He’ll be 80 years old when 2020 rolls around, but that’s not stopping Bernie Sanders from gearing up for a second run at the presidency.
According to POLITICO, the progressive Senator — and now darling of the far left, who believe he had a better shot at beating Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton — has been beefing up his foreign policy bona fides and partnering with his newly-formed Sanders Institute to work on coherent policy positions ahead of a second campaign.
Since November, Sanders has reportedly amassed a team of consultants to help prepare him for a more professional presidential run. He has a pollster now, and a political outreach and foreign policy director, and he’s formed up a non-partisan political organization to protect his mailing and donor lists. He’s also trying to book higher-profile gigs, speaking at the Women’s March convention in Detroit, and headlining a series of nationally televised policy debates.
He’s also working with MoveOn.org — a massive, George Soros-funded activist organization — to keep his supporters energized and active in states where he performed well against Clinton’s huge operation.
This all points to a 2020 run, of course, especially the part about amassing a team. Last time, Sanders ran his national campaign the way he’s run every one of his campaigns from the 70s: with a skeleton crew and a closet full of comfortable sweater vests. This time, he’s pretending to be the real thing.
If he truly is the Democrats’ best hope, though, that’s a sorry state of affairs; Sanders is practically ancient by Washington Standards (though he’s less than a decade older than the Democrats’ other last, best hope, Joe Biden). He’s also reliant on the public’s anger with the Democratic National Committee — something they’re hot and bothered about now, but might not be come 2020, if there’s a real chance to retake the White House.
It also means that Democrats will be stuck relying on anger at Trump’s 2016 win to fuel their 2020 campaign. Bernie Sanders, for his all his talk about progressive policy, has passed a handful of bills during his tenure, mostly naming post offices. He’s not effective, and Democrats know that, but they’ll have to weigh that against fracturing their party.