From South America to Europe to the Middle East, leftist leaders are celebrating his candidacy, viewing him as an iconic democratic socialist with the potential to lead a worldwide progressive movement at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise across the map.
Their regard for Sanders burnishes the Vermont senator’s foreign policy bona fides at a time when he is trying to shake the reputation he received in 2016 as a lightweight on international affairs. But it also carries risks for an American politician who will need to broaden his appeal and insulate himself against attacks on his progressive ideals to win the White House.
“There is a danger to collecting maybe not endorsements, but positive reviews from far-left politicians around the world when American voters are still not quite sure about how they feel about democratic socialism,” said Jennifer Holdsworth, a former staffer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid and the ex-campaign manager for Pete Buttigieg’s run for Democratic National Committee chairman. “And this is not just a Democratic primary conversation, this is also a general election conversation.”