So here’s where we are. Bernie might run.
Last Saturday he called a team meeting that brought together some of those in his inner circle to discuss some things. According to an article in Politico the 76 year old Democratic Socialist summoned his top political advisers to discuss the feasibility of another campaign.
According to Politico’s sources, Sanders’ top supporters have told him for months in essence that the candidacy is his basically his to lose. Though many of us that followed the last campaign and the inner workings of the DNC know the that establishment Democrats will have plenty to say about that, if Bernie does toss his hat in the ring. That said, if Bernie wants to do this, there is nothing that can stop him this time. That’s right, not even the DNC.
Bernie reportedly told those at the meeting that he hasn’t made the decision about whether or not he is going to run but conceded that beating Trump is the most important thing for this country. And that he wants to be ready if he does decide to run.
One thing to consider about announcing early. In a year with critical midterms all across the nation, a Bernie announcement of this magnitude could help invigorate the campaigns of the progressive candidates that are running. The Bernie Bounce would be an effect that might be hard to measure but it would help. That said, as activists we can’t get stuck on the idea that Bernie will fix everything and forget about the midterms. Those need to be the primary focus right now but Sanders would help that cause if the announcement is used in tandem.
For what it’s worth Bernie’s son Levi Sanders made the following post today:
Of course none of this stuff means that he’s running, it means that there is a chance that he’s going to run and for a lot of people in the movement, just the slightest “realistic” possibility of him running is enough to light the fires of hope again. For many in this camp, there hasn’t been a lot of hope since the fateful day in July of 2016 when Bernie dropped out and endorsed Clinton.
In the circles I run in, many people want, in fact demand that Bernie run as an independent if he wants their support. Being a life long independent myself I completely understand this reasoning but there are some very big obstacles that make that a very tough road to go down. One of the bigger issues is that there are Democrats that absolutely will not vote any way other than along party lines, even if it’s Bernie. We could be elitist and say we don’t need their votes if they don’t want to compromise but that’s pretty similar to the way that a lot of indies feel about voting for Democrats, or Republicans for that matter.
I’ll be honest, when Bernie was cheated out of his shot at the Presidency last time I was very angry and I wanted him to never set foot inside the Democratic party again. After thinking about this subject a lot though I can’t help but feel that watching the corporate owned elitist Democrats being ran out of their own party would carry a great deal of satisfaction. Then once progressives are in control they can start initiating to get more political parties involved in the process.
It will also likely mean any number of official looking polls coming out showing Biden, Harris, Booker, Warren or hell even Clinton herself are polling higher than Sanders. A word to the wise when you see any online poll, do some due diligence before accepting the data. First and foremost, look to see how they contacted the respondents, was it by cell phone or landline or by some other method? A recent poll by CNN shows Biden with better numbers against Trump than Bernie Sanders does. Seriously. Of course the poll isn’t very transparent about the methodology except that 40% of those polled were on a landline. Just a wild guess here but it doesn’t sound like they were going for the voices of millennials and that most assuredly is the reason Biden “appeared” to do better than Sanders. I’m sure we will cover the polling issue more in depth at a later date but it’s something to be aware of.
Is it too early to announce a run? Maybe, Trump’s only been in office for a little over a year now but keep in mind that Bernie declared last time in the spring of 2015 (just a little over a year away). This time there is arguably more on the table. Not that the future of the planet wasn’t riding on this last time but an early decision by the most popular politician in America could help get people to vote in the historically low-turnout midterms, and that’s why announcing soon would probably be the best decision the Senator from Vermont could make.