While Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders filed his intention to officially seek the 2016 Democratic nomination several weeks ago, he postponed his campaign launch until today. Sanders enters the race to the left of Hillary Clinton politically, focusing heavily on a progressive agenda.

Report from the Reading Eagle:

Challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton from the left, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders formally launched his Democratic presidential campaign on Tuesday by vowing to start a “political revolution” to address core economic issues, massive student debt and the role of big money in politics.

Already in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders was opening his campaign with a kickoff event — complete with free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream — in Burlington, the place where he won his first election by beating a longtime incumbent Democrat by 10 votes to become mayor.

“I know what I believe,” Sanders said in a fundraising email hours before his launch that pushed back against “the billionaire class” trying to buy the election. “That’s why today marks the beginning of our political revolution.”

Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” is trying to ignite a grassroots fire among left-leaning Democrats wary of Clinton — a group that pined for months for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to get in to race. Some still do.

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 and Warren’s platform — reining in Wall Street banks, tackling college debt and creating a government-financed infrastructure jobs program.

“Hillary Clinton is a candidate. I am a candidate,” Sanders said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I suspect there will be other candidates. The people in this country will make their choice.”

Sander has jumped in the polls due to the lack of candidates on the Democratic side since his announcement back on April 30. I expect him to drive the conversation to the left and attempt to force Hillary into adopting some positions she may otherwise not be comfortable touting.

However, Sanders will soon be challenged by Martin O’Malley, another Democratic hoping to claim the progressive mantle and challenge Hillary in a similar fashion.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I was talking to a Democrat on Saturday. She said Bernie is only running so that they can have debates, but EVERYBODY loves Hillary, so she won’t have any serious challenge. Right. In a few months, there will be five or six Dems going for it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Hillary pulls out months before the convention.

    • I’m seeing this “Clinton won’t be the nominee” talk from some conservatives inside the conservative bubble. Are there any Democrats not in the tank for Sanders who believe it?

      • We’ve been talking about it here for months. It’s not about left or right, it’s mostly that Hillary is uncomfortable in front of the camera, and since Nixon v JFK, nobody who fears the camera has been elected.

        • Great, so who will be the Democratic nominee in 2016? Elizabeth Warren? Martin O’Malley? They don’t have the name recognition or ability to raise money that Clinton does. Absent a bigger smoking gun than what we have seen so far, she will be the nominee. You can’t beat Clinton without a viable alternative nominee. She can be coached/trained to overcome this alleged camera fear.

          • Name recognition is not the same as respect. Everybody knows her, and everybody has an opinion on her. Her favorability numbers are consistently higher than other (unknown) Democrats, but her unfavorability numbers are high, too. She hangs around 42%. You don’t get elected with 42%, and it’s not like there’s someone out there who doesn’t know her, whom she can impress.

            • What polls are you reading? This was updated six days ago.

              http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/hillary-clinton-favorable-rating

              Yes, her favorability is 48% as of six days ago–but her UNfavorability is 46%. In November, 2012, her numbers were 59%-33%, and she has been nosediving since. If her unfavorability were 20%, yeah, she’d have a chance.

              Obviously, she’s going to be high in Dem polls. I think it’s more telling that–as the ONLY candidate when the polls were taken–one third of Dems did NOT want her.

              And, likewise, the Republican field is currently filled with nutcases and weirdos. Once Rand or JEB become the obvious GOP leader, it will be neck-and-neck.

              Hillary has maintained a slight edge because she has hidden from the media. That can’t last, either.

            • Even the poll you link to doesn’t have her hovering in the 42% favorability range. Yes, the race will likely tighten once the GOP nominee is chosen. However, back to your original post– “I wouldn’t be surprised if Hillary pulls out months before the convention” –that is extremely unlikely at this point.

              Wouldn’t the GOP want such a damaged nominee as an opponent? I don’t understand the eagerness to predict that Clinton won’t get the Dem nomination, other than a fervent desire to see her leave the scene.

            • Sure, it’s unlikely “at this point.” She’s hiding from the press, and in so doing, has turned herself into a chased rock star.

              The irony is that the GOP actually wants Hillary as the Dem candidate. They want to be the first party to beat the first female presidential candidate (the Dems already beat the first female veep candidate).

              I think the best Dem ticket at this point would be Jim Webb and Julian Castro.

            • “The GOP actually wants… to be the first party to beat the first female presidential candidate.”

              No, no one has time for such schoolyard pettiness. It’s about winning the Presidency. It’s about the Supreme Court nominees. Obamacare. National security. Immigration policy.

              Thanks for finally telling me who you think will beat Hillary. It’s more likely to be Governor Cuomo or Cory Booker– greater ability to raise money or greater flash.

            • I didn’t say they WOULD beat Hillary. I said they SHOULD.

              Cuomo would be another Dukakis. Booker is one too many Black candidates too soon.

              And I was being facetious about what the GOP wants. What they really want is to beat Hillary at any cost, regardless of gender. Clinton-envy is rife in Reaganland.

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