Mr. Adams had already made waves on the national scene, declaring himself “the face of the new Democratic Party” and warning party leaders of future election lossesif they didn’t follow his political playbook.
And while the mayor received a warm reception from his fellow Democrats, there was a notable exception: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the party’s outspoken progressive star, wasuncharacteristically quiet. Days earlier, Mr. Adams warned guests at a fund-raiser about the dangers of democratic socialists, who happen to count the second-term congresswoman as their most famous member.
Representative Nydia Velázquez, a congressional mentor of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s, sought to clear the air, pleading with the mayor to treat “everyone with respect.”
Yet since then, the friction has continued between Mr. Adams and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, two ascendant political stars and unusually gifted communicators representing sharply divergent wings of the fractured Democratic Party: Mr. Adams as an avatar of “pragmatic” moderatism, as he has described his policies, and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez as an ardent, left-wing warrior.
“They are fundamentally arguing from the two sides of the Democratic Party,” said Jefrey Pollock, a veteran Democratic strategist, adding, “And therefore, they are bound to be in conflict.”