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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sanders, the Outsider

Sarah Lyall profiles Bernard Sanders's early Vermont years at The New York Times:
“The Revolution Is Life Versus Death,” in fact, was the title of an article he wrote for The Vermont Freeman, an alternative, authority-challenging newspaper published for a few years back then. The piece began with an apocalyptically alarmist account of the unbearable horror of having an office job in New York City, of being among “the mass of hot dazed humanity heading uptown for the 9-5,” sentenced to endless days of “moron work, monotonous work.”
“The years come and go,” Mr. Sanders wrote, in all apparent seriousness. “Suicide, nervous breakdown, cancer, sexual deadness, heart attack, alcoholism, senility at 50. Slow death, fast death. DEATH.”
Chalk some of this up to being young and unemployed. Mr. Sanders, now 73, has had a steady, nonrevolutionary job for quite some time now. His current workplace, the United States Senate, is not exactly known for its thrill-a-minute dynamism. But through his long evolution from outraged outsider to mainstream man in a suit, Mr. Sanders has remained true to his original message: sympathy for the downtrodden, the impoverished and the disenfranchised in the face of the rich and the powerful.
Matea Gold and John Wagner report at The Washington Post:
Seven-figure checks from billionaires Haim Saban and George Soros helped a quartet of independent groups supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 Democratic presidential bid bring in more than $24 million in the first half of the year, officials said Thursday.
Also on Thursday, aides to iconoclastic Clinton challenger Bernie Sanders (I) said the senator from Vermont raised $15 million in largely small-dollar contributions over the past two months.
It’s a strong showing of grass-roots support for an outsider candidate, but Sanders lags far behind Clinton’s reported haul of $45 million for her campaign committee. The numbers underscore Clinton’s status as the clear front-runner in both fundraising and the polls, with Republican hopeful Jeb Bush as her biggest potential rival so far in terms of the presidential money race.
AT MSNBC, Alex Seitz-Wald reports:
“In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of people here,” Bernie Sanders said a bit awed as he took the stage in front of nearly 10,000 in a coliseum here.
Sanders has been attracting outsize crowds wherever he takes his unlikely presidential campaign. Five thousand came out for his kickoff rally in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Another 5,000 turned out in Denver, Colorado. In Minneapolis, a thousand listened from outside after the basketball arena where Sanders was speaking filled to capacity.
But Madison was different.
“Tonight we have made history,” Sanders declared to thunderous applause. “Tonight we have more people at a meeting for a candidate for president of the United States than any other candidates have.”
Indeed, Sanders – the self-declared Democratic-socialist from Vermont; the former perennial protest candidate; the man who until a few weeks ago belonged to neither party – turned out more people Wednesday night than has any candidate of either party so far this year.