There are internal challenges, as well. Sanders has carried a grudge against Tad Devine, the consultant who helped design his 2016 campaign. The two had a falling out because Devine wanted the senator to more quickly endorse Hillary Clinton. They haven’t spoken for two years—and Devine and the other partners in his firm severed ties with the Sanders campaign last week over differences in operational philosophy. On The View last week, Sanders rejected the suggestion of getting advice on the campaign this time around from Clinton. On Sunday in Selma, Alabama, appearing with Clinton at an annual civil-rights breakfast, he only briefly acknowledged her and shook her hand so quickly as he left the stage that some in the room missed the interaction entirely.
Even his loyal staff members at times feel slighted, and have learned not to expect much in the way of small talk or interest in anything but the work they’re doing. Pretty much everyone who’s worked for him does an impression of “the old man,” as many of his 2016 campaign aides referred to him, interrupting them, in his deep Brooklyn accent, to make a point of his own.
This has also carried over to his relationship with reporters, who have become accustomed to being dismissed or ignored by Sanders, or to having him keep fury alive for years over stories that angered him.