Another Democrat Hat In the Ring: Bernie Sanders Will Run For President

Another Democrat Hat In the Ring: Bernie Sanders Will Run For President

The rumors were made official in an interview given to the Associated Press today – Bernie Sanders of Vermont, currently the only Independent in Congress, announced that he will be running for president as a Democrat.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont (Lauren Victoria Burke/WDCPIX.COM)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont (Lauren Victoria Burke/WDCPIX.COM)

The self-described “democratic socialist” enters the race as a robust liberal alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton, and he pledged to do more than simply raise progressive issues or nudge the former secretary of state to the left in a campaign in which she is heavily favored.

“People should not underestimate me,” Sanders said. “I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates and, you know, I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country.”

As he has for months in prospective campaign stops in the early voting states, and throughout his political career, the former mayor of Burlington, Vermont, on Wednesday assailed an economic system that he said has devolved over the past 40 years and eradicated the nation’s middle class.

“What we have seen is that while the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, we have seen a huge increase in income and wealth inequality, which is now reaching obscene levels,” Sanders told the AP.

“This is a rigged economy, which works for the rich and the powerful, and is not working for ordinary Americans. … You know, this country just does not belong to a handful of billionaires.”

Well, this means that the Democrats now have a candidate to the left of Hillary Clinton, and it also means that Hillary can now position herself as a centrist. It also means Democrat primary debates. While Sanders says he “likes” Hillary, he doesn’t sound like he’s going to hold back.

The 73-year-old Sanders starts his campaign as an undisputed underdog against Clinton. Sanders said he has known the former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state for more than two decades. “I respect her and like her,” he said.

He noted he has “never run a negative ad in my life,” but still drew a distinction with Clinton in the interview, promising to talk “very strongly about the need not to get involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East.”

“I voted against the war in Iraq,” he said. “Secretary Clinton voted for it when she was in the Senate.”

And with Sanders now running, we can now officially say that all the Democrat candidates are white, and old enough to be on Social Security. So much for the “young and cool” image from 2008.

Welcome to the race, Bernie Sanders. Thanks at least for making this interesting, instead of a coronation.

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Ava Gardner