The Democratic National Committee desperately wants perennial progressive favorite Bernie Sanders out of the running for the 2020 presidential elections, and this time, they may have blocked him from the race without having to resort to superdelegates.
According to Fox News, the DNC adopted a new rule at the annual conference in Providence, Rhode Island, this weekend, barring anyone who does not "run and serve" as a Democrat from competing for the Democratic nomination for president.
The rule reads, "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.
Sanders, of course, is famously an independent. After running for the presidency on the Democratic ticket in 2016, he declared a return to his independent status when competing for his Senate seat. Although he caucuses with Democrats, he expressed no desire to change his affiliation once outside the presidential nomination process.
In his home state, Sanders is considered a Democrat by government edict.
Sanders supporters told Fox News they believe the measure was enacted out of "spite" for Sanders' popularity, and to keep Sanders from competing against Democrats who hold some of his same views, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).
DNC higher-ups reportedly said that the move was designed to limit the influence of superdelegates, but it's not clear how the measure affects the superdelegate system at all. DNC Chair Tom Perez floated a separate measure to eliminate the superdelegate system. It does not appear to have much support.