How Bernie Sanders Will Make Hillary Clinton A Better Candidate In 2016

michele bachmann bernie sandersAs you now know, Sen. Bernie Sanders will be announcing on Thursday that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Other than Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders is the only other candidate so far to enter the field on the Democratic side, although former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley is expected to also make his intentions known sometime in the next couple of months.

While many Hillary Clinton supporters have voiced their indignant opposition to his candidacy, it’s actually a good thing for Democrats and Hillary Clinton that Bernie Sanders has decided to get into the race. As I’ve previously written, a Bernie Sanders run for the Democratic nomination provides the competition both she and the primaries desperately need.

If Hillary Clinton ran unopposed and was handed the nomination, it would be a meaningless victory – and I’m not just saying that because I’m not Hillary Clinton’s greatest fan. Bernie Sanders in the race, as a Democrat, will force Hillary to the left and make her address the issues of income inequality and corporate greed. Her greatest flaw to the left is the fact that she is entirely too cozy with Wall Street and corporate campaign donations, as Carl Gibson pointed out on Al-Jazeera America this morning.

When looking deeper into both Sanders and Clinton’s campaign finance records, it’s clear to see which politician is more committed to populist causes. According to, Hillary’s top campaign donors throughout her political career include Citigroup ($782,327), Goldman Sachs ($711,490), JPMorgan & Chase ($620,919), and Morgan Stanley ($543,065). By contrast, Bernie Sanders’ top donors are all unions representing working people like teachers, public employees, and postal workers. His top donor, the Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union, has only given $95,000 throughout Sanders’ 17-year political career.

Sanders has never solicited nor accepted any corporate money, and says he’ll keep that promise if he runs for president. Granted, presidential races are outrageously expensive, and most politicians don’t hesitate to break a promise if they think it will secure a victory. But Sen. Sanders, the longest-serving independent member of Congress, is popular with left-leaning voters precisely because of his rebuke of corporate money dominating politics. (Source)

Primaries are meant to pick the best candidate from the field for the general election, and forcing the eventual winner to pay attention to ideas espoused by all candidates in the primaries is the best way to get the most voters in the party to turn out in November.

Hillary Clinton has already addressed the need for criminal justice and police reform, and Bernie Sanders won’t make his announcement official until tomorrow. What will be interesting to see is how she finds a way to balance the tightrope between receiving large donations from the financial sector and placating people on the left like myself who are very uncomfortable with the incredible amount of cash thrown into politics by entities like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and others. If it wasn’t for Bernie Sanders and other candidates making her deal with potential flaws that you know Republicans will be more than happy to exploit, then you’d have a Democratic nominee wide open for attacks from the GOP and unhappy voters on the left who felt like she was forced on them.

I can tell you that I and quite a few other Bernie Sanders supporters would love to see him run, and win. It is a long shot but even if his candidacy forces Hillary Clinton to the left and she gains his eventual endorsement, it’ll be a lot better than feeling like she was just handed the nomination and we just have to deal with it.

If Hillary Clinton can successfully deal with challenges from the left, then it will make her a much better candidate in the general election. If she can’t, then she didn’t deserve the nomination to begin with – and you know the GOP is going to throw everything they can at her.


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  • Frank DiChutney

    Sanders’ honesty alone will present a problem for Hillary.

    • Charles Vincent

      People thought that about Ron Paul and the party crapped on him.

      • strayaway

        Or Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader. Even when McGovern and McCarthy ran against Johnson’s war in Vietnam, Bobbie Kennedy came along as an anti-war newbie trying to capitalize on his name. Every one of these Democrats was fiercely anti-war and everyone of them was snuffed by the establishment in the Democratic Party. I’m wondering if Alan Grayson belongs in that category too. But yes the Republican Party worked overtime changing the rules, employing incidents of violence, changed numbers, lied, and whatever else it had to do to stifle Ron Paul. Karl Rove just spent $1M trying to unseat my favorite politician Justin Amash and they are out to get Rand Paul. Good luck to Sanders. I hope he will be able to get on the stage with Hillary and bring up issues like the TPP, the wars, the banksters, and our expanding corporatist police state.

  • Jake106

    I am not a Democrat, but Bernie Sanders is an infinitely better choice as a Democratic candidate than Hillary. I’m glad to hear he is running.

  • BobJThompson

    Bernie will just force Hillary to talk more like a leftist. She wouldn’t actually govern as an economic leftist. If America falls for that yet again, we are just as dumb and lazy as the rest of the world says we are.
    Give em hell Bernie!

  • Peter Mrozik

    I really respect Senator Sanders, a lot. Although it is beyond unlikely that he would win the nomination, I am glad there will be a true Progressive running, which may help balance the calls from “centrists” (the former Democratic Leadership Counsel types) to move Hillary further to the right.

  • MorganLvr

    I love Bernie too, but you know that a socialist has about as much chance of getting elected as the proverbial snowball in hell. He knows he will not win the nomination. He wants to force Hillary to speak out and swing leftward a bit.

  • JohnnyInFlyover

    So Sanders will make Hillary a better candidate because he will force her rhetoric to the left? Even if that’s not what she really believes? Even if she doesn’t actually stand on the same principles Sanders has?

    Liberal logic, I guess.

    Either one of these morons would be a disaster. Sanders is a fruitcake who doesn’t have a high school level understanding of economics.

    Hillary is a talentless, robotic, kleptocrat whose only guiding principal is amassing personal wealth by any means possible.

    • H.P. Loathecraft

      “Sanders is a fruitcake who doesn’t have a high school level understanding of economics.”

      Sanders sits on the Congressional Budget Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, Veterans Affairs Committee, Environment and Public Works, Health Education Labor and Pensions, and Energy and Natural Resources.
      At least you got the first half right, except for the part where you seem to have erroneously labeled Mrs. Clinton is a “liberal”. Neoliberal would be much more accurate.
      But hey, one out of two ain’t bad, especially since it happens to match the number of natural teeth in your head.

      • JohnnyInFlyover

        I don’t care how many committees he sits on. Loathsome Ted Kennedy sat on dozens of them and he was a fat, retarded drunkard.

        Hillary Clinton is a classical liberal. A greedy elitist who has gotten filthy rich exploiting the insecurities of liberal simpletons.

      • H.P. Loathecraft

        Hillary Clinton 2008 2016 2024…well, you get the idea