|Bernie Sanders makes a fist while talking on stage during the |
New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention on September 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
"Feel The Bern..." - The tagline for a campaign that is exciting more people than we have seen in some time - from the youthful voters grabbing their first chance at voting, through the disgruntled millennials and the forgotten Oldster Left (that's where I come in).
Back in the Fall of 2013, when Bernie Sanders, the passionate Socialist Democrat from Vermont (via the 'hood, Borough Park, Brooklyn), started discussing a potential bid for President, he was met with rolled eyes, suppressed giggles and outright hostility from the mainstream media, political hacks and party leaders. He was written off as a complete outsider, not to be taken seriously.
Here's Senator Sanders from the Burlington Free Press, November, 2013, discussing a potential run:
Sen. Bernie Sanders talks about his possible run for president: Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses his possible run for president at his office in Burlington, VT. (Produced by GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)
Hillary Clinton has always been considered the de facto DNC candidate for 2016. She lost to Barack Obama in 2008 so it "must be" her turn, right? The Polls, as early as 2014, showed Hillary as the most favored potential candidate.
From CNN, June 9, 2014:
2016: Just about every national and state poll has indicated the same thing: If she runs, Clinton's the overwhelming favorite for her party's presidential nomination. Sixty-four percent of Democrats questioned in a CNN/ORC poll conducted in early May said they would likely back Clinton. That number stood at 66% in the new ABC News/Washington Post survey, with Vice President Joe Biden a very distant second, at 12% support.
But Democrats don't want a coronation. Fifty-five percent in the ABC News/Washington Post poll said they don't want Clinton to run unopposed for the nomination. Even among Clinton supporters, a majority want to see some competition.
As for the general election, Clinton maintains a large single digit to small double digit lead over possible Republican opponents in surveys of hypothetical 2016 general election matchups.
The latest example: Clinton topped Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, 53%-43%, in the new ABC News/Washington Post survey.How quickly this has turned - Bernie Sanders has sparked a revolt; He has inspired us to donate, to campaign and, hopefully, to vote....
Clinton has tried; hell, the DNC has tried; and even the MSM has tried to ignore him, hoping he would just go away but Sanders is not going to go away. He is out to confront and shake the very paradigm that keeps the people of this nation marginalized and balkanized - the destruction of the Middle Class, the "too-big-to fail" banking industry, the pay off of politicos by corporate interests and Wall Street, the inadequate health care system (a little bit better but still nothing like what was promised by the last candidate for president pushed by the DNC and no where near what is required to adequately cover the people), the complete disregard for the poor and the infirm, the continued refusal to actually care for the war veterans of this nation....
For Sanders, it has been an uphill battle starting at nearly 0 and now, according to the latest polls in New Hampshire and Iowa, he is the contender that is within the "margin of error". In other words, neck and neck with Clinton. The old guard politicos are taking notice
From the Washington Post, January 15, 2016:
Some leading Democrats are increasingly anxious about Hillary Clinton’s prospects for winning the party’s presidential nomination, warning that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s growing strength in early battleground states and strong fundraising point to a campaign that could last well into the spring.
What seemed recently to be a race largely controlled by Clinton has turned into a neck-and-neck contest with voting set to begin in less than three weeks.
On Capitol Hill and in state party headquarters, some Democrats worry that a Sanders nomination could imperil candidates down the ballot in swing districts and states. Others sense deja vu from 2008, when Clinton’s overwhelming edge cratered in the days before the Iowa caucuses.
Just as Barack Obama’s stunning upset there helped assure Democrats in later states that a black man could win votes from whites and propelled him to victory in South Carolina and other places, so, too, could a Sanders victory on Feb. 1 in Iowa and then Feb. 9 in New Hampshire ease doubts about the viability of a self-described “democratic socialist,” some said.As for campaign donations, Sanders really does show he is more of a man of the people. For the 3rd quarter of 2015, ending September, 2015, Bernie Sanders had received $26.2 million to Hillary's $29.9 million. The difference - 88% of Sander's donations were from small individual donors with donations less than $200 each (raising the specter of the Obama campaign of 2008).
The Clinton campaign has, finally, taken notice but not in a good way. Hillary's response? She has gone on the attack and, so far, it has backfired (it helps when she uses the GOP trick of spewing with false information)
From The Washington Post, January 13, 2016:
Hillary Clinton’s new barrage against Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential primary opponent she has all but ignored through most of her campaign, is having an effect — though probably not the one she intended.
Sanders’s underdog campaign said it is seeing a surge of contributions as a direct result of the new attention it is getting from the Democratic front-runner, with money coming in at a clip nearly four times the average daily rate reported in the last quarter of 2015...
...“As of now, we are at about $1.4 million raised since yesterday when the panic attacks by the Clinton campaign began,” Briggs said. “We’ve gotten 47,000 contributions. We’re projecting 60,000 donations. Even for our people-powered campaign, this is pretty darn impressive.”
Sanders strategist Tad Devine said the campaign may go on the air with TV ads outside the three early-contest states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Sanders’s team now feels pressure to put out its own message across the map before Clinton has a chance to define it on her terms. “That is something we are considering as we speak,” Devine said.Oops....
So Hillary can attack with her feigned outrage and misinformation, the political hacks entrenched in the DNC (Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for example) and all the right of center "liberals" can kvetch and whine, tear their hair and rend their clothes, Bernie Sanders is not going away and is gaining momentum.
Those of us on the liberal side of liberal, those of us on the Left, disenfranchised and angry, who have actually said "fuck you"to the 2 party paradigm called the US political system, and those of us in the growing "unaffiliated"or "independent" side can actually hold out some hope.
A Socialist Democrat from Vermont, via Borough Park, Brooklyn, is taking up the banner for real change and a real liberal push at the perpetually right leaning government of incompetency.
Personally, I am finally seeing the possibility for the "Hope and Change" I can start to believe in that I never believed in with the guy who claimed that mantra.
For those who don't know Bernie Sanders in Congress:
Senator Bernie Sanders is an Independent for a reason - A Democratic Socialist who runs under the Vermont Progressive Party, he has to caucus with one side of the aisle or the other if he wants to get anything done. He chooses the Democrats in Congress though he has no problem calling them out.