Fair Game: Why Bernie Should Run | 20/20 Hindsight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Fair Game: Why Bernie Should Run


Published July 13, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated November 27, 2018 at 9:56 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders

Originally published October 23, 2013.

Among Sen. Bernie Sanders' most fervent followers, a constant refrain prevails: Why doesn’t he run for president in 2016?

Sanders tried to put that question to rest for the thousandth time in this month’s Playboy magazine, for which he gave an interview to the liberal activist and occasional political candidate Jonathan Tasini.

“Well, the answer is that to run a serious campaign, you need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars,” Sanders said, a feat accomplished by Barack Obamaonly because he “went to his friends on Wall Street.”

That reality aside, Sanders continued, “I think people are hungering for a voice out there. It would be tempting to try to raise issues and demand discussion on issues that are not being talked about: inequality in wealth and trade policy, protecting the social safety net, moving aggressively on global warming.”

“I realize running for president would be a way to shine a spotlight on these issues that are too often in the shadows today. [Pauses] But I am at least 99 percent sure I won’t,” he said.

If he did run, Sanders would surely lose the race. But he’d win the opportunity to reach many more Americans than he ever will on MSNBC. And for a lifelong progressive warrior in the twilight of his career, it might just be worth it.