Bernie Sanders says he is “prepared to run for president of the United States.” That’s not a formal announcement. A lot can change between now and 2016, and the populist senator from Vermont bristles at the whole notion of a permanent campaign. But Sanders has begun talking with savvy progressive political strategists, traveling to unexpected locations such as Alabama and entertaining the process questions that this most issue-focused member of the Senate has traditionally avoided.
In some senses, Sanders is the unlikeliest of prospects: an independent who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate but has never joined the party, a democratic socialist in a country where many politicians fear the label “liberal,” an outspoken critic of the economic, environmental and social status quo who rips “the ruling class” and calls out the Koch brothers by name. Yet, he has served as the mayor of his state’s largest city, beaten a Republican incumbent for the US House, won and held a historically Republican Senate seat and served longer as an independent member of Congress than anyone else. And he says his political instincts tell him America is ready for a “political revolution.”
In his first extended conversation about presidential politics, Sanders discussed with The Nation the economic and environmental concerns that have led him to consider a 2016 run; the difficult question of whether to run as a Democrat or an independent; his frustration with the narrow messaging of prominent Democrats, including Hillary Clinton; and his sense that political and media elites are missing the signs that America is headed toward a critical juncture where electoral expectations could be exploded.
TIME Newsmaker Interview: Bernie Sanders Says He’d Make a Better President Than Hillary Clinton
Jay Newton-Small / Washington @JNSmall March 5, 2014
The Independent Senator from Vermont said in a wide-ranging interview with TIME that Clinton is a “very, very intelligent person” but doubts that she will help bring about the “political revolution in America” that Sanders says the country desperately needs
With his white hair in characteristic disarray, Sen. Bernie Sanders is slouching on the couch in his office on the third floor of the Senate Dirksen Office Building between two brass-eagle themed lamps. His left foot is propped on the coffee table in front of him. But the Vermont Independent, and self-described socialist, is no slouch. He’s a man who has achieved a series of improbable victories and who is setting his sights on the toughest yet victory of his long career: the White House.
Bernie Sanders on Social Media
(image via DonkeyHotey)