It isn’t a coincidence that as Bernie Sanders is being forced to move to a bigger New Hampshire campaign headquarters due to increasing popularity, Democrats are actively searching for more serious candidates to enter the 2016 field.
The Sanders campaign is so popular in New Hampshire that they have to move to a bigger headquarters. Kurt Ehrenberg, the New Hampshire coordinator for the Sanders campaign, told The Washington Post, “We’re ramping up our campaign. We’re hiring new staff every day. We’re opening new offices. Things are going extremely well….Our volunteers don’t just want to come out and see the candidate. They actually want to work for Bernie because Bernie instills this terrific enthusiasm in them.”
While Sanders continues to grow both organizationally and attendance wise, other Democrats see Hillary Clinton as a vulnerable frontrunner and are worried about what the Sanders rise might mean for November 2016.
Some Democrats are clearly fishing for another established candidate to enter the Democratic race. There was a brief flirtation around Al Gore, but that was quickly squashed. Most of the serious chatter is coming from supporters of Vice President Biden.
Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein told CNN that the people he is talking to were suggesting that if Joe Biden runs he may promise only to serve one term.
The big beneficiary of this environment, this changing environment is Joe Biden if he chooses to enter the race. He’s looking at it right now. His people believe he may do it. Some say yes, some say no. But the distrust factor with Hillary Clinton, the whole Trump excitement and bubble that will probably burst gives a great opportunity to Biden to capture the imagination of the press, of this race, of Democrats who don’t want to see Hillary Clinton, who are worried about the distrust factor with her.
And one thing that I keep hearing about Biden is that if he were to declare and say because age is such a problem for him if he does, I want to be a one-term president. I want to serve for four years, unite Washington. I’ve dealt with the Republicans in Congress all my public life. I think there’s a conversation going on to that effect among his aides and friends. It could light fire to the current political environment.
The idea that Biden could mitigate the age issue by promising only to serve one term is more fantasy than reality. From a practical point of view, the one-term promise would probably work against Biden by making his age a central issue in the campaign. The younger Republican nominee could respond to Biden’s promise by committing to running for two terms and guaranteeing stability in the White House.
None of this conversation would be happening without the rise of Bernie Sanders. Sen. Sanders has turned the Democratic Party on its ear by building a grassroots movement that is based on a take no prisoners populist economic message.
The rise of Sanders has Democrats looking for a backup plan in case Hillary Clinton struggles, and a Democratic primary that the media was worried would be boring has become infinitely more intriguing than the Trump dominated Republican snoozefest.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association