Senator Sanders enters 2016 race in challenge to Clinton

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

The Problem for Bernie Sanders: The Narrow Lane to Hillary Clinton’s Left.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is entering the race for the Democratic nomination for president. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., smiles as he is asked about running for president during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

That’s true even though the Democratic Party’s liberal activist base, which strongly opposed her bid in 2008, has considerable reservations about her ties to Wall Street, her foreign policy, the recent allegations about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and the revelations about the private email account and server she used when she was the secretary of state. Yet despite for the most part lacking a credible threat from her left, Clinton has spent much of her campaign thus far at least sounding like more of a liberal than she ever did in the Senate or during her presidential campaign in 2008. Sanders starts with the support of some of the most liberal activists in the Democratic Party, the sort of progressives who favored Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio in his quixotic presidential bids. Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” will follow a statement with a major campaign kickoff in his home state in several weeks. It’s been enough to cause some lefties, like this author, to express cautious optimism that HRC 2016 might not be the centrist, neoliberal blah-fest many expected.

Two people familiar with his announcement spoke to The Associated Press under condition of anonymity to describe internal planning. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) MONTPELIER, Vt. Henwood has long been a merciless critic of Democratic timidity and the party’s embrace over the last generation or so of neoliberalism; but when the anti-HRC cover essay he wrote for Harper’s last year took off, his critique of the would-be president and her ex-president husband was elevated to another level of prominence. Sanders will need to expand his reach beyond a heavily white, college-town demographic to other elements of the Democratic coalition, notably African-Americans. Sanders plans to focus on three core issues – income inequality, campaign finance reform, and climate change – informal adviser Tad Devine tells Politico. Recently, Salon spoke over the phone with Henwood about Hillary Clinton’s campaign so far, as well as her worldview and what he would expect from her if she were to become president.

That might seem somewhat surprising if you’re an affluent, secular, well-educated person living along the coasts, in places like Bethesda, Md., Berkeley, Calif., or Montclair, N.J., where the party really is dominated by the uniformly liberal voters who love Elizabeth Warren and harbor at least some reservations about Mrs. He frequently expresses outrage that a “billionaire class” has taken too much control over the American political and economic systems, and labeled it “beyond belief” when the House voted last month to provide $269 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy. Before we get into it, just to establish your priors for those who aren’t as familiar with your politics: Is there any realistic situation where you could imagine voting for a Democrat in a presidential election? Sanders could find similar support in New Hampshire, particularly along the western spine of the state, home to many of the state’s most liberal voters. Sanders fails to win much more than 10 percent of support from the caucusgoers and voters in those first two states, whose electorates are overwhelmingly white, he will have a hard time remaining viable when the race turns to South Carolina, where blacks can make up more than half of the primary electorate.

Sanders himself plans not to go for the big campaign cash that has become a hallmark of modern campaigns, and instead will solicit small-dollar donations, according to reports. “The one thing he’s determined not to do is to be another Ralph Nader. Elsewhere, the party includes a large number of less educated, more religious — often older, Southern or nonwhite — voters who are far from uniformly liberal. He has been a critic of the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Stiegel Act, which had mandated that commercial banks and securities firms remain separate.

The majority of Democrats and Democratic primary voters are self-described moderates or even conservatives, according to an Upshot analysis of Pew survey data and exit polls from the 2008 Democratic primary. Sanders said in 2013 that the 10 largest banks in the United States had grown bigger than before a government bailout helped them out of the 2008 financial crisis. Nader, a six-time independent presidential candidate, was accused of taking crucial votes away from Democratic nominee Al Gore in the razor-close 2000 presidential election. When there’s a Republican in office, a lot of progressive-leaning people would say, Oh, you need to get the Republican out and get the Democrat in and things will be better.

But the “mostly liberal” Democrats barely outnumber Democrats with “mixed” or conservative policy views, according to the Pew data, which classified respondents based on how consistently they agreed with Democratic policy positions. He has rallied with labor and environmental groups against a proposed new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, involving the U.S., Canada and Asian countries, saying it will be a boon to big business but bad for workers. So, having a Democratic president probably makes some people’s lives marginally better; and it’s good for my people — radicals — to have failed Democrats in power. The Post recalls his “calling card moment” in December 2010, when he “thundered for more than eight hours” from the Senate floor about a tax cut package and Congress’s failure, in his view, to adequately fund education and social programs. “With his trademark sarcasm, he mocked the rich, yelling: ‘How can I get by on one house?

They helped give Hillary Clinton a wide lead in the polls in 2008, until Barack Obama won Iowa and built an enormous lead among black voters — who represent about 20 percent of Democratic voters. It was later printed in a small book.” According to advisers, Sanders’s announcement Thursday will be low key, followed by a larger kickoff rally, likely in Vermont. Sanders opposes voter ID laws, saying there’s scant evidence of the voter fraud described by the laws’ supporters, and says a requirement to show ID presents the most difficulty to minority, young and elderly voters. He favors abortion rights, opposes the death penalty and has indicated his opposition to a philosophical exemption for parents who don’t want their children vaccinated.

He said he is sensitive to families’ wishes, but “If I have a kid who is suffering from an illness who is subjected to a kid who walks into a room without vaccines, that could kill that child and that’s wrong.” Sanders opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline, proposed to ship oil from the Canadian prairie to refineries in Texas. Clinton’s left would probably stand a good chance of faring well among very liberal voters again, but would struggle to build a broad enough coalition to have a plausible chance of winning the nomination. Watching the reaction to the “Clinton Cash” book has been very funny: they hate the thing so much, but I think part of the hatred is fear, because they’ve got no back-up plan. So I’m guessing you don’t find the responses to “Clinton Cash” that have come from the Clinton camp and their sympathizers particularly persuasive? I talked to Dick Morris — and I know Dick Morris is a pretty shady character in some ways, but he’s a smart fellow — and … he kind of predicted what she would be like: more hawkish, with populist talk, but still phony.

If she can raise money from the kinds of big money people she’s planning to raise money from in the coming months — Wall Street, etc. — then we’ll know that there’s really not too much substance behind the talk. She’s basically a creature of meritocratic wing of the 1 percent — these people that believe that because of their talent and hard work they made lots of money and deserve the wealth and power they have. I think they’re very much of that jet-setting Davos-man milieu; and it’s really hard to think her moving against the people who are now her people in a meaningful way. What about how she might interact as president, if she wins, with the growing social movements on the left — the Black Lives Matter, Fight for 15, Occupy-offshoot groups, et cetera?

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