McCaskill, who lost her re-election bid last month, is right that Ocasio-Cortez has a long road ahead. “The rhetoric is cheap,” she said to CNN. “Getting results is a lot harder.” Hanging the moon is going to be particularly tough amid the partisan fighting likely to dominate next year’s Congress.

But in today’s political climate, rhetoric and personality have proven to be incredibly powerful political tools. While Ocasio-Cortez may not have yet accomplished anything in office, she’s demonstrated a willingness to put in the hard work needed for at least one milestone: her own victory.

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