Bernie Sanders 2.0


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I'm David chalian, the CNN political director, and this is the daily DC. Thanks so much for listening today on the podcast Bernie Sanders. Two point, oh, the independent Senator from Vermont, the self-described democratic socialist is once again making a bid for the democratic presidential nomination. But he's doing so in a far different context in twenty twenty. Then he did in two thousand sixteen remember by the time. The voting got underway with the caucuses in Iowa, the New Hampshire primary and beyond. It was a two person contest. It was Bernie versus Hillary. And Hillary Clinton was the very embodiment of all things establishment everything that Bernie Sanders was running against. So it provided a very convenient foil for his insurgent message first of all four years later. Bernie Sanders is a bit more establishment since he actually has moved the Democratic Party. His his successful quest in the 2016 race by successful. I mean successful a building a grassroots army and a real following not successful. Obviously at winning the nomination. Bernie Sanders has become less of an outsider than he was in two thousand sixteen he fought hard after he lost to change some of the DNC rules for how the nomination gets accomplished super delegates. No longer the factor that they were for years ago. They don't get to vote on a first ballot. Just as one example never mind the policy positions that are now the mainstream for the twenty twenty Democrats such as Medicare for all everyone sort of checking that box or mostly everyone. That's all Bernie Sanders. So he has moved the party to him a bit more. So he doesn't quite have that same outsider status now, obviously he is still going to be railing again. Against the banks and Wall Street and corporate corruption, but he's not alone doing that. There are lots of other folks in that lane mo- most specifically Elizabeth Warren who's been out there since the beginning of the year six or seven weeks into this effort now where she has been offering a message that is not terribly dissimilar from Bernie Sanders is message the other thing. Sanders doesn't have this time around ease Hillary Clinton. It is a very crowded field. Never mind that there are folks competing for similar voters that may find new candidates with different appeals since it's not just Bernie Sanders offering slices of that message. But Bernie Sanders is also going to find that there's not as easily identifiable an example a an opponent as as Hillary Clinton was for his cause in two thousand sixteen. Now Sanders was on CBS news with John. Persson? And he said, well, you know, that the crowded field could help me one on one you really need fifty percent plus one, and you know, if it's a crowded field. He says maybe I only need thirty or thirty five percent. The math may be right. I you know, a very crowded field. You're going to be able to win some contests with a lower vote share. Then you do in a one on one contest. There's no doubt about that. But I think it doesn't account for the entirely different context. No longer can he just play sort of the dragon slayer, which is was part of his 2016 appeal. He's going to have to find other notes to play. And by the way, he's keenly aware of it. I wanted to hear just a snippet of Bernie Sanders announcement video to supporters this morning. Take a listen. We are running against a president who is a pathological liar a fraud, a racist, sexist xenophobic and someone who is undermining American democracy as Lee. Us in an authoritarian direction. I am running for president. Because now more than ever we need leadership that brings us together. Not divides us, something women and men black white Latino native American Asian American, gay and straight young and old native born and immigrant now is the time for us to stand together there. He is calling Donald Trump every name in the book calling him a racist. That is a little different than some of the other candidates. We've seen Elizabeth Warren takes a similar approach at times when she sort of does her rant on the president. And yet other candidates in the race, comma Harris, for example, she decides not to go down that route so much about labelling Trump all these terrible things. But instead puts her anti-trump argument in the larger frame of a need for truth telling among leaders, a clear contrast with Donald Trump is what she dries to draw there. But it's in less explicit. Sort of rant or rage filled. Terms than Sanders, or perhaps war now, you might say, well, perhaps they are tapping in more to the energy that is motivating and driving. So many Democrats right now to wanna make sure that there's somebody in there that can defeat Donald Trump and his willing to fight him as aggressively as he fights, and whether that's name calling or or what have you, but Harris makes a much more theoretical appeal to people not that it doesn't have an emotional attachment to it. I know doubt voters care about truth telling to some degree, but she really frames it about how everything that the founders of our country set up and all the ideals that the country is spires to generation to generation relies on this reciprocal relationship of trust. Which is based in truth telling that's her sort of anti-trump frame. It's not quite the same red meat that that Sanders offers up there in that bit. You just heard from his announcement video the other place where you're going to start seeing some differ. Princes perhaps between a comma Harris who is no doubt trying to be that candidate that can bridge different lanes of this nomination. Contest. Right. She is definitely out there and supportive of green new deal and support a Medicare for all wanting to do everything to court that activist base, but does not want to disavow or run away from the more corporate interests in the party or the need for somebody who can both speak to moderates in the party and liberals in the party. She's definitely trying to straddle that a bit more trying to target obviously as large of a vote share as possible. But there was a line that she says all the time in her stump speech that just hearing it today, I was up in New Hampshire at the New Hampshire institute politics. It was in a new context because of Sanders announcement today. So my ears perked up a bit since it was just a couple of hours after Sanders announced that I heard her say this line again, but she talks about how there are some people who believe. Leave that people who quote worked hard and gained success should be vilified. I don't believe that. I applaud that. So Harris clearly drawing a line here with the Warren and Sanders candidacies, which has full frontal assault on billionaires. And she says, no, no, no, she applaud success. So again drawing some distance drawing. Some contrast now Harris goes on to say in her speech. A quote, not all people in our country have equal access to a path toward success, and we are going to have to correct that. So it's not like she just leaves it at applauding billionaires for doing. Well, she clearly pivots to a message about the too many in America who aren't getting their fair share her version of the economic populism, but not so much taking on the billionaires and the millionaires that clearly or targeted in Elizabeth. Warren's wealth tax and Bernie Sanders even on his announcement day was bringing back into his speech to other things to note about the Sanders. Candidacy today part of the message he put front and center, and you can hear it there in the announcement video it's beyond just the economic or climate Justice as he talks about that's been central to his message for years, and it's not that he didn't talk about issues that deal with race or gender equality. But he put this attack on racism and sexism as main elements in his argument today, they will not as front and center in the Sanders campaign at the outset. And that's exactly something that Sanders is trying to address and quite frankly hill need to address if he is to somehow exceed what he did in two thousand sixteen the outreach to the African American community has something that Bernie Sanders has been focused on since the end of his last race. That's why we saw him on Martin Luther King day down. In South Carolina with local African American leaders there. This is somebody who understands that he lost that African American vote to Hillary Clinton, an extraordinary fashion in two thousand sixteen you can't be the democratic nominee. You can't make it through successfully the democratic nomination process without having the African American vote on your side in some way and so- Bernie Sanders is clearly going to need to work to address that. He's also already apologized in the last six weeks for sort of the metoo accusations the sexual harassment accusations alleged of his two thousand sixteen campaign he met with those accusers. He has apologized repeatedly for the way his campaign in two thousand sixteen handled these issues that there was not a proper HR process set up that also is something that he's going to have to address an adjusted as he moves forward in this campaign. It's why Jeff Weaver former campaign manager who won't be. Serving in that role this time. His now is senior adviser saying, you know, we were too white and too male in two thousand sixteen so the campaign structure, they'll need to change that. But then that goes directly also to the candidates message. And I think you heard a little of that adjustment. At the outset of his lawn chair. Sanders said he's going to build a million people strong grassroots army out of the gate here looking for people to sign up and get involved. He's already raising money at a clip. I think they were only about three or four hours into the announcement before the campaign announced that they had already surpassed the one million dollar online fundraising Mark, I think comma Harris in her first twenty four hours had raised a million and a half looks like Sanders is going too far exceed that. So obviously, he's got a an existing army of grassroots forces. That are ready to welcome back in the race. The question is is Bernie Sanders going to be able to expand. What he did in two thousand sixteen does he? You need to with such a crowded field. Slicing up so much of the vote. And how does he make adjustments to make inroads into some voter groups that he really was unable to his side in two thousand sixteen two point zero. If it looks and sounds exactly like the first version in two thousand sixteen it's hard to imagine. How it's going to be any more successful this time around if it adapts an unjust in certain ways Bernie Sanders as we learned for years ago is not somebody you want to overlook who has the real power. Just look at where the party is on so many of these issues that may be his legacy that he is shifted the the line here for what is acceptable policy for the left without fearing losing the middle. Of course, he wants his legacy to be as the forty sixth president of the United States of America that does it for this edition of the daily DC. Thank you all so much for listening. Tune in again right here tomorrow. Oh. 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