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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Nov 24, 2015
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 shows fuel tanks  hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria. Russian warplanes on Monday attacked oil extraction, transport and refinement facilities in areas controlled by Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

ISIS, Inc. The terrorist organization is raking in billions –from oil, grain, antiquities, and taxes. We look at how to break the ISIS bank. Plus, Turkey downs a Russian plane. We’ll have the latest.

Nov 24, 2015
An archival image of a McKinley - Hobart Presidential Campaign Poster from 1896. (Public Domain / WikiCommons)

Republican political strategist Karl Rove is thinking about the McKinley 1896 campaign and the GOP field right now. Karl Rove is with us.

Nov 23, 2015
(Clockwise From Top Left) Filmmaker Lindsay Catherine Harris, Ko Smith, Kailya Warren and Bryant Koger in still images from Harris' "Evoking the Mulatto" multimedia project. (Courtesy the Filmmaker)

Mixed-race America in the time of Black Lives Matter and demographic change. We’ll talk race, identity and the film project “Evoking the Mulatto”.

Nov 23, 2015
In this file photo released May 14, 2015 by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, a member of the Islamic State group's vice police known as "Hisba," right, reads a verdict handed down by an Islamic court sentencing many they accused of adultery to lashing, in Raqqa City, Syria. (AP)

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen says the US needs to step up in the fight against ISIS. But there’s a caution flag, too. We’ll dive in.

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