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visits to early states
TV and radio ads
digital ads

Seven Days: Bernie Beat

...Senate campaign committee (FEC).
Bernie 2016
berniesanders  |  @berniesanders

...announced candidacy on April 30, 2015.  [FEC]
Office of Sen. Bernie Sanders
senatorsanders  |  @SenSanders
Progressive Voters of America

...leadership PAC filed with the FEC on Sept. 30, 2004.


People for Bernie Sanders


Bet on Bernie Sanders 2016
(prev. Ready for Bernie Sanders 2016) [
Ready for Bernie
[March-April 2015]
Draft Bernie
draftbernie  |  @draftbernie
...super PAC formed Jan. 28, 2014 [FEC]

Conventional Wisdom
- Appeal to progressives.
- Sanders' Senate campaign had $4.3 million as of March 31, 2015; thsis can be used for his presidential campaign.
- Age; would be older than 75 on Inauguration Day
- Socialist label.
- Seeking the Democratic nomination as an Independent could be awkward.

Notes, Coverage and Speeches

Jan. 16, 2015 - News conference on budget priorities.
March 12, 2015 - Recieving petitions on Social Security.

July 8, 2014 - Meeting with Department of Veterans Affairs nominee Robert McDonald.
July 22, 2014 - Presiding over confirmation hearing of Robert McDonald.
Sept. 8, 2014 - Rally for a constitutional amendment to limit big money in campaigns.
Nov. 14, 2013 - Speaking to students at the
George Washington University.

May 20, 2014 - "Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition" at the Capitol Visitors Center. May 22, 2014 - The New Populism Conference.
- Endorsing Hillary Clinton at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, NH, July 12, 2016.
- Online address, June 16, 2016.
- DNC Summer Meeting at the Minneapolis Hilton in Minneapolis, MN, Aug. 28, 2015.
- Announcement speech at Waterfront Park in Burlington, VT, May 26, 2015. 

- Facing seemingly inevitable Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders enjoyed surprising success in his campaign for the Democratic nomination.  HIs movement, or political revolution, won 22 primaries and caucuses and about 13 million votes (+).  He put the spotlight on issues such as income inequality, global warming and the role of money in politics.  His campaign enjoyed immense grassroots fundraising success, raising over $200 million from 7.4 million mostly small contributions (+).  He helped pass "the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic party" (1, 2). 

Sanders achieved mixed results in the early contests, gaining a virtual tie in the Feb. 1 Iowa precinct caucuses (Clinton 700.59 state delegate equivalents, Sanders 696.82 state delegate equivalents) and a solid win in the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary (60.4% to 38.0%).  However he fell a bit short in the Feb. 20 Nevada caucuses, trailing Clinton by 53% to 47%; Sanders pointed to turnout that was not as high as he had hoped.  In the Feb 27 South Carolina primary, he was trounced, losing to Clinton by a margin of 73.5% to 26.0%.  High points since then include his surprise win in the March 8 Michigan primary, his sweep of the March 26 contests in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, and a double-digit win in the Wisconsin primary. 
Clinton's win in the New York primary took the wind out of the Sanders' campaign's sails, and a week later she won primaries in four of five Northeastern states.  Following those primaries, the campaign downsized, but a spokesman said it would press on with "a strong and dedicated staff of more than 300 workers who are going to help us win in California and other contests still to come (+)."  Sanders went all in in California, but the path kept narrowing.  On June 6 the Associated Press reported that Clinton had secured enough delegates to win the nomination.  On June 7 Sanders fell short in California, but he pressed on to the last-in-the-nation June 14 DC primary.  Sanders caused some grumblings for staying in the race to the end.  The Sanders end game was a delicate matter for the Clinton campaign, which did not want to be seen as forcing him out of the race as it hoped to attract as many of his supporters as possible. 

In a June 16 online address, Sanders highlighted some of the accomplishments of his campaign, while emphasizing that "the political revolution must continue."  He vowed to take the energy of his campaign "into the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia where we will have more than 1,900 delegates."
  Sanders also stated, "The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly."  Sanders was sharply critical of Democratic Party leadership, which he said "has turned its back on dozens of states in this country and has allowed right-wing politicians to win elections in some states with virtually no opposition."  Sanders gained a voice in drafting the platform (+); the Platform Drafting Committee, announced on May 23, had representatives selected by the Clinton and Sanders campaigns and the DNC Chairman.  The platform process proved the key to rapprochement between the two candidates.  In July Sanders lauded the platform, pointing to successes on climate change, criminal justice reform and the federal minimum wage, and stating, "We have made enormous strides."  On July 12 in Portsmouth, NH, Sanders finally endorsed his rival, declaring, "Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here today" (+)

From the outset Sanders faced the challenge of countering the Clinton inevitability narrative (+).  Kyle Cranston, a Sanders supporter from South Hampton, New York, expressed the view of many in the Sanders camp when he stated in an interview before the April 19 New York primary that, "The DNC has wanted to annoint her (Clinton) as the nominee right from the start."  One area where this is evident is in the unpledged superdelegates, the party insiders who comprise 719 of the 4,766 total delegates.  As of May 1, Clinton had gained the support of an estimated 520 of them compared to 39 for Sanders.  The Sanders campaign also pointed to "questionable dealings" which it said amounted to laundering under the Hillary for America-DNC joint fundraising agreement (1, 2), and to what it sees as stacking of the standing committees for the Convention (+).  By April/May some Democrats began to express concerns that Sanders' continued presence in the race might be hurting Clinton's prospects in the general election.  Sanders and his supporters frequently cited polls showing he would be a stronger candidate than Clinton to face presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump (+).  Countering this argument it must be noted that Sanders had not undergone the intense scrutiny and vetting that Clinton had over many years, which he would assuredly have faced in a general election campaign.

2015 - On April 30, Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he will seek the Democratic nomination, declaring in an email to supporters that "for forty years, the middle class has been disappearing."  "The people at the top are grabbing all the new wealth and income for themselves, and the rest of America is being squeezed and left behind," Sanders wrote (+).  He did a formal campaign kickoff on May 26, drawing a large crowd to Waterfront Park in Burlington, VT (+).  Sanders is benefitting from support of former backers of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (+) and from some elements of organized labor (+)

Through summer, Sanders has proven to be one of the biggest surprises of the campaign, drawing crowds in the thousands (+).  The large rallies call to mind those of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in 2012 (>) or the super rallies of Ralph Nader's campaign in Fall 2000.  Whether they are a reaction of Democratic voters seeking an alternative to Hillary Clinton or herald "the revival of socialism in the United States" (+) remains to be seen.

For the 114th Congress, Sen. Bernie Sanders is ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, putting him in position to be a central figure in budget negotiations.  Sanders has been outspoken against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP), arguing that "the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, repreesenting the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it."  Sanders also weighed in on S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline bill, proposing an amendment to put the Senate on record recognizing climate change as caused by human activities and posing a serious threat to the planet.  On March 12 Sanders introduced the Social Security Expansion Act,
seeking to "eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on all income above $250,000 so millionaires and billionaires pay the same share as everyone else (+).”

- As chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (from Dec. 2012), Sen. Sanders assumed a prominent role in addressing the scandal over wait times at Veterans Health Administration facilities that unfolded in May 2014.  When VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned, Sanders presided over hearings on the nomination of Robert McDonald to be his successor.  In his more political speeches, Sanders has frequently targeted the Koch brothers.  The prospect of a Sanders campaign seemed a fanciful notion in 2013, but as 2014 progressed it looked more and more likely that the Independent Senator from Vermont would seek the Democratic presidential nomination.  Starting in April he put more days into the key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina than anyone on the Democratic side.  On November 11, the Washington Post's Robert Costa reported that top Democratic strategist Tad Devine had signed on to help Sanders if he runs.

2013 - Sen. Sanders was convincingly elected to a second term on Nov. 6, 2012, gaining 71.0 percent of the vote.  He did not attract much attention in the first part of 2013, but in the latter part of the year, as progressives considered who might be possible alternatives to annointed pre-campaign frontrunner Hillary Clinton, the 72-year old Senator from Vermont entered into the mix.  In October he made a four-day trip to the South, holding town hall meetings on the theme of "The Fight for Economic Justice!" in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.  He started to get a bit of attention including being featured on the cover of the November issue of The Progressive magazine ("Bernie Sanders Takes on the Oligarchs.")  In Nov. 16 interview with Glenn Russell of the Burlington Free Press (>) Sanders described "a nation now in the midst of a real crisis."  "We need a sense  of urgency and I don't see that in the establishment politicians and I don't see that in the establishment media," he stated.  Sanders set out his progressive agenda in a Dec. 30 YouTube video "Plant Your Flag."  One topic of discussion was whether, if he did run, he should run as a Democrat, an independent or even as a Green.  [Progressive Democrats of America petition  | petition (run as Green Party)]


Ted Rall.  Jan. 19, 2016. 
.  New York: Seven Stories Press [Penguin Random House]
"Bernie is the must-have guidebook to the Bernie Sanders campaign — and the uncompromising candidate behind it. Insightful, funny, and accessible, this biography-in-graphic-novel-form of the presidential candidate explains both his early life and political rise, but also shows the broader political shift that made it possible for a Jewish socialist to rally voters and become a real presidential contender.  Political cartoonist and Kennedy Award winner Ted Rall interviewed Bernie Sanders at length for this book and delved deep into his background to create this one-of-a-kind biography."

Bernie Sanders with Huck Gutman.  Sept. 2015.  OUTSIDER IN THE WHITE HOUSE.  New York: Verso.
"In this book, Sanders tells the story of a passionate and principled political life. He describes how, after cutting his teeth in the Civil Rights movement, he helped build a grassroots political movement in Vermont, making it possible for him to become the first independent elected to the US House of Representatives in forty years. The story continues into the US Senate and through the dramatic launch of his presidential campaign."  ...updated version of the 1997 book.

Bernie Sanders.  March 2011.  THE SPEECH: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class.  New York: Nation Books.
"...Sanders’ speech—published in its entirety with an introduction by the senator—is a call for action. It is a passionate statement informing us that the only people who will save the middle class of this country is the middle class itself, but only if it is informed, organized, and prepared to take on the enormously powerful special interests dominating Washington."

Bernie Sanders with Huck Gutman.  May 1997.  OUTSIDER IN THE HOUSE.  New York: Verso.

"In Outsider in the House, Sanders tells the story of his remarkable career as a progressive socialist and outspoken dissident, using his experience to expose the bias and injustice within one of the worlds most powerful political systems. From his fight for a livable minimum wage, to campaigning on behalf of fair electoral politics, Sanders sheds light on his struggles with both the left and right."

Simon van Zuylen-Wood.  "I'm Right and Everybody Else Is Wrong.  Clear About That?"  National Journal.  June 21, 2014.
John Nichols.  "Bernie Sanders Is Thinking About Running for President."  The Nation.  March 18, 2014.
Ted Glick column "Run, Bernie, Run!"  Nov. 24, 2013.

On the question of an Independent seeking the Democratic nomination, the DNC's 2016 Call for the Democratic National Convention (
Article VI) states:

“The term “presidential candidate” herein shall mean any person who, as determined by the National Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, has accrued delegates in the nominating process and plans to seek the nomination, has established substantial support for his or her nomination as the Democratic candidate for the Office of the President of the United States, is a bona fide Democrat whose record of public service, accomplishment, public writings and/or public statements affirmatively demonstrates that he or she is faithful to the interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party of the United States, and will participate in the Convention in good faith.”

However, as WMUR's John DiStaso points out in an excellent article, getting on the ballot as a Democrat may be problematic in some states.  New Hampshire law requires candidates to declare they are registered members of a political party, so Secretary of State's interpretation will be important.  See: John DiStaso.  "Question: Is Bernie Sanders eligible to run in the NH Democratic primary?" WMUR, April 30, 2015.
this page last revised July 12, 2016

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