The biggest newspaper from Sen. Bernie Sanders home state of Vermont published an editorial Friday that literally begged their senator to stand down and not enter what is likely to be a large and hotly contested race.
Sanders made a huge impact on the 2016 Democratic primary election, but the editorial board of the Barre Montpelier Times Argus believes his time in that fight is over and he should make way for other candidates that still carry his progressive ideals.
The paper had a couple of critics. First off, that Sanders has abandoned the interests of Vermont for a larger, national audience.
“While he makes regular visits ‘home,’ you are more likely to catch Sanders on Colbert, CNN or MSNBC than you are to see him talking to reporters here in Vermont,” the Times Argus wrote. “Evidently, microphones here don’t extend far enough.”
Beyond that, the paper’s biggest problem with the potential candidate is they believe there are other potential candidates that embody the same progressive ideology and Sanders is no longer needed to lead the movement.
“For us, this comes down to principle over ego. It is one thing to start a revolution, but at a certain point you need to know when to step out of the way and let others carry the water for you.”
The editorial added that Sanders’ self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist outlook works better with others. “As a platform, it is massive. As a candidate, Sanders is exhausting.”
However, the larger national audience Sanders has gained since 2016 still hasn’t given up on him. As reported by Politico, Sanders took the lead in a straw poll of potential 2020 Democratic candidates, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
However, the only major candidate that has officially announced a run is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is currently getting an early start campaigning in Iowa.
Although there have been hints, there’s no telling whether or not Sanders will enter the race. One of the biggest concerns for some voters is the Senator’s age. At 77, Sanders would be the oldest president ever elected. Currently, President Donald Trump holds that record.
Bernie Sanders would be 83 at the end of one term as President. Joe Biden would be 82. John Kerry would be 81.
Let's not do this.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) September 16, 2018
While the Times Argus never directly mentioned age as a problem, they did throw in his age in a comment on his personality:
“He is known to be difficult to work with. The 77-year-old can be bombastic and prickly. He can be dismissive and rude in his arrogance. You are either with Bernie Sanders or you are not.”
Sanders leans just about as left one can go. Former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren all rank more center than the Vermont senator according to data from On the Issues:
.@SenWarren's biggest strength in the 2020 Dem primary may be her ideological positioning: She's perfectly placed and has the policy chops to back up the rhetoric.https://t.co/l2AZ9iBPxH pic.twitter.com/kTlEa7Uw4y
— Micah Cohen (@micahcohen) January 2, 2019
But his 2016 campaign brought what was once considered radical ideas to the mainstream. Medicare for All, free public colleges, the Green New Deal and tuning down PAC funding are concepts more discussed upon and embraced by Democrats as a whole.
But now the Sanders campaign faces a new problem in the era of #MeToo. Politico first reported last week that employees on the 2016 Sanders campaign have brought up sexual violence and harassment that allegedly happened during the run. None of the allegations are against the senator himself, but his response to the issue had many asking for a better explanation and apology.
Sanders told Anderson Cooper that he “was a little busy running around the country trying to make the case,” to recognize the alleged abuse happening on his campaign and apologized “to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately.”
The Times Argus called the response “inexcusable and insulting.”