Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is giving it another go, launching a second campaign for the White House four years after surprising Democrats with a strong bid for the party’s 2016 nomination. “We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it’s time to move that revolution forward,” the independent senator told Vermont Public Radio in an interview airing Tuesday morning.
But this 2020 bid will undoubtedly be a very different presidential campaign than his quest for the Democratic nomination as an underdog in 2016. Sanders enters the race as a top contender who, along with former Vice President Joe Biden, tops most early polls, far outpacing other Democratic candidates in support and name identification.
Sanders, a socialist “independent” who’s not even officially a Democrat, was born in Brooklyn in 1941 and honeymooned in the Soviet Union in 1988, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of his beloved Communism. His current geriatric possible rival for the nomination is former Delaware senator and Democrat Vice President Joe Biden, who was born in 1942.
But, hey — everything old is new again!
Sanders pointed to the Democratic Party’s leftward shift as a reason for a second run. “It turns out that many of the ideas that I talked about – that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that we’ve got to move toward a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system: very, very popular. The idea that we have got to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” he told Vermont Public Radio.”When I talked about making public colleges and universities tuition-free and lowering student debt, that was another issue that people said was too radical. Well, that’s also happening around the country.”
Already the house organ of the Democrat Party, the New York Times, is fretting. Two days ago, in a warning shot, the Gray Lady wrote:
Shortly after Senator Bernie Sanders suffered a crushing loss in South Carolina’s Democratic primary in 2016, his campaign’s African-American outreach team sent a memo to top campaign leaders with an urgent warning. “The margin by which we lost the African-American vote has got to be — at the very least — cut in half or there simply is no path to victory,” the team wrote in the memo, which was reviewed by The New York Times. Mr. Sanders had won 14 percent of the black vote there compared with 86 percent for Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls.
Over seven pages, the team outlined a strategy for winning black voters that included using social media influencers and having Mr. Sanders give a major speech on discrimination in a city like St. Louis or Cincinnati. Mr. Sanders’s inner circle did not respond.
So Bernie now has his marching orders. Forward, comrades, forward into the glorious future.