Quantcast
Connect with us

Bernie Sanders faces new challenges in crowded 2020 US presidential race

Published

on

Bernie Sanders is back for another White House run, but this one promises to be far different than the improbable 2016 presidential campaign that made the Vermont senator a political force.

In the 2020 race, Sanders, who announced his latest bid on Tuesday, will have to fight to stand out in a crowded field of progressives touting issues he brought into the Democratic Party mainstream four years ago. At 77, he also will face questions about his age and relevance in a party increasingly embracing more diverse and fresh voices.

ADVERTISEMENT

While many of his supporters are sticking with him, some are waiting to see how the Democratic field seeking to challenge Republican President Donald Trump shapes up.

“2020 is not 2016. He had his moment and 2020 may not be his moment,” said Ron Abramson, a New Hampshire immigration lawyer and a Sanders delegate to the 2016 Democratic nominating convention who now is undecided.

Sanders enters the race with clear strengths: broad name recognition, an ability to raise money from small-dollar donors and passionate supporters who flocked to his insurgent 2016 campaign against one of the best-known figures in American politics, Hillary Clinton.

Sanders, an independent democratic socialist who aligns with Democrats in the Senate, pushed Clinton and the party to the left in 2016 and drew fervent support from young and liberal voters with an agenda supporting universal healthcare, raising the hourly minimum wage to $15 and free public college tuition.

Those are mainstream positions for the party now, with Democratic presidential contenders including fellow Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker promoting similar views.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Some of us get to open doors and others get to walk through them,” said Arnie Arnesen, a liberal radio host and former New Hampshire state legislator who calls herself a Sanders admirer. “Bernie opened the door for progressive politics, but I think he has to recognize there are new voices and a new bench.”

Sanders also will face lingering resentment in some Democratic quarters over the 2016 campaign. His challenge to eventual nominee Clinton split the party and generated tension between its establishment and liberal wings that still exists.

DIVERSITY
Sanders already has moved to correct some 2016 missteps.

ADVERTISEMENT

In January, he apologized to women campaign workers who said they had been harassed or mistreated by male campaign staffers, and he acknowledged the campaign’s “standards and safeguards were inadequate.”

He has been trying to reach out to black and Hispanic leaders after having trouble winning over minority voters in 2016. That could prove challenging again as a white man competing against female, black and Hispanic candidates.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I really want to be sure the person who I ultimately support is going to take a hard look at diversity and ensure they are reaching out to all communities, particularly people of color and women,” said Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state legislator and U.S. congressional candidate who backed Sanders last time but is uncommitted for 2020.

Ray Buckley, chairman of the Democratic Party in New Hampshire, an influential state with an early nominating contest where Sanders won 60 percent of the vote in 2016, said Sanders’ inner circle of top supporters there is largely with him. But most prominent party activists are shopping the field, Buckley said.

Some Sanders allies expect the crowded field to help him, fracturing the vote enough to give Sanders and his dedicated following more clout.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s going to be real hard for some of the other candidates to stand out, whereas Senator Sanders already has the name recognition and support,” said Tim Smith, a state legislator in New Hampshire and a member of the state’s steering committee for Sanders.

Sanders also will benefit from grassroots groups such as Organizing for Bernie-Draft Bernie and People for Bernie Sanders, which have been building support and organizing for him ahead of his announcement.

His supporters said his decades-long commitment to progressive issues will resonate with voters choosing among candidates with similar views.

“These aren’t platitudes to him,” said Katherine Brezler, co-founder of People for Bernie Sanders. “Having to push somebody to believe these things is not where I need to be. Bernie would not have to be educated about these issues.”

ADVERTISEMENT

His strengths on the issues, however, may not be enough.

“We need somebody who can tap a broader segment of the electorate,” said Abramson, the 2016 Sanders delegate.

Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Bill Trott


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

A censure compromise is the GOP’s best option – but Trump is making it impossible: conservative columnist

Published

on

In an op-ed for the conservative outlet The Bulwark, Benjamin Parker argues that when it comes to censure as a "compromise" to impeachment, that potential compromise is a model that President Trump himself has taken off the table.

Just like during the Bill Clinton era, party members leading the impeachment effort know that they won't get the Senate votes to convict. "The censure compromise was an effort by the president’s defenders to end the impeachment process early. It failed in 1998 because Republicans were determined to demonstrate their fidelity to the rule of law and to enforce a high standard of conduct for public officials," Parker writes, adding that Democrats today find themselves in a similar position. "At this point, Trump’s defenders should be suggesting a censure measure as a possible compromise just as Democrats did in 1998. ... Even if a compromise on censure appears unreachable, the Republicans should make the offer on the off chance that it works."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Fresno Bee burns Nunes to the ground in scathing editorial

Published

on

The editorial board of the Fresno Bee has written a scathing takedown of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his extraordinary fealty to President Donald Trump, which the editors say is harming the country.

Specifically, the editorial accuses Nunes of forsaking his oath of office as a congressman to serve as Trump's most loyal toady on the House Intelligence Committee.

"As has been true for nearly all of Trump’s first term, Nunes has relinquished his proper role as an independent representative of Congress and has instead acted like a member of the Trump 2020 re-election team," the editorial states.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

‘Don’t mess with me’: Pelosi’s presser ends with a bang as she blasts reporter for asking if she ‘hates’ Trump

Published

on

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly rebuked a reporter who asked whether she hated President Donald Trump.

The California Democrat announced Thursday morning that she had asked Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler to draft articles of impeachment, and she then announced that the committee would hear evidence in the case in a hearing Monday.

"Ukraine was the vehicle of the president's actions (but) this isn't about Ukraine," Pelosi said. "This is about Russians. Who benefited? Who benefited from that holding that military assistance?"

"All roads lead to Putin," she added. "Understand that."

Continue Reading