Is Bernie Sanders a good politician

Bernie Sanders: Radically successful

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Read on one side

That everything is different this time, the second time, can already be seen from the way it begins: When Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the US presidency in 2015, it was no big deal. His rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, entered the race for the Democratic nomination with a meticulously staged show in New York. Sanders, on the other hand, started his campaign almost casually. At an improvised press conference in front of the US Capitol, he briefly told how he imagined the future of the country - which didn't seem very solemn because passers-by were walking through the picture in the background. Then Sanders had to quickly move on to another appointment.

Sanders' demands seemed exotic and unworldly at the time. State health insurance for everyone, a minimum wage of $ 15, drastically higher taxation for the rich in the country. Ideas that were surprisingly well received by democratic voters. From the outsider, the self-proclaimed "democratic socialist" quickly became a favorite after the primaries began - and in the end only narrowly lost.

That's why everything is different this time. Three years after his first attempt, Sanders wants to become a Democratic presidential candidate again. This time, however, he did not announce his candidacy on the side, but in front of an audience of millions on the television channel CBS. When asked what should be different this time than last time, Sanders only answered dryly: "We will win."

The new center of the Democrats

The Senator from Vermont has good reasons to go into the primary campaign with pronounced self-confidence. According to polls, he has been one of the most popular politicians in the country for two years and regularly outstrips most of the democratic presidential candidates in the electorate. Only ex-Vice President Biden - whose candidacy is also being speculated - can compete with Sanders in the surveys.

Not only the CBS interview and the polls show that he is no longer an outsider. On the contrary: Sanders almost single-handedly managed to pull the political mainstream of his party to the left. A minimum wage of $ 15 and health insurance for all have been accepted as demands by large parts of the party. Bernie Sanders is no longer a radical - his ideas represent the new center of the Democrats.

There is still a long way to go before the decision on the presidential candidacy is made, and the past primaries in particular show how fast and violently the first polls can still turn. Sanders is still a long way from being the favorite to win. But at least he already has a few good arguments on his side.

On the one hand, there is his loyal and active following. As early as 2016, Sanders was able to rely on hundreds of thousands of committed young campaign workers who carried his political messages through the United States. Since then, Sanders has professionalized its grass roots movement. Shortly after the narrow defeat by Clinton in 2016, his colleagues founded the organization Our Revolution (Our Revolution), which has been helping left-wing candidates in the election campaign ever since - with great success. In 2018, Our Revolution supported more than 300 candidates for local, regional and national offices, around 40 percent of whom were successful - for example, the New York politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who not only moved into the House of Representatives at the age of 29, but already now is seen as the great hope of the party left.