Longtime Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders will jump into the 2016 fray tomorrow, presenting the first official challenge to Hillary Clinton from her left. Liberal activists have been quite anxious for such a challenger, though the one they wanted was a bit younger and female. A self-described socialist in the style of the European democratic socialists, Sanders will bring fresh, innovative ideas to the table, like: Corporations are bad and have too much influence on our giant, ineffective, unaccountable government, so let’s make government bigger to fix the problem and also take a lot more money from the rich. They’re the worst. (And, more hot Koch Brother talk!)

Here’s the news from—where else?— Vermont Public Radio:

VPR News has learned from several sources that Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.

Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.

Sanders’ entry into the Democratic race ensures that Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party.

Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.

His opposition to a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (T.P.P.) shows how he plans to frame this key issue of his campaign.

He will run as a Democrat, thereby getting himself a ticket to the debate stage. He’ll announce tomorrow and hold a rally…next month. Because this thing is a rocket ship, people!

One ally — who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Sanders’s timetable — said the 73-year-old senator is expected to make his intentions known this week and hold a rally in Vermont next month. He plans to run as a Democrat, according to his associates.

Update: Room for Berniementum?

Update: At least Hillary can fall back on her ever-present charm and transparency:

Hillary Clinton – very deep in thought today – leaving very first fundraiser of 2016. #NYC #2016

A video posted by Liz Kreutz (@kreutzel) on