Many Democrats, independents, and progressives (myself included) have been hoping Bernie Sanders would consider making a run for the White House in 2016, whether as an independent candidate or as a Democrat. After much hope and speculation, it does look like he’s finally beginning to test the waters.
According to the Burlington Free Press, Bernie Sanders will be in Iowa on May 17th:
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is hitting all the familiar campaign stops as he considers whether to run for president in 2016.
Sanders will be the main dinner speaker on May 17 at the “Hall of Fame Dinner for 2014” hosted by Democrats in Clinton County, Iowa. The event is described as the year’s main county Democratic fundraiser. (Source)
Senator Sanders has long been the hoped for nominee by the progressive left, especially after President Obama’s “Yes We Can” populist message in 2008 has disappointed some for what they believe is a lack of follow through due to partisan gridlock as well as the lack of promised transparency in the administration.
Sanders has fueled speculation he’ll run for the Democratic nomination because he’s been giving speeches in the South and New Hampshire. In a recent Slate WeigelCast interview, Sanders didn’t commit to running, but said he’s prepared to address the major issues.
“We need people standing up for the working class and the middle class of this country, people prepared to take on the big money interests who dominate our economic and politic life,” he told David Weigel. “I am prepared to do that. I don’t think I’m not the only person prepared to do that. But it is something that I’m giving consideration to.” (Source)
Yes, the presumed inevitability of Hillary Clinton as the nominee for Democrats in 2016 is all we hear about, but there’s also a feeling of uneasiness, especially with progressives, about political dynasties after two Bushes being elected within 8 years of each other. Another issue is how many people see Hillary Clinton as just another Democrat who seems to be too cozy with Wall Street, which has posted record numbers even as too many Americans struggle from paycheck to paycheck. She also voted for the Iraq war and has all of the battle scars from over two decades of Republican attacks. For these reasons, people like myself are not excited about the prospect of Hillary Clinton as president, although she would still be far better than anything the Republicans or Libertarians have to offer at this time.
Bernie Sanders isn’t “more of the same,” and the fact that he has a long track record of winning as an independent could allow him to run as a very viable third party candidate in 2016 if he decides not to run as a Democrat. Besides, after all of these years of conservatives screaming that President Obama is a “socialist” from Kenya (both of which are untrue), perhaps we should give them an actual socialist from Vermont.
Regardless of whether you support Senator Sanders, Hillary Clinton or another candidate, electing them in 2016 isn’t going to do much if people do not vote in 2014.
Just as a reminder, here’s what’s in play this coming November:
—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives
—33 seats in the U.S. Senate
—46 State Legislatures
—38 State and Territorial Governorships.
Please start researching local, state and federal candidates now and make sure you’re registered to vote. We cannot create the change we need if we do not get out the vote. It’s that simple.
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