Everywhere I look I see political writers referring to AOC as a bartender, meaning merely a bartender. Here is a recent example: “The 29-year-old New York bartender last year became the youngest-ever US congresswoman and maybe also the most socialist.”
The suggestion is that she is genial but naive, a simple bartender, supporting the narrative that she is being used by darker forces.
The reality is very different. AOC is in fact an economist, with a degree from Boston University. In the policy world there is nothing more dangerous than an economist.
She may have worked as a bartender because the strongly capitalistic New York economics shops were not hiring socialists. But that does not change what she is and what she knows.
The bartender label also suggests that she is new to this Congress stuff, so maybe does not know what she is doing. The truth is that she worked for Ted Kennedy, a true master of the art.
Moreover her area was immigration, where she no doubt learned a lot about foreign government systems. Apparently she liked socialism. In fact she also studied international relations at BU.
I imagine AOC is greatly amused by this bartender stuff, because it gives her cover. If you look at the articles where this happens and change the word bartender to economist, they read very differently.
Economics, immigration, and international relations are heavy duty topics. In short, we are not dealing with a mere bartender here. We are dealing with a policy expert who happens to have tended bar.
Note too that most members of Congress are lawyers. Being one of the few economists (the only one for all I know) gives her considerable intellectual authority. She can easily beat the lawyers up on issues where she is the expert.
AOC is clearly a formidable figure that is being wildly underestimated, and that is a great danger.