, she has ventured tentatively outdoors, attending several Black Lives Matter protests, including the June 14th rally for black transgender lives in front of the Brooklyn Museum. “I met so many New Yorkers,” she tweeted that weekend. “I had such wonderful conversations.” She also posted a picture of herself posing next to a rack of pastries at a Mexican bakery in Midwood. It looked like a classic New York campaign stop, but for her face mask. ♦