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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Is Bernie’s hat going into the ring? UPDATE: Bernie: “I’m Running”

Bernie Sanders to launch Democratic presidential bid

(Reuters) – Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the longest-serving independent member of the U.S. Congress, will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, Vermont Public Radio reported on Tuesday.

He will release a short statement and hold a campaign kickoff event in subsequent weeks, the radio said, citing several sources. The senator’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

What will a Sanders candidacy mean? Will he press Secretary Clinton on issues progressives are concerned about? Is a contested primary good for the Democratic Party?  

From USA Today: 6 things to know about Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the longest-serving independent member of Congress in history. He has caucused with Democrats since his days as Vermont’s lone congressman, beginning in 1991, but he considers himself a democratic socialist. […]

Sanders is the son of a New York-born mother and Polish-Jewish immigrant father, who worked most of his life as a paint salesman. He has said his lower-middle-class upbringing in Brooklyn taught him what economic insecurity means to a family. He and his wife, Jane, have four children – Levi, Heather, Carina, and David – and seven grandchildren.

He now says he is not actively involved in organized religion. But in terms of economic justice, he said, “I find myself very close to the teachings of Pope Francis.” He described the pope as “incredibly smart and brave.”

What do you think?

UPDATED 4/30/2015: From Bernie’s Twitter Stream

From the Sanders Senate News Site (links from the news site)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Senator Sanders

‘I’m Running’ Promising to fight “obscene levels” of income disparity and a campaign finance system that is a “real disgrace,” independent Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he will run for president as a Democrat, The Associated Press reported. Sanders on Thursday announced he would seek the 2016 nomination “in a bid likely to pressure Hillary Clinton from the left and challenge her on financial issues,” Reuters reported. “I’ve been traveling around the country for the last year trying to ascertain whether there really is grassroots support in terms of people standing up and being prepared to take on the billionaire class,” Sanders said in an interview Wednesday with USA Today and the Burlington Free Press. “I believe that there is.” On “Good Morning America,” ABC News’ Jonathan Karl said Sanders is “a long shot to be sure with a fiery message about taking on big money interests.”

‘I Love this Country’ Sen. Sanders plans to forge as a progressive political revolution. “I love this country,” Sanders said in an interview Wednesday with the New Hampshire Union Leader, which said he’s motivated to run to address the “decline in the middle class and the unbelievable levels of income inequality.”

‘Don’t Underestimate Me’ Sen. Sanders is running for president, presenting competition from the political left to front-runner Hillary Clinton “People should not underestimate me,” Sanders said. “I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates and, you know, I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Sanders’ Goals Avoiding the fanfare that several Republicans have chosen so far when announcing their candidacies, Mr. Sanders issued a statement to supporters that laid out his goals for reducing income inequality, addressing climate change and scaling back the influence of money in politics, The New York Times reported online.

Sanders’ Priorities Sen. Sanders has been pushing for higher taxes on the rich and more money for programs serving the middle class and poor since long before talk of income inequality became fashionable. He has long supported creating a public health care system similar to Canada’s and Britain’s. He favors equal pay for women, a higher minimum wage and stronger labor rights. He frequently expresses outrage that a “billionaire class” has taken too much control over the American political and economic systems, and labeled it “beyond belief” when the House voted last month to provide $269 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy. He has backed legislation to crack down on offshore tax havens, provide more youth jobs, expand Social Security and increase the estate tax. He supports a five-year, $1 trillion plan to rebuild roads, bridges and other infrastructure. He says that would create 13 million jobs, AP reported.

Sanders’ Passion “If Sanders can harness the energy coursing through the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, he can make the issues he is passionate about central to the campaign and force Mrs. Clinton to embrace more liberal positions on economic issues, much as she has done lately on cultural issues,” The New York Times blogged.

Sanders’ Policies “He’s staked out numerous positions over the years that are considerably more progressive than those embraced by more mainstream Democrats,” according to CBS News. Sanders “has advocated for increases to Medicare and Social Security benefits and pushed for ending tax cuts for the wealthy,” ABC News reported. “The likely effect – and intent – of a Sanders challenge is to push both Clinton’s campaign and her administration, if there is one, further left, thus consolidating liberal control of the party,” Charles Lane wrote for The Washington Post.

White House ’16 Sanders was called “a champion of the progressive movement” on WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sanders “is a man on a mission,” political analyst Chris Graff told WCAX-TV. Sanders appeals to the people who participate in the primaries, Mark Plotkin said on BBC radio. His candidacy also was covered by WPTZ-TV, CNN, Bloomberg, The Huffington Post, NPR and others. With double-digit ratings in multiple polls, Sanders is a leading opponent to Hillary Clinton, The Washington Examiner reported.


  1. HappyinVT

    I wasn’t so keen on him jumping in because it hearkens back to the crusty old white dude days but I’m actually excited for him to toss in his hat.

    Not just because he is a Vermonter but he is genuine; he’ll flub here or there, and is not a polished speaker but you know he believes what he says. And importantly he’ll pull the Dems to the Left.

    I will absolutely support him.

  2. bfitzinAR

    and also give the Dems a “horse race” for the MSM to follow.  He may even manage to pull the Dem platform left.  What he won’t do is “pull Hillary left” since she already a whole lot further “left” than most people are willing to believe.  I’ll probably still be saying this as President Hillary Clinton hands off to her successor in 2024 but Hillary will be as progressive as Congress lets her, so our job is to give her a progressive Congress.

  3. Portlaw

    now he is my favorite in the primaries and I will support him. Somebody else may come along but right now, Bernie is my number one.

  4. Filed there under “Sure, Why Not”. :)

    Bernie Sanders Will Be President Of Forcing Hillary To Act Like An Actual Liberal

    Bernie Sanders, independent Soviet Socialist senator from Vermont, who has been Elizabeth Warren-ing since the actual Elizabeth Warren was lecturing Wall Street bankers IN HER DIAPERS, will announce his candidacy for the presidency, as a Democrat, on Thursday. Sanders appears to be running on a platform of “seriously, okay, Hillary, you’re going to be president and that’s fine, but could we possibly turn this god-dang ship to the left?” And that is a good thing!

    The Wonkette author read the same USA Today story I read to get his facts!! This is how the Internets work: one person writes something and everyone quotes it as “facts”!!!!

    There is more:

    Anyway, Bernie Sanders has approximately zero percent chance of being elected president, but his presence in the race will force a conversation on economic issues that quite frankly needs to happen! In fact, yr Wonkette wrote in 2014 about all the nice things a Sanders run might do, for America:

       It doesn’t matter at all that Bernie Sanders has little chance of becoming president. A serious Sanders run would act as a year-long opinion poll: “Should Democrats advocate for policies that will make the country better even if some people who run large financial institutions don’t like these policies?” If Sanders can push Hillary even half as far left as Santorum/Gingrich/Cain/Bachmann/Perry/FOX pushed Romney to the right, we might actually be able to vote for her in the general without risking injury to our mortal souls.

    That would be nice! And, of course, it will help Hillary Clinton in her secret e-mail meetings with Wall Street bankers, where she will say “at least I’m not like THAT dude, LOL,” and they’ll be all “yr right Hillary, we crown you President Queen of the Americas!” and everybody will live happily ever after.

  5. HappyinVT

    The ground here is almost thawed enough to put it out.  Too early, though?

    He need the conversation he’s going to bring.  He has nothing to lose and I think if people actually listen he can appeal to a lot of those across the spectrum.  

  6. Portlaw

    from Patrick Healy and Maggie Haberman

    Pat: Hi, Maggie! So two weeks ago, we had Hillary Rodham Clinton announcing her presidential candidacy in her snappy “everyday American” video, and now we have Senator Bernie Sanders announcing his candidacy in a swamp! (The U.S. Senate swamp, that is.)

    And Bernie seems to be in a rush: Who starts off his campaign kickoff speech saying, “We don’t have an endless amount of time – we have to get back” to the Senate?…

    But then things got sharper, as he zeroed in on income inequality. Is that what a Sanders-Clinton race will be about?

    Maggie: Yes!

    I noticed that too. Total clarity of message – not doing what the press wanted, which was sticking around endlessly and answering every question. So this is actually painting a different frame – he’s contrasting by showing he is going to do an actual press conference, but he is also letting his message stand.

    I do wonder how Hillary is going to deal with the Iraq war on the debate stage. And that may be one of many reasons her folks have been mulling whether to agree to one.

    Sent at 12:21 PM on Thursday

    Pat: We’ll have to wait and see if Bernie continues to hit Hillary on Iraq. I couldn’t quite tell if he was drawing a contrast with Hillary or sending her team a message on Iraq – that he would actually be willing to hit her hard. Again, no-filter Bernie will be unpredictable….

    Pat: Very – he’s older! Score one for Hillary!

    Kidding – your point is a good one. Several contrasts there.

    The bulk of his remarks were on income inequality. He decried “longer hours for lower wages” and the rise in childhood poverty, and then hit this point: “The major issue is, how do we create an economy that works for all of our people, as opposed to a small number of billionaires?”

    Bernie returned to this by noting that billionaires don’t give to him – implicitly pointing out all those Wall Street friends of the Clintons.

    And their foundation.

    Maggie: Totally.

    And also, I would argue that he had an important line: He described himself as a leader in the fight against the Iraq war.

    I think that’s something people are going to use against her over and over….

  7. Diana in NoVa

    1.  I didn’t know O’Malley has been rude to women. I knew Rand Paul had. Was there an incident on TV when O’Malley was being interviewed?

    2. Why do people say “Hillary Rodham Clinton”? Is this to distinguish her from Hillary Pemberton Clinton and Hillary Oswego Clinton, who are also well-known ex-Senators running for president?

  8. Portlaw

    criticizing Bernie’s hair (he looks goofy, weird, etc.) and ignoring his political record.

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