Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Is considering another candidacy for the presidency in 2020, but for now, he wonders if he is the best choice.
Speaking to George Washington University to promote his latest book, Sanders on Tuesday reviewed his unsuccessful 2016 campaign and spoke of the future priorities of the progressive movement. All the while, the question of his candidacy in two years was open to the public.
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But Sanders hesitated on the subject until he was asked how much he was about to make a decision in 2020. The senator said that he was monitoring the country's climate for know he'd be the most powerful candidate for deposing President Donald Trump, which he said was the highest priority for the next election. Still, he said that he "thought about it".
"The problem is not the ego," he said. "It's the understanding that we are in a crucial moment in American history."
Most of the evening was devoted to proofreading several points that he addresses in his new book, "Where We're Going From Here," published this week. Sanders explained how his campaign, described as "surprisingly good campaign", was mobilized behind Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton after losing the party's candidacy. She had chosen not to return home, but to continue to defend progressive causes even after the election.
Sanders said his movement had managed to influence public opinion towards progressive causes. He cited several issues seen as bizarre in 2016 but have since gained wide popularity, ranging from raising the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour to universal single payer health care. The independent senator announced the successes won by progressive Democratic candidates in the midterm elections of 2018 as a sign of a culture shift in the country.
"We opened the discussion and that is perhaps the most important achievement," Sanders said.
He also listed several issues that should be progressive political priorities essential for the future, from the non-teaching college to the end of the war on drugs – a list hinting at a possible presidential platform.
But Sanders turned away from what he called "personality politics", inviting the public and the media to focus on politics.
"People turn on the television and hear:" Who will run in 2020? Who will run in 2096? Said Sanders. "Have you heard of Nancy Pelosi?"
Nevertheless, he came to the defense of the media in light of Trump's verbal attacks on the press and called the Trump presidency an exceptional national turning point. This year's democratic progress in the House will mean, however, that Trump will now face substantial liability for the first time, he said.
Sanders called Trump's affinity with autocratic rulers such as President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, adding that he would introduce a bill to end US involvement in the war in Yemen .
The senator also pleaded for an investigation into Trump's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and reiterated that any attempt to interfere in the investigation of special advocate Robert Mueller on the 2016 election was to be considered an obstruction of justice and an impossible offense.
But Democrats "can not just be the anti-Trump party," Sanders said, and should instead focus on a policy that affects rural Americans and the working class.
"We have to be bold," he said. "We have to understand that there is a lot of pain in this country and that there are millions of Americans who do not spend the night out worrying about the absurd tweet sent by Donald Trump … … They worry that their children will probably have a lower standard of living than they have. "