As expected, Bernie Sanders will be running for President in 2020. Whether or not it's on the Democratic ticket is anyone's guess.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose 2016 presidential campaign grew from a left-wing insurgency to a force that reshaped the Democratic Party, announced Tuesday that he will seek its nomination for president again in 2020.
Sanders wrote in an email sent to supporters Tuesday that he was building “an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign” that would draw on people across the country.
“Our campaign is not only about defeating Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history. It is not only about winning the Democratic nomination and the general election,” he wrote. “Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.”
The senator, an independent, cited health care, climate change, student debt, the “demonization” of undocumented immigrants, income inequality, gun violence and the myriad problems of America’s needy as propelling him into his second presidential contest.
“In a sense, this campaign is a continuation of what we did in 2016,” Sanders said during an interview Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.”
Asked how this bid would differ from his first run, Sanders said, “We’re gonna win.”
During an earlier interview with Vermont Public Radio, where he first announced his bid, Sanders called Trump “an embarrassment to our country.
“I think he is a pathological liar,” Sanders said. “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, who has held dozens of political rallies across the country since the 2016 election, enters the race with the biggest social media following — and biggest mailing list — of any candidate for the Democratic nomination. His decision came after a number of groups that spun out from his 2016 run, such as Our Revolution and People for Bernie, held house parties to mobilize his old supporters, and to find new ones.
After coming a few hundred delegates short of victory in 2016, Sanders begins a 2020 race with some advantages. He is one of the best-known and most admired figures in Democratic politics, though he is not a member of the party. He built campaign operations in every primary and caucus state.
But unlike Hillary Clinton, who recovered from her 2008 primary defeat to become the party’s front-runner in 2016, Sanders has not built on his support from the prior campaign. In early polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, where he won 50 percent and 60 percent of the vote, support for the senator from Vermont has ranged from the low teens to 30 percent.
The problem for Sanders this time around is that Hillary Clinton isn't in the race, and he lost to her anyway.
The field is wide-open and he has a lot more competition now, on top of the fact that he still has all the old baggage from 2016: we still haven't seen his tax returns, he still undervalues black and Latino voters, and most importantly he's still expecting to be nominated for a party he refuses to join outright.
Case in point from his interview this morning with Vermont Public Radio:
When asked by VPR's Bob Kinzel about concerns that he no longer best represents "the face of the new Democratic Party," Sanders, 77, said:
"We have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age," Sanders said. "I mean, I think we have got to try to move us toward a non-discriminatory society which looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for."
"Representation doesn't matter" is a hell of a message, Bern.
We'll see what happens.