A new book by a campaign aide to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez casts her upset victory over former congressman Joseph Crowley in starkly ethnic terms — and reveals how the 10-term incumbent got sandbagged into missing a key debate just two weeks before the election.
Latino activist Ramon Ramirez plans to self-publish his memoir of last year’s election under the title “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The Democrats’ Surprise.”
A draft manuscript provided exclusively to The Post shows Ramirez describing Crowley’s 6-foot-4 height as “unfortunately proportional to the despotic and solemn air with which he demanded to be revered like the ‘Celtic king.’ ”
In recounting Ocasio-Cortez’s defeat Crowley, the son of Irish immigrants, Ramirez also crows: “We stripped the Celtic king of a crown that he had received without political or community merit.”
Ramirez details how he and a fellow official of the Pan-American Democratic Association of Queens, William Salgado, worked with Ocasio-Cortez to circumvent Crowley’s refusal to debate the challenger by scheduling a bilingual, June 11 showdown at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center — without informing Crowley’s camp.
Ramirez says he had fliers printed and posted before notifying the opposition, which complained of a scheduling conflict and offered to send a surrogate in Crowley’s place.
But the organizers refused, and Ocasio-Cortez wound up having the floor to herself in front of an audience of more than 200 people — and next to an empty chair with Crowley’s name on it.
In his book, Ramirez, 61, describes himself as the “grandfather” among Ocasio-Cortez’s volunteer supporters, and relates how taken he was with the candidate when he and Salgado met her at the Jax Inn diner in Jackson Heights for an April 22 breakfast meeting.
In a lengthy portion of purple prose that seems more fit for a romance novel, Ramirez recalls the “radiant smile” and “big, black eyes” of Ocasio-Cortez, who at 29 is the youngest member of Congress.
“She was dressed in a black, printed jacket that was fitted tight around the waist, which gave a fantastic shape to her slender body,” he writes.
“I opened my eyes and then my lips to express our chemistry, trying to leave the pleasant taste that my message was memorable. She never left a smile hidden, nor did her long lashes make the slightest attempt to stop the emotion from appearing in her eyes: two suns that were always ready to cast her incandescence toward the world around her.”
But while likening Ocasio-Cortez to the Greek goddess Artemis and Joan of Arc, Ramirez — a self-described socialist who boasts of having studied in Russia — says it was her progressive politics that really won his heart as she pledged her support for Medicare for all, free college tuition and de-funding ICE.
“This is not a project by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We are part of a socialist movement at the national level,” he recalls her saying.
Crowley’s former campaign spokesman, Vijay Chaudhuri, and Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, Corbin Trent, both declined to comment.
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