It hasn’t exactly been a secret that Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) is still mulling another run for the White House in 2020. He is, quite reasonably, still upset over the treatment he received at the hands of the DNC during the 2016 primary and he believes, perhaps less reasonably, that he would have beaten Donald Trump had he been the nominee.
He’s not really hiding his possible ambitions either. This was made clear during an interview he gave to New York Magazine over the weekend. (Emphasis added)
And [Sanders] still thinks he should be president. He doesn’t say this out loud, exactly. “I’m not one of those sons of multimillionaires whose parents told them they were going to become president of the United States,” he says. “I don’t wake up in the morning with any burning desire that I have to be president.” Still, he’s pretty certain he’s already the country’s second-most-important politician, and the logic for running in 2020 is obvious to him: His ideas are the best for the country, a majority of Americans will agree once they’re exposed to them, no other national politician has proved to be as uncompromised or effective a messenger of his platform as he is, and no one else seems better positioned to actually win.
“If there’s somebody else who appears who can, for whatever reason, do a better job than me, I’ll work my ass off to elect him or her,” he says. But “if it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run.”
Fair enough. If the man wants to give it another shot he’s certainly entitled to do so. But everyone, particularly Democrats, deserves an answer to one pressing question. Would Bernie be running as an Independent candidate this time or would he once again hitch his wagon to the Democratic Party?
Keep in mind that Sanders has always famously taken pride in his independent status. He doesn’t run as a Democrat in Vermont elections. He changed his tune in 2015 as he prepared to take on Hillary Clinton in the primary, but as soon as the election was over he renounced his allegiance to the Democrats and went back to being an Independent.
In one of the less-reported stories of October of 2017, members of the DNC attempted to force through a resolution calling on both Sanders and Angus King of Maine to officially join the party. Their reasons were obvious given the hard feelings remaining after the previous election. (USA Today)
DNC member Bob Mulholland of California tried on Friday to get a DNC panel to pass a resolution urging Sanders and Sen. Angus King of Maine, both independents, to run for re-election as Democrats in 2018. But the committee defeated it, denying the resolution a vote before the full DNC on Saturday at its meeting in Las Vegas.
Mulholland said he had three co-sponsors for the resolution, which says King and Sanders “have contributed enormously to key Democratic causes.” He said it was rejected after a Vermont member discussed the party’s long relationship with Sanders.
The resolution sought to have both of the independent senators simply state, “I am a Democrat.” Sanders has the benefit of living in a state where they don’t have formal party registration, so if he wants to be a Democrat, all he has to do is wake up one morning and say that he is. (Much like how you become a cab driver in Jamaica.) But he fled the party immediately after the last elections and has refused to wear the label since then.
So here’s the question. Are the Democrats really going to embrace someone who so despises their party that he only claims to be a member when he needs them for a presidential bid? Isn’t that sort of a slap in the face?
But the alternative is for Sanders to run as an independent. If he does that, you might as well start planning the menu for Donald Trump’s second round of inaugural parties because Sanders would split the liberal vote and hand the election to the incumbent. So it appears that the Democrats will have to put up with Bernie’s insulting behavior and like it… at least until their next primary is over.