Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign “announced it will be the first major presidential campaign to have a unionized workforce, as party activists push Democratic candidates to mirror their progressive platforms within their own campaigns,” Politico reports.
Associated Press: “The Sanders Institute, a think tank founded by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ wife and son, is shutting down, at least for now, amid criticism that the nonprofit has blurred the lines between family, fundraising and campaigning. The Vermont-based institute has stopped accepting donations and plans to suspend all operations by the end of May ‘so there could not even be an appearance of impropriety.'”
Sen. Bernie Sanders advocated for the nationalization of most major industries, including energy companies, factories, and banks, when he was a leading member of a self-described “radical political party” in the 1970s, a CNN KFile review of his record reveals.
“And that’s compared with just 14 percent of Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton in the last election who say they’re getting behind Sanders for the upcoming nomination fight.”
“With about half of his previous coalition scattering between other candidates like Joe Biden (15 percent), Kamala Harris (8 percent) and Elizabeth Warren (6 percent), it’s not clear that Sanders will enjoy the same level of support from Democrats four years after his insurgent bid. But, the pollsters note, that assessment assumes that Biden is in the mix — and maintains his expected high levels of backing from Dems after he gets in.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) signed a pledge saying he would seek the presidency as a Democrat and govern as a Democrat if elected, the Washington Post reports.
“The move comes in response to a new rule from the Democratic National Committee that requires all candidates for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination to sign such a pledge — a change that some Sanders allies considered a swipe at the senator.”
Washington Post: “The interaction between Sanders and Clinton — their first since they faced off in a sometimes-bitter 2016 Democratic primary — was frosty. While Clinton gave Cory Booker an effusive hug, the exchange with Sanders was brief; as he passed by quickly, she reached out and initiated a terse hello.”
New York Times: “In 2016, Mr. Sanders had little choice but to run the race of an outsider — disorganized, decentralized and improvisational. But as the Vermont senator formally kicks off his second presidential bid with an appearance in his native Brooklyn on Saturday, this much is apparent: He is at least attempting to mount a different kind of campaign.”
“Yet even as he builds a more sophisticated and modern organization, Mr. Sanders’s iconoclasm and possessiveness over his brand of democratic socialism has created turmoil in his own ranks. His media consulting team abruptly quit this week after the senator and his wife, Jane, expressed displeasure with the sleek announcement ad the advisers produced, deeming it inauthentic, and instead booked a Vermont studio to record a no-frills, nearly 11-minute video that Mr. Sanders wrote himself, according to multiple Democratic officials familiar with the matter.”
This is pretty interesting: In 2000, Pete Buttigieg, while still a high school student in Indiana, won the Profile in Courage Essay Award from the John F. Kennedy Library.
His topic: Bernie Sanders.
“In major shake-up to Bernie Sanders’ just-launched presidential bid, some of his top strategists have left the campaign,” NBC News reports.
“Tad Devine, Mark Longabaugh and Julian Mulvey, colleagues in a political consulting firm who all played leading roles in Sanders’ 2016 campaign for the White House, are parting ways with the senator, citing creative differences.”
Nate Silver: “So as Sanders launches his 2020 campaign as a candidate with both formidable strengths and serious challenges, his biggest problem might seem to be that there’s more competition for his base this time around, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others also competing for the leftmost part of the Democratic electorate. An equally big problem for Sanders, however, is that voters this time around have more alternatives to Hillary Clinton — left, right and center — to choose from.”
“Roughly one-quarter of Sanders’s support in Democratic primaries and caucuses in 2016 came from #NeverHillary voters: people who didn’t vote for Clinton in the 2016 general election and who had no intention of doing so.”
First Read: “Here’s something to chew on: Bernie Sanders has been far from a leading figure on the biggest issues of the day as it relates to Donald Trump’s presidency.”
“Think about it: the Russia investigation, the border wall, family separations, ethics investigations, Supreme Court nominations, the shutdown. On all of those issues, he’s been either a minor voice or a non-figure. Instead, Sanders – like he did in 2016 – is playing a longer game.”
“It’s an interesting gamble: Do Democratic primary voters and general-election voters want transformative change? Or do they just want to replace Trump?”
“Bernie’s betting on the former over the latter.”
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First Read: “At 8:00 pm ET last night, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign announced having raised more than $4 million since the start of his campaign kickoff from nearly 150,000 individuals. That’s in just 12 hours.”
“By comparison, Kamala Harris’ campaign raised $1.5 million in its first 24 hours; Amy Klobuchar’s reported raising more than $1 million in its first 48 hours; and Elizabeth Warren got some $300,000 from ActBlue in her first day (although that’s not a complete way to measure total fundraising).”
“The question we have is: If Beto O’Rourke does run, can he match or exceed Bernie’s first-day amount?”
President Trump revived his “Crazy Bernie” nickname as he greeted the entry of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2020 presidential race.
Said Trump: “Crazy Bernie has just entered the race. I wish him well!”
President Trump said that Bernie Sanders ran a great race for the presidency four years ago but that he believes the Vermont senator “missed his time,” the AP reports.
Said Trump: “I like Bernie.”
He says the senator was tough on trade like he was. He adds, however, that “the problem is he doesn’t know what to do about it. We’re doing something very spectacular on trade.”
“In just over the first four hours of his 2020 presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had already raised money from 42,000 donors, a total that bested the number Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) had hit in the first full day of her campaign. The campaign estimated that Sanders had raised $1.2 million in three-and-a-half hours on Tuesday,” the Daily Beast reports.
“The figure is another sign of the incredible money-raising prowess that Sanders brings to the race. Up to this point, Harris had been the most dynamic fundraiser among Democratic candidates in the race, having raised a whopping $1.5 million in 24 hours after declaring from more than 38,000 individual donors.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has tapped Faiz Shakir to serve as his campaign manager for his second run at the White House, the Daily Beast reports.
“In hiring Shakir, Sanders brings into the fold one of the Democratic Party’s better-travelled operatives—an official with limited campaign experience but with ties to the party’s think tank infrastructure, its Hill operations and the larger progressive universe.”
First Read: “The first: Can he compete in a much more crowded liberal/progressive lane than he encountered in 2016? Four years ago, he opened this lane and showed the party that voters will come. But now he’s got company – from progressive Elizabeth Warren, to the likes of Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, who are all running under the ‘Medicare for All’ banner.”
“This isn’t too different than what the Ron/Rand Paul family found out. In 2008 and then in 2012, Ron Paul opened the door to a much more libertarian message for the GOP. But by the time son Rand jumped into the presidential waters in 2016, other candidates had co-opted that message. (Of course, the un-libertarian in that field, Donald Trump, ended up winning the GOP nomination, though that’s a story for another day.)”
“In other words, by winning the message war in 2016, Sanders could become an also-ran four years later — because the new presidential field sounds a lot more like him.”
“The second challenge for Sanders: Can he convince rank-and-file Democratic primary voters to move on from 2016, which is an election cycle many of them want to forget?”