Sen. Bernie Sanders took another step towards running for the Democratic nomination in 2016 by hiring Democratic strategist Tad Devine to run his potential campaign.
The Washington Post reported,
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has spent months fishing for a strategist to guide his potential 2016 presidential campaign. On Monday, he hooked a big one: Tad Devine, one of the Democratic Party’s leading consultants and a former high-level campaign aide to Al Gore, John Kerry, and Michael Dukakis.
Devine and Sanders, who first worked together on Sanders’s campaigns in the 1990s, have been huddling in recent weeks, mapping out how the brusque progressive senator could navigate a primary and present a formidable challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Over breakfast on Saturday in Los Angeles, Sanders said that he would center a possible campaign on the “collapse of the middle class” and “income and wealth inequality,” which he calls a “huge issue from a moral sense and a political sense.”
Sanders predicted a focus on those issues could animate some small-dollar Democratic donors and keep his campaign afloat and enable him to create “movement” behind him. “People are angry and frustrated and they want someone to speak to them,” he said. “Democrats cannot run away from the simple reality that you have a billionaire class in America that is enormously greedy.”
It makes the most sense for Sanders to run for the Democratic nomination. The current system is designed to shut out third party candidates. If Sen. Sanders ran as an Independent, he would have to fight to get on the ballot in many states. He would have to run a 50 state campaign, and he would not be invited to participate in the presidential debates.
As a Democrat, Sanders can run a more narrow campaign that will target the voters who are most likely to support him. The Vermont senator will able to run a smaller campaign that will focus on the early primary states. Sanders will also get to debate Hillary Clinton, and he will get national exposure for his campaign as a result of being the Clinton alternative.
The upside of a potential challenge to Hillary Clinton is that the Democratic frontrunner won’t be able to move too far to the center. Sanders will also force Clinton to discuss the issues that matter to Democrats, income inequality, the decline of the middle class, and job creation.
The fact that Bernie Sanders is moving closer to running in 2016 is great news for Democrats. It is looking like voters are going to have a choice in 2016, as the Democratic nomination isn’t going to be handed over uncontested.