Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bernie is officially in the race

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders Officially Launches Democratic Presidential Campaign

By Al Jazeera America and Associated Press
27 May 15
Self-described democratic socialist will challenge presumed frontrunner Hillary Clinton from the left
ermont Sen. Bernie Sanders kicked off his long shot presidential campaign Tuesday with a pitch to progressives in the Democratic Party and others who want change from a “rigged economy” that favors the rich.

Sanders vowed to make income inequality, campaign finance reform and climate change mitigation his leading issues as he takes on Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

“This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about,” the self-described democratic socialist said in remarks prepared for his rally. The event came several weeks after Sanders announced his candidacy. But this time there was with free ice cream from Ben and Jerry's, the Vermont-based ice cream company co-founded by longtime Sanders supporters.

In a policy-heavy announcement speech delivered from Burlington, Vermont — where Sanders once governed as mayor — the senator vowed to fight for initiatives such as a “Medicare for all” single-payer health care program and universal pre-K schooling.

Sanders is trying to capture the support of left-leaning Democrats wary of Clinton — a group that has pined for months for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to get in the race.

But while Warren remains committed to the Senate, repeatedly saying she won't run for the White House, Sanders is laying out an agenda in step with the party's progressive wing: reining in Wall Street banks, tackling college debt and creating a government-financed infrastructure jobs program.

Clinton is in a commanding position by any measure, far in front of both Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is widely expected to get into the race Saturday.

Yet Sanders' supporters in New Hampshire say his practice of holding town hall meetings and people-to-people campaigning — a staple in the nation's first primary state — will serve him well.

“Toward the Vermont border, it's like a love-fest for Bernie,“ said Jerry Curran, an Amherst, New Hampshire, Democratic activist who has been involved in the draft Warren effort. “He's not your milquetoast left-winger. He's kind of a badass left-winger.”

Sanders, an independent in the Senate who often votes with the Democrats, has raised more than $4 million since announcing in late April that he would seek the party's nomination. He suggested in the interview that raising $50 million for the primaries was a possibility. “That would be a goal,” he said.

Whether Sanders can tap into the party's Warren wing and influence Clinton's policy agenda remains unclear. But he has been on the forefront of progressive causes as Clinton has seemed to be tacking to the left.

He has introduced legislation to make tuition free at public colleges and universities. Clinton's campaign has signaled that she intends to make debt-free college a major piece of her campaign.

+14 # DPM 2015-05-27 09:31
Clinton will say anything. Sanders means what he says!
+10 # grandma lynn 2015-05-27 09:34
Hillary appears to be "tacking to the left"? For appearances, only. She's in the big-thing loop of politics and long-time "been there." Sanders always speaks his truth, his understanding. No fakery. If only he can buck the nay-sayers who think Hillary has it sewed up. I just sent him $100.
+9 # tedrey 2015-05-27 09:52
Sanders has a chance if:

1) We strangle this kneejerk "Sanders doesn't have a chance" meme, which is pushed by both the Dem and Rep establishments for obvious reasons.

2) At the proper moment Liz Warren tells her admirers that Sanders has her blessing.

3. The US war machine hits another massive setback and Sanders takes the proper advantage of it to say the war money will be better used at home.

It can happen. I'm working for it. All the alternatives seem much worse.
+6 # librarian1984 2015-05-27 10:11
Make a donation to Senator Sanders' campaign, even if it's $5 or $10. If millions of people use SCOTUS-specifie d free speech (i.e. money) to show support, it will scare the beejeezus out of Clinton AND the right.

Why have we given a chance to every form of conservatism but never a populist agenda? By definition it should appeal to more people!
+9 # vt143 2015-05-27 10:35
At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, THIS IS AMERICA'S LAST CHANCE. Believe it. We are devolving into a medieval economy and if we don't do something radical right now there will be no turning back. Big money and corporations are making all of the choices in this country. Bernie has the vision and integrity to try to turn this country around. I have never given a dime to a political candidate but I am giving money to and will work for Bernie.
+5 # HowardMH 2015-05-27 10:57
Go Bernie Go. He is the first one that gets my attention and vote in 2016
+6 # ritawalpoleague 2015-05-27 11:03
And, tedrey, when, as you so well put it, the "kneejerk meme" of 'Sanders is a socialist and nobody can or will vote for a socialist' we also have to strangle well when it arises.

The Scandinavian 'socialist' countries (and, yes, Bernie is a Scandinavian style socialist) are more advanced currently than this soooo broken down and messed up 'corruptocracy' country of ours is.

Those of us who realize that we are in dire plus need of real McCoy change, need to be made aware that such change does not come from the 'middle of the roaders', such as Hillary Clinton. Does not matter how Hillary says all she can to con us and convince us that she is a 'liberal/progre ssive Democrat'.

Actions speak louder than words, and while Hillary has been 'bought off' while groveling to the villainaires, Bernie Sanders has been not merely pretending to be a people server, but has actually been one consistently for years and years now. He's our hope for a peaceful implosion vs. bloody revolution to get going.

A Sanders/Warren ticket in '16 would be an absolute winner, 'cause.....

SANDERS PANDERS NOT, TO THE 1% (and neither does Warren).

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