Bernie Sanders Is Looking to Be the Far-Left Option in 2016

Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
Washington, DC

Team Hillary is currently in disarray thanks  to the very same type of divisiveness many believe worked to derail her campaign and open the door for Barack Obama back in 2008.

David Brock on Monday abruptly resigned from the board of the super PAC Priorities USA Action, revealing rifts that threaten the big-money juggernaut being built to support Hillary Clinton’s expected presidential campaign…

Brock, a close Clinton ally, accused Priorities officials of planting “an orchestrated political hit job” against his own pro-Clinton groups, American Bridge and Media Matters.

That, perhaps more than anything, makes the idea of Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders running all the more interesting.

No. No. A thousand times no. Elizabeth Warren is still not running for president. But if not the senator from Massachusetts, then who might don the liberal mantle in 2016? Sen. Bernie Sanders, perhaps?

Policy-wise, he is, after all, the embodiment of Elizabeth Warren, though certainly lacking in her broader appeal.

The independent senator from Vermont has been traveling the country testing the waters.

On Monday, he laid out his agenda at the Brookings Institution think tank. His shock of white hair and often-rumpled appearance contrast sharply with the trim and energetic put-togetherness of Senator Warren – but they certainly read from the same political page.

The Christian Science Monitor labels it Warren’s “sparkliness,” while dismissing Sanders and, to a degree, Warren, as well. But here’s the catch: if Sanders can continue driving a Warren-like message, the more vulnerable Hillary Clinton begins to look, and eventually the progressive base may find just the opening they’re looking for.

Warren’s appeal is not that she’s the anti-Hillary, or that the Democratic base is yearning for a more liberal voice, says Ms. Walter. It’s her sparkliness.

“She’s shiny and she’s new and she’s fresh and she’s engaging and she’s motivating. So I don’t think that’s a slot that you can just sort of interchange with any other Democrat.”

Grassroots progressives haven’t stopped beating their drums for Elizabeth Warren. Just yesterday, the Working Families Party joined in that effort. The conventional wisdom on Hillary Clinton is that she’s really not the best candidate when campaigning. She looks much better on paper and doesn’t often live up to the hype.

With divisions in Hillary’s own camp and progressives still unhappy, however implausible it may seem right now, anything can happen in presidential politics. And, who knows, where a fractious Team Hillary is concerned, it just might.

In a sign of discontent from the left, The Working Families Party voted Sunday to back a campaign to draft liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president next year and challenge fellow Democrat and likely White House candidate Hillary Clinton in a primary.