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Editorial: Bernie Sanders

Posted: May 14, 2015 2:45 p.m.
Updated: May 15, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the longest-serving independent in the history of the U.S. Senate, is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, and though there’s virtually no chance he will win, the self-described “democratic socialist” will be a headache for Hillary Clinton as she tries to stampede her way to the nomination.  Media reports often focus on the fact that Republican presidential candidates must veer to the right to appeal to the party’s conservative faction, but this is the clear antithesis, in that Clinton will now be forced to move to the left to try to satisfy the party’s liberal wing, which has come to be known among some as the “Elizabeth Warren wing,” for the far-left senator from Massachusetts.

Sanders will be running the ultimate populist campaign, trying to raise money through small donors, which is a noble strategy but generally an unsuccessful one. He’ll be pressing Clinton on a host of liberal issues, trying to force her to take stands which could hurt her in the general election should she win the nomination, as she’s favored to do. The 73-year-old Vermonter acknowledges he’s a heavy underdog but points to his 1981 upset victory in the mayor’s race in Burlington, his home state. Sanders will no doubt learn that running for president is far different than running for mayor.

He’ll add a little pizazz to the race, and he’ll cause Clinton headaches. You can bet she’s not happy about his long-shot candidacy. 

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