Senator Bernie Sanders announced on Sunday that he would run for reelection as an Independent.
Bernie Sanders shirked efforts by Democratic Party to formally join the Democrats.
Vermont’s DNC attacked a resolution which criticized Sanders for refusing to join the Democrats. Sanders was voted into the U.S. Senate back in 2006. Since then, Vermont’s Democratic Party has continuously endorsed Sanders.
There is no party registration for Vermont voters, so party loyalty is noticeably flexible in the state.
The Observer reports:
Last week the Democratic National Committee (DNC) rejected a resolution that urged Sanders to formally join the Democratic Party ahead of his bid for re-election in 2018. The resolution, which was proposed by a DNC member who has opposed several progressive reforms, is the result of widespread criticism of Sanders for maintaining his independence. Even though he isn’t technically a Democrat, the people of Vermont—including the state’s Democratic Party—have elected and re-elected Sanders for nearly three decades.
Vermont DNC members took issue with the resolution. “It’s really troubling when you get your resolution package and you find out your state’s been named in it without any prior consultation,” Vermont DNC member Terje Anderson told The Washington Post. “We’ve come to a solution that works for us, and we don’t need external voices telling us how to solve our primaries. Next year, Bernie will run for and win the Democratic primary, and he will win re-election—as an independent.”
Sanders left no room for debate over his party status. He says he may work with Democrats, but he is first and foremost an independent.
“I am an independent,” Sanders told the Concord Monitor, “and I have always run in Vermont as an independent, while I caucus with the Democrats in the United States Senate,” Sanders said.
“That’s what I’ve been doing for a long time and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Sanders won reelection in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote. Despite his refusal to join the Democratic Party, speculation has grwon that he may consider another run for the presidency.
The Huffington Post reports:
Sanders’ visit to New Hampshire was his second in two months, fueling speculation that he’ll make another run for president in 2020. His win against Hillary Clinton in the Granite State during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary helped launch a long and bitter battle for the nomination.
An early poll of the 2020 race by the University of New Hampshire last week found Sanders ahead in the state with 31 percent support from Democratic voters, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden with 24 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with 13 percent.
Hillary Clinton blamed Sanders for her loss in her bid for the presidency. She says Bernie Sanders and his supporters caused “lasting damage” in her book “What Happened” which attempts to explain why her campaign failed.
Many Democrats were angered by Sanders’ challenge to Clinton during the campaign. Establishment Democrats disregard Sanders’ popularity in Vermont, insisting that independents hurt the Democratic Party.
The Observer continues:
However, establishment Democrats who hold a grudge against Sanders for challenging Hillary Clinton in 2016 ignore his popularity in Vermont and his relationship with Democrats in the state. In her memoir What Happened, Clinton criticized Sanders for not embracing the party title. This criticism has been lobbed at Sanders in severalcolumns since he ran for president, with some arguing he hurts rather than helps the Democratic Party. This argument does not take into account the policies he advocates and effectively shuts out the opportunity for introspection or change. More voters are independents than Democrats, and portraying them as political enemies does not bode well for winning their support.
Sanders’ political ideologies may often align with the Democrats, but he’s ignored pressure to join the party, surely infuriating establishment Democrats across the country. He has made no plans to join the party any time soon.
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