Senator Bernie Sanders: A Real 2016 Contender?

With Guest Host John Harwood.

Will he run for president? We’ll ask Vermont’s Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

In this May 15, 2014, file photo, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a committee hearing to examine the state of Veterans Affairs health care. (AP)

In this May 15, 2014, file photo, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a committee hearing to examine the state of Veterans Affairs health care. (AP)

Democrats are bracing for setbacks in fall mid-term elections. But its path to another presidency in 2016 seems clear – follow the temperate model of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and capitalize on demographic trends. Or is it? Should Democrats go populist to harness the anger and anxiety so many Americans feel?  Could the only self-described socialist in the U.S. Senate help take the party there? We’ll ask Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who’s considering the race – and two veterans of the party’s internal struggles. This hour On Point: where Democrats go, post-Obama.

– John Harwood


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), junior United States Senator from Vermont. (@SenSanders)

Elaine Kamarck, lecturer in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Author of “How Change Happens — Or Doesn’t: The Politics of U.S. Public Policy,” “Primary Politics” and “The End of Government As We Know It.” (@EKamarck)

Robert Borosage, founder and president of the Institute for America’s Future and co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future. Contributing editor at The Nation and regular blogger for the Huffington Post. (@borosage)

From The Reading List

The Nation: Bernie Sanders: ‘I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States’ — “Bernie Sanders says he is ‘prepared to run for president of the United States.’ That’s not a formal announcement. A lot can change between now and 2016, and the populist senator from Vermont bristles at the whole notion of a permanent campaign. But Sanders has begun talking with savvy progressive political strategists, traveling to unexpected locations such as Alabama and entertaining the process questions that this most issue-focused member of the Senate has traditionally avoided.”

National Journal: ‘I’m Right And Everybody Else Is Wrong. Clear About That?’ — “If Sanders runs, he will do so as the candidate of the Democratic Party’s uncompromising left flank. (Despite the fact that he’s an independent, Sanders has suggested he would run in the Democratic primaries, not on a third-party ticket, promising that he doesn’t want to play spoiler.) More so than at any point in recent memory, this segment of the electorate—while admittedly still small—seems to have the wind at its back.”

The New Republic: Democrats Need Bernie Sanders to Run for President — “At a minimum, it would make the Democratic primary about more than the deeds and personality of Hillary the inevitable. Sanders, as eloquent a voice of left-wing populism as exists in the land, would press Clinton to support doubling the current minimum wage, imposing higher taxes on the wealthy, and increasing entitlement payments instead of reducing them in a “grand bargain” with Republicans.”

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