Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Don't Underestimate Bernie Sanders

The Vermont senator's authentic outrage over how the super rich have distorted America’s economy and bought its government will find an eager audience.


“Don’t underestimate me,” declared newly announced presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. That may be good advice.

By conventional standards, Sanders’s candidacy is absurd: He’s not well known, he doesn’t have big money donors, he’s not charismatic, and by Beltway standards, he’s ideologically extreme. But candidates with these liabilities have caught fire before. Think of Jerry Brown, who despite little funding and an oddball reputation outlasted a series of more conventional candidates to emerge as Bill Clinton’s most serious challenger in 1992. Or Pat Buchanan, who struck terror in the GOP establishment by winning the New Hampshire primary in 1996. Or Howard Dean, who began 2003 in obscurity and ended it as the Democratic frontrunner (before collapsing in the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses). Or Ron Paul, who in 2012 finished second in New Hampshire and came within three points of winning Iowa.
Peter Weber has noted, he raised $1.5 million from 35,000 people on the first day of his campaign, more than any of the Republican candidates did in the 24 hours after they announced.

The day Sanders announced he was challenging Hillary, Jon Stewart commented that, “He has a set of consistent principles that he has run on his entire political life. She is going to crush him.” Right now, in other words, Stewart—and most other progressives—see Sanders as one-part admirable, three-parts absurd. If that balance starts to tip, the 2016 Democratic primary may become a lot more interesting than anyone expects.

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Bernie Sanders portrait

**** Blogger's not: I am leaving my opinions out for the time being. I like him better than Hillary Clinton - at least he is moderate on guns and hates the ruling corporate power... I will be following him closely. Sadly, I don't know that he can gain enough headway to pull ahead of Clinton. ****

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