Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the socialist and “progressive” icon, has suggested recently that he is considering a run for the presidency in 2016, challenging Hillary Clinton from the left and giving the Democratic Party’s base the kind of contest for which it has yearned after enduring the disappointments of President Barack Obama’s latter years in office. Sanders will be speaking at a 2014 campaign rally in Richmond, California on Oct. 16.
The Vermont senator will be the featured speaker at a rally hosted Oct. 16 by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and the “Richmond Progressive Alliance,” which is trying to fend off challenges to left-wing candidates for city offices. The city is divided over development issues, with Chevron Corp., which operates a large refinery in Richmond, funding the campaigns of many challengers to current left-wing incumbents, the Contra Costa Times reports.
McLaughlin, who is a member of the Green Party, welcomed Sanders to Richmond, the Times notes: “It will be great to share with him the remarkable transformation we have undergone in Richmond and how big moneyed interests, like Chevron, are trying to stop us every step of the way.” Her own tenure as mayor has been troubled by “circuslike” council meetings and plans to use eminent domain powers to seize mortgages from banks.
Sanders, who is 73, told National Journal that if he runs, he plans to promote a progressive agenda, not merely to run against Hillary Clinton. In 2009 and 2010, Sanders famously championed a fully state-run health care system as a left-wing alternative to Obamacare. He has also opposed most American military actions abroad and is a strong advocate of aggressive government intervention to curb the use of fossil fuels for energy.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak