“I'm a little confused why she's the thing,” McCaskill told CNN. “But it's a good example of what I'm talking about, a bright shiny new object, came out of nowhere and surprised people when she beat a very experienced congressman. She's now talked about a lot. I’m not sure what she's done yet to generate that kind of enthusiasm, but I wish her well. I hope she hangs the moon.”
McCaskill noted that Ocasio-Cortez had drawn a lot of attention to herself, yet she suggested that Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic socialist, might have problems with pushing her legislative ideas through the Senate.
“The rhetoric is cheap,” she added. “Getting results is a lot harder."
McCaskill also advised Ocasio-Cortez not to ignore the plight of white working-class voters who have distanced themselves from the Democratic Party in recent years.
“I hope she also realizes that the parts of the country that are rejecting the Democratic Party, as a whole lot of white working-class voters, need to hear about how their work is going to be respected, and the dignity of their jobs, and how we can really stick to issues that we can actually accomplish something on,” McCaskill said.
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, rose from obscurity when she unseated longtime Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley in New York's 14th Congressional District primary earlier this year. Since her election, she has made a number of controversial statements which have provoked strong responses, including accusing the former White House Chief of Staff and retired Marine Corps General John F. Kelly of “cowardice.”