Bernie is back.
Bernie Sanders, the independent Vermont senator who finished runner up to Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, on Tuesday announced a second White House bid.
“I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country. I think he is a pathological liar,” Sanders said in an interview with Vermont public Radio. “I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.”
Sanders, 77, upended the party establishment by siphoning support from Democrats’ liberal wing and young people, touching off a leftist movement that ushered progressives like freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into office in the November midterm elections. His strong-than-expected challenges to Clinton arguably weakened her ultimately unsuccessful general election candidacy and against Donald Trump.
Sanders starts his 2020 campaign with a long list of potential advantages, not least of which include a massive email list of supporters, a proven track record of small-dollar fundraising, and veteran aides who three years ago helped chart a path to victory in key states like New Hampshire.
For all his successes three years ago, 2020 will be a very different campaign cycle. Many former Sanders supporters and aides are looking at other options in a diverse field of Democrats that could top 20 well-known names.
In a year when Democratic voters have signaled a increased desire for racial and gender diversity, Sanders would be only the second straight, white man in the field.
“What I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of — a belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics, in town meetings — that’s what I’m going to carry all over this country,” Sanders said.
© Copyright 2021 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.