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PORTSIDE  December 2010, Week 5

PORTSIDE December 2010, Week 5

Subject:

'Sanders for President' Talk is Real Enough, But Not for Bernie

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 22:23:09 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

That 'Sanders for President' Talk is Real Enough, But
Bernie's Not Going There

by John Nichols

The Nation.com blog

December 28, 2010

http://www.thenation.com/blog/157346/sanders-president-talk-real-enough-bernies-not-going-there

While Obama agreement to extend tax breaks for billionaires
while establishing a massive estate-tax exemption for
millionaires steered his presidency further and further from
the moorings of the New Deal, Sanders - though he serves as
an Independent member of the Senate Democratic Caucus rather
than an actual member of the president's party - maintained
a fierce and unyielding commitment to the values outlined by
Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and the Democrats who once
defined their party as the champion of working Americans.

So stark was the contrast that activists across the country
started talking up the notion of a "Sanders for President"
run in 2012, either as a dissident Democrat in the primaries
or as a left-leaning Independent. Rabbi Michael Lerner put
the democratic socialist senator's name at the top of a list
of prospective primary challengers, while a "Draft Bernie
Sanders for President" website appeared with a declaration
that:

"If you believe America needs a strong independent voice in
the presidential race bringing progressive ideas back into
the national conversation - ideas that are no longer being
discussed because President Barack Obama's version of "hope
and change" has turned out to be mostly politics as usual
and capitulation to conservative Republicans - then we
encourage you to support the Draft Sanders effort. Senator
Sanders is a credible, experienced political leader who has
spent his career fighting for progressive values and
policies."

Economist  David Korten signed on, with a message to
Sanders: "To counter the Republican assault on the middle
class, the working poor, and the unemployed, we need a real
leader who will back his words with action. We've had enough
empty rhetoric about hope... We need you."

Korten tweeted: "Join me in supporting the Draft Bernie
Sanders movement."

And hundreds did, signing online petitions asking the
senator to run.

The talk got serious enough that pollsters quietly began to
add Sanders' name to surveys in key primary states.

But Sanders won't do it.

Asked about the prospect of a presidential run in a several
year-end interviews with print and broadcast media outlets,
his answer was to take the idea "off the table."

On Vermont's WCAX-TV, the senator said: "You will be the
first to know: ain't gonna do it."

Declaring himself "very proud to be Vermont's senator,"
Sanders said: "I am very content to be where I am, but I am
flattered by that kind of response.

___________________________________________

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

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