Bernie Sanders has so far resisted telling his fellow Democrats that he “told them so,” when it came to focusing on working-class voters, but he’s not taking Hillary Clinton’s defeat sitting down, either.
According to the progressive candidate, he’s not ruling out a second run at the White House, and he’s going to be flexing his muscle in the Democratic National Committee—whose previous administration worked hard to alienate him from the candidate selection process.
“Four years is a long time from now,” Sanders told media on Thursday. “We’ll take one thing at a time, but I’m not ruling out anything.”
He went on to call the Democratic defeat an “embarrassment,” saying that Clinton’s biggest hurdle was her failure to appeal to the white working class. “It is an embarrassment, I think, to the entire Democratic Party that millions of white working-class people decided to vote for Mr. Trump, which suggests that the Democratic message of standing up for working people no longer holds much sway among workers in this country.”
Indeed, many Democrats have followed up Clinton’s loss by blaming the working class for their lack of understanding—with some even going so far as to call white rural voters, who make up a large share of the blue collar vote—”racist.” Sanders may be correct in saying that a “class warfare” message resonated with the electorate, but that Donald Trump was able to capitalize on voter uneasiness better than Clinton.
In the meantime, before 2020, Sanders is working on a coup to push the DNC much further to the left. Joining with Elizabeth Warren, he’s loudly voicing his choice in the leadership fight.
Sanders seemed like a natural for Democratic National Committee chairman, but he will back Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison instead. Ellison, himself a progressive who supported Sanders against Clinton in the primary, said he would take the weekend to decide whether to run for DNC chair. Ellison, in addition to being a Sanders ally, predicted Trump’s appeal—and the importance of the working class vote—last year, but no one listened.
— Jeanette Verdista (@JeanetteJing) November 11, 2016
If Sanders plans on making a second run at the Democratic nomination, however, he’ll have to start soon. Presidential campaigns started an average of 500 days before election day in 2016, meaning that small operations are likely already coming together.