CNN: Bernie Sanders could announce presidential run “within days”

Hillary Clinton has done her best since announcing her bid for the White House to shore up her left flank, but it looks like her best hasn’t been enough to avoid a progressive primary challenge. In one of the less-reported stories emanating from the Sunday shows this week, CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson reported on Inside Politics with John King that Bernie Sanders could announce that he’s running for president “within days.” MSNBC added that if he were to run, he would do so as a Democrat.

UPDATE: Vermont Public Radio is reporting that Sanders will announce his campaign on Thursday.

CNN has not provided an embed link to place in posts, but you can watch her report here.

Henderson’s report comes from conversations with Sanders advisers in South Carolina this weekend, where a host of potential challengers to Clinton spoke at the state’s Democratic Convention. Per Henderson, Sanders’s speech at the convention received a “standing ovation,” even impressing veteran Democratic leader Congressman Jim Clyburn.

Sanders has previously hinted at a 2016 bid numerous times, but this is the clearest indication he has given that he will enter the race.

While Sanders would not be the only potential primary opponent for Clinton, he is the only one who is uniformly to her left on social, economic and foreign policy issues. Jim Webb is to her right on climate, Martin O’Malley’s body of work puts him to her right terms of both issue statements and fundraising and Lincoln Chafee (who has technically already announced he’s running, but hasn’t filed the paperwork yet) used to hold elected office as a Republican.

Given the fact — yes, fact — that Elizabeth Warren is not going to jump in the 2016 race, this would make Sanders the lone progressive running for president this cycle.

And if he were to win, he would be the actual pot-smoking socialist that conservatives have been wailing about for the last six-plus years.

If Sanders does launch a bid, it won’t be because he expects to win. It will be because he, like many of us, sense a massive void on the left in the current political discourse. The Democratic Party, for all the points they score on the issue, has not yet come to terms with the steps necessary in order to tackle economic inequality. It has not yet come to terms with the steps necessary in order to address climate change. It has not yet come to terms with the steps necessary to reign in the military industrial complex. Bernie Sanders may not be able to beat Hillary Clinton, but he sure as hell can make her talk about these issues, and can make her answer for her record on them. It’s a record that’s suspect at best.

Assuming he does in fact run, I look forward to seeing him on the trail.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Sharon4562

    [>#

  • 1nancy2

    2k, So would I. Bernie is the lone voice in the paid for D and R candidates. I love Bernie!

  • FLL

    Sanders does a great job in the Senate, as does Elizabeth Warren.

  • SocraticGadfly

    Also, there’s still the very interesting possibility of Schweitzer entering the race. He’s probably worse than most Dems except Webb on climate change, but he arguably has at least some of Webb’s populist schtick and would be better on the stump.

  • SocraticGadfly

    Jon, on the Iraq War, in particular, and on a war-hawk foreign policy in general, Chafee’s more liberal than Hillz, even if he was once a Republican.

  • SocraticGadfly

    He’s not running for president of Israel, or president of the F-35 lovers club, either, FLL. I remind you of THAT: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2015/02/hypocrisy-alert-bernie-sanders-wanting.html

  • FLL

    I’m sure Sanders will run in the Democratic primaries, if only to make his voice heard. After all, if it’s never said, it’s never heard.

  • FLL

    Quoted by Bill Perdue from an article in Counterpunch:

    “Senator Sanders is often called a socialist in the mainstream and progressive media. While this may have been true once, it would be hard for even the most generous reader of Karl Marx to honestly say this was still the case.”

    “Even the most generous reader of Karl Marx”?! Would someone remind Bill that this train left the station in the last quarter of the twentieth century?

  • 2karmanot

    Go Bernie. He’s an incredible man. When we lived in Vermont and had constituent problems and concerns we never got the brush off from him or soulless form letter replies. I’ll vote for him in a nano second.

  • Butch1

    When he does, the big surprise will be that he will NOT run as an Independent. He will switch his affiliation to Democrat so he can join the debates. At the present time, the Republicans and Democrats have locked out all the Independents from debating with them, so his best chance at getting heard would be to change parties. He will do that. I was at a meeting a few months ago and a spokesperson for his campaign did a “call-in” to our meeting and spoke for over an hour on a conference line answering questions, etc. That was one of the things he mentioned. It will certainly pull the conversations to the left if he is in the race.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Sanders is not a progressive, he’s a Democrat at heart. Calling Bernie Sanders a progressive is ill informed. Bernie Sanders, like all those who swim in the fetid waters of the Democrat or Republican swamp, is moving right. Sanders is not particularly different than Warren, Clinton and Obama. From time to time they’ll use leftist rhetoric but it never, ever, leads to real political change, as opposed to rebranding at election time.

    “Senator Sanders is often called a socialist in the mainstream and progressive media. While this may have been true once, it would be hard for even the most generous reader of Karl Marx to honestly say this was still the case. … All US wars involve a defense of the capitalist economy and, consequently, a belief in that economy’s superiority. Bernie Sanders actions make it clear he shares that belief.” http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/27/bernie-sanders-cannot-save-us/

    Sanders has become, over time, a tool of the military industrial complex and a zionist, that is to say, a racist.

    ” Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill. He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont. … Senator Sanders rarely misses a photo opportunity with Vermont National Guard troops when they are being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq. … Sanders is the darling of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the right-wing Likud government of Israel. He has done everything within his power to keep the myth of Islamic terrorism alive. He never questions the U.S. government’s unconditional support of Israeli acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/30/the-myth-of-bernie-sanders/

  • Don’t worry! He can stay in the Senate if he doesn’t win.

  • Indigo

    Oh, no! He’s so good he’s needed in the Senate! What is this impulse to drain the Senate of sensible members and push them into the lemmings’ rush off the cliff?

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