February 19, 2019

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is an Independent, announced Tuesday morning that he is running for President of the United States as a Democrat for the second time. He lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

VPR reports:

Sanders said he is running to oppose President Donald Trump, and to enact many of the progressive ideas — including universal health care coverage, a $15 minimum wage and reducing student debt — that he championed in 2016.

"I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country," Sanders said. "I think he is a pathological liar... I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants."

He is in his third term as a U.S. Senator. This time around, the race has a very different look and feel, with many more women running and many more candidates as a whole throwing their hats into the ring for the Democratic nomination. Sanders acknowledged that, along with the long-standing allegations of racism and sexism, and more recent high-profile reports of sexual harassment that have been plaguing his operations.

"We are gonna be providing a whole lot of education ... and training to all of our employees, and we have on board as part of this campaign a very, very experienced and professional team of folks who do exactly this — they deal with sexual harassment and discrimination," Sanders told VPR.

He may also have to actually change parties in order to be a true Democrat in order to run on the Democratic ticket. In 2018, the Democratic Party adopted the following rules about who may run as a Dem:

"At the time a presidential candidate announces their candidacy publicly, they must publicly affirm that they are a Democrat. Each candidate pursuing the Democratic nomination shall affirm, in writing, to the National Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee that they:

A. are a member of the Democratic Party;
B. will accept the Democratic nomination; and
C. will run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party.

This requirement of written affirmation shall not supplant any necessary qualifications a candidate must satisfy at the state level, but is in addition to such affirmations required by
individual states and territories."

That letter A. may be a problem for him, or not. One way or the other, he will have to negotiate the new rules along with the rest of the crowded Democratic field.

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