Most people with any awareness of Hillary Clinton’s politics would consider her a liberal; in fact, conservatives would likely place Mrs. Clinton pretty far to the left on any realistic political yardstick. So it stands to reason that a challenger who might, by comparison, make the former secretary of state seem less extreme, even more centrist in her views and beliefs, could help Hillary with so-called moderate voters in the middle — those often cited as necessary for a national candidate to come out on top.
Enter Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and enter the race he reportedly plans to do. USA Today says that Sanders, the longest-serving independent member of Congress in history, will announce Thursday that he intends to seek the Democrat nomination to run for president in 2016. The paper’s source for its information is a Sanders aide as well as earlier reporting by Vermont Public Radio.
[Sanders] will soon file Federal Election Commission paperwork and make a formal announcement in late May at City Hall in Burlington, where he previously served as mayor, according to the source.
Sanders would be the first major candidate to challenge former secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the primaries.
The USA Today article says that Bernie Sanders “considers himself a progressive.” However, a number of other news outlets, including The Washington Post, point out that Sanders is a “self-described socialist.” A Post article on Sanders’ expected announcement that he will challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination said that the 73-year-old senator “shares many of the same political stances as Sen. Elizabeth Warren” of Massachusetts.
“Sanders presents a notable left-leaning challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, who announced her second campaign for the White House on April 12.”
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Sanders’ reported plan to run as a Democrat and not as an Independent could provide Mrs. Clinton with the notable advantage of being able to contrast herself with the ultra-leftist views of a Warren-like candidate without having to face the potentially formidable challenge that an actual Warren candidacy would present. Many passionate progressives have been urging Warren to run because they are skeptical of Mrs. Clinton’s ties to big money interests on Wall Street as well as her controversial connections to wealth in major power centers around the world.
Among the issues on which Vermont’s socialist senator has said he will run are those at the heart of what he calls a needed “political revolution” in America.
“In a fiery [Chicago] speech with his sleeves rolled, Sanders explained why he thinks addressing income inequality is so crucial. He also called for expanded education funding. a higher minimum wage and revamping campaign finance laws to prevent wealthy donors from dominating elections.”
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