“He knows about the issues of our time, and he’s not just resting on his record of the past, but he’s aggressively pursuing an agenda for the future,” says Ocasio-Cortez, who last year at age 29 became the youngest woman to ever serve in Congress.
Kennedy, 38, the scion of a legendary political family, acknowledged last month that he is considering challenging Markey, 73, next year — a bid that could include a call for generational change.
Ocasio-Cortez and Markey worked together to develop the Green New Deal, a blueprint popular among progressives that seeks a sweeping renovation of the U.S. economy to halt man-made climate change.
In her video, Ocasio-Cortez cites their collaboration, crediting Markey for being “one of the few people to stand up and take a chance and take a chance on a freshman congresswoman and take a chance on this plan.”
Markey is among the longest-serving members of Congress but a relative newcomer to statewide politics in Massachusetts, winning a 2013 special election to succeed Sen. John F. Kerry (D) after a 36-year House career.
Markey has amassed a long record on environmental and energy issues — particularly on the subject of climate change, chairing a House select committee on the subject from 2007 to 2011 — as well as on other issues. But national prominence has been elusive, and some Democrats in Massachusetts have come to believe he is vulnerable to a younger challenger.
Kennedy is the son of former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-Mass.) and the grandson of the late senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.), as well as a grandnephew of President John F. Kennedy and the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).
The younger Kennedy has not aggressively sought the national spotlight until recently.
Since President Trump’s election, he has occasionally created viral video moments — such as when Republicans sought unsuccessfully in 2017 to dismantle the Affordable Care Act — and won House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nod to deliver the Democratic response to Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address.