Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been toying with the idea of running for president in 2016 as a Democrat for a few months now. He’s been to Iowa to discuss the idea, and spoke about running in September on Meet the Press.
On Monday, Sanders moved even closer towards officially throwing his hat in the ring, hiring one of the Democratic Party’s top consultants, Tad Devine, the Washington Post reported.
Devine – a former campaign aide to Al Gore, John Kerry, and Michael Dukakis – and Sanders have worked together in the past on Sanders’s campaigns in Vermont in the 90s.
“If he runs, I’m going to help him,” Devine told WaPo. “He is not only a longtime client but a friend. I believe he could deliver an enormously powerful message that the country is waiting to hear right now and do it in a way that succeeds.”
The two have been working together over the past few weeks on how Sanders can actually put up a fight against presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton.
“In terms of fundraising, there would be real interest in him at the grassroots level,” Devine said. “He knows how to do the organizing that’s required. As a mass media person, I also think he would be a great television candidate. He can connect on that level.”
Sanders appeal comes from his constant focus on the decline over the middle class the past couple decades and the economic issues that affect most Americans, including the Citizens United decisions that’s allowed the GOP (aka the Koch brothers) to essentially buy elections.
In an interview on MSNBC earlier this year, Sanders said:
“There is massive frustration and anger at both the political and economic establishment. Right now, you have the top one percent owning 38 percent of the wealth in America, and the bottom 60 percent owns 2.3 percent. You have billionaires controlling the political process as a result of Citizens United. You have kids who can’t afford to go to college. You have a starvation minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. These are the issues that the American people want the government to begin to deal with, and those are the issues that I will fight for.”
Sanders said that he plans to return to Iowa next month to meet with activists. “I’ve been there, I think, three times and we’ve already drawn large turnouts,” he told WaPo. “We work with grassroots progressives and organizations and they bring out a lot of working-class and middle-class people. On the last visit to Des Moines, we couldn’t get any more people in the church. There were about 450 people there.”