By Elaine Magliaro
Vermont Public Radio (VPR) reported on Tuesday that it had learned from several sources that Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), 73, is planning to announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday. VPR said that “Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.” His entry into the Democratic race will ensure that “Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party.”
Sam Levine (Huffington Post) noted that the senator from Vermont “has criticized Clinton for being too soft on Wall Street and has doubted whether Clinton can address income inequality.” He has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal that has been called “NAFTA on steroids.” Sanders has also been a strong critic of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, “which struck down corporate campaign contribution limits. Sanders has tried to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision.”
VPR said, “Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.” The radio station added that his opposition to the TPP trade deal “shows how he plans to frame this key issue of his campaign.”
In a telephone interview on April 23rd, Sanders said, “If you want to understand why the middle class in America is disappearing and why we have more wealth and income inequality in America than we have had since the late 1920s, you have to address the issue of trade.”
A vocal critic of the influence that large corporations have on the political process, Sanders added, “All of the major corporations want to continue with this trade policy. Wall Street wants to continue this trade policy. The drug companies want to continue this trade policy. But organizations representing American workers and the environment do not want to continue the trade policy. They want new trade policies.”
Sanders thinks it’s imperative that all Democratic presidential candidates address the issue of trade and income inequality. He said, “So, I think that Hillary Clinton and every candidate out there should in fact address whether or not they support this T.P.P.”
Rick Klein of ABC News said that Sanders’ expected announcement “comes at a time of growing liberal unease over President Obama’s agenda and amid angst that Clinton won’t be pushed sufficiently leftward with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, taking a pass on the race.”
Sanders, who currently serves as the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, is the longest-serving independent member of Congress in U.S. history.
Levine said that even though Hillary Clinton “is heavily favored over Sanders, the Vermont senator’s entry in the race will provide a platform for Democrats to criticize Clinton from the left.” He added, “Sanders’ presence could also highlight a divide between progressive and moderate Democrats.”
Bernie Sanders, “America’s Becoming a $Billionaire’s Oligarchy”
Overturn Citizens United (July 2012)
No Fast Track for the TPP
Bernie Sanders To Announce Presidential Run (Vermont Public Radio)
Bernie Sanders To Launch Presidential Campaign (Huffington Post)
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to Announce 2016 Presidential Run (ABC News)
I guess I am voting after all!
Intriguing matchup now, I wonder if this will bring out another round of “a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush” cries.
Can’t wait for the first debate. I doubt he’ll steal from the Hillary hardcores, women and established party identifiers, but he might get the independents and the third party voters, and very likely also the libertarians from Rand Paul.
Let Bernie show the Obama haters what a real socialist looks like.
I’d vote for ‘im.
He can’t fulfill the minimum requirement for candidates, though. He can’t slither under a locked door, because he has a spine.
Moderate Democrats? You mean, Republicans?
I’m not sure what to make of his running as a Democrat. That’s a morally bankrupt organization.
Well, a little excitement coming, maybe.
Glad he is running in the democratic primary. Don’t know how many libertarians he will get, po. He is the exact opposite of a libertarian on most issues. His views on gun control will likely keep them in the republican camp, and he is also a strong supporter of universal health care and that is something libertarians hate. I think he will attract leftist democrats and left leaning independents. My neighbor is involved with his campaign and has had his lawn sign in his yard for more than six months. The neighbor is a democrat that supports universal health care. It is exciting to have Sanders in the race.
Po, These days I think of Rand Paul as a far right wing evangelical christian republican with some libertarian undertones.
Go Bernie Go!
http://www.vox.com/2015/4/28/8510603/bernie-sanders-president-2016 “He laid out his thinking to the crowd. An independent candidacy could be appealing because of “huge frustration at both parties.” But the drawback was, he said, that it’s very difficult to get on the ballot in 50 states. And he emphasized that he would never run as a spoiler if it could lead to the election of a Republican president — “we’ve made that mistake in the past.”
On the other hand, if he ran as a Democrat, he said, “It’s easier to get on the ballot, you can get into the debates, and the media will take you more seriously.” The disadvantage? “People are not overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the Democratic Party.”
Sanders asked the crowd which sounded better, and about 80 percent of them raised their hands in favor of a primary contest. “I think you run as a Democrat, because you want to push the debate, with Hillary or whoever it is, in the direction you want to see it go,” an audience member said. “We need to hear the establishment challenged.” “
Good points, Swmom! Agree with you on Rand Paul… He is now just a lesser extreme Republican.
*lesser extreme-Republican, or less extreme republican…
It’s a sound strategy to influence if not win. Well played.
po, Paul is extreme on women’s issues. He sponsored the “personhood” amendment.
run Bernie, run.
Bernie is just the same as Obama and would end up doing the same things. it isn’t that the men are bad men, it is just that socialism/liberalism don’t work. Do you think Bernie is going to make things better using the same playbook?
bron, Obama is liberal on some things while on other things he is not liberal at all. Bernie Sanders is consistently liberal.
I think many of youse on the right are confused by these terms you so abundantly use. What is the opposite of socialism to you? What is the opposite of liberalism to you? I suspect it isn’t what you think it is.
Beyond political and social philosophy, just on temperament alone, they couldn’t be any further apart.
I don’t know how you can say that Sanders is just like Obama.
Bernie isn’t planning on becoming president. I think he just wants to make sure that Democratic presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton address the issues that are important to him and most of the working folks in this country–financial reform, trade deals like TPP, Social Security, Medicare, a higher minimum wage, failing infrastructure, etc.
The Republicans gave us trickle down economics and other financial policies that have worked really well for the wealthy people in this country–not so much for about 90% of us though. I guess in your mind those conservative economic policies have been a success. Ayn Rand would approve. The rich just keep getting richer while average working folks struggle to make ends meet.
Oh if only Obama were half the socialist Bernie Sanders is. I wish he had a chance to win the Presidency, but if he influences Clinton’s stances on the issues, that’s good. I think Clinton should continue to meet with Elizabeth Warren and pick her brain on economic issues.
Eugene V. Debs ran for President on a socialist ticket in 1920. He received 6% of the vote. Twelve years later much of his platform was adopted by FDR and became the New DEal.
Yet there’s that cynical little voice in me that really hopes HRC hasn’t gotten a couple of donors to throw Bernie a few bucks to gin up some excitement in the primaries.
It’s not that I haven’t thought about your cynical thought myself. Perhaps he’s been promised a cabinet post?
6 Ways Bernie Sanders Will Challenge Hillary Clinton
One of the central components of self-described “socialist” Sanders’ campaign will be addressing the same economic problems that Clinton has recently vowed to prioritize. According to Vermont Public Radio, his message will be that the middle class has been decimated in the past two decades. “This country faces enormous problems,” he said on MSNBC. “Our middle class is disappearing. We have more people living in poverty than almost any time in the history of America.”
To show how far he is willing to go to fight inequality, Sanders held a nine-hour Senator filibuster in 2010 to protest a tax-cut extension for the wealthy. The speech turned into a book and made the senator an icon for liberal economic policy reform.
But when asked in January what he has heard from Clinton on income inequality, Sanders said “not much.”
Sanders is opposed to all trade deals including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the Obama administration plans to complete by the end of the year. He has called it “disastrous” and that it is “designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy.”
Clinton has remained noncommittal when speaking about the TPP, but groups on both sides have been urging her to take a stance. Sanders has also pressured her to state a position, telling CNN that “it’s not a very difficult choice.”
“Are you on the side of working people who would suffer as a result of this disastrous trade agreement, and seeing their jobs go to China or Mexico, or are you on the side of corporate America and pharmaceuticals?” he said in the interview.
If Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton were elected after 8 disastrous years of Barack Obama, we would have been screwed. The only redeeming quality of Bernie Sanders (I use the word redeeming sarcastically) is that he is honest about his Socialist tendencies.