Bernie Sanders announces he’s running for president

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Tuesday that he is running for president — launching a second bid for the White House after the self-described socialist’s strong run for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

“Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revolution. Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for,” Sanders, 77, said in a video, and an email to supporters announcing his candidacy.

An enthusiastic progressive who promotes Medicare for All and free college tuition, Sanders stunned the Democratic establishment in 2016 with his spirited challenge to Hillary Clinton.

While she eventually became the party’s nominee, his campaign helped lay the groundwork for the leftward swing that has dominated Democratic politics during the Trump era.

“Our campaign is not only about defeating Donald Trump,” he said in an email to supporters. “Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.”

The question is whether Sanders can stand out in a crowded field of Democratic candidates who also embrace many of his policy ideas and are newer to the national political stage.

In 2016, he won more than 13 million votes and dozens of primaries and caucuses – and now opens his presidential run with a nationwide organization and a proven small-dollar fundraising effort.

And he could be well positioned to compete in the nation’s first primary in neighboring New Hampshire, which he won by 22 points in 2016.

On Monday, California Sen. Kamala Harris, another Democratic presidential contender, was in New Hampshire, where she said she’d compete for the state. She also appeared to take a swipe at Sanders.

“The people of New Hampshire will tell me what’s required to compete in New Hampshire,” she told shoppers at a Concord bookstore. “But I will tell you I’m not a democratic socialist.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — another 2020 Democratic hopeful who has planned an aggressive swing through the early primary states, will be in New Hampshire on Friday.

One of the biggest questions surrounding Sanders’ candidacy is how he’ll compete against someone like Warren, who shares many of his policy goals.

Shortly after announcing her exploratory committee, Warren hired Brendan Summers, who managed Sanders’ 2016 Iowa campaign, and others who worked for him during his first bid also have said they would consider working for other candidates in 2020.

The crowded field includes several other candidates who will likely make strong appeals to the Democratic base including Harris and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

A number of high-profile Democrats are still considering presidential bids, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Meanwhile, Sanders also faces different pressures in the #MeToo era.

In 2016, some of his male staffers and supporters were described as “Bernie bros” for their treatment of women.

In the run-up to Sanders’ 2020 announcement, allegations emerged of sexual harassment of women by male staffers during his 2016 campaign.

Politico and The New York Times reported several allegations of unwanted sexual advances and pay inequity.

Sanders apologized in an interview on CNN when the initial allegations emerged, but also noted he was “a little busy running around the country trying to make the case.”

He offered a more unequivocal apology as more allegations surfaced.

“What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign — or any campaign — should be about,” Sanders said Jan. 10 on Capitol Hill.

“Every woman in this country who goes to work today or tomorrow has the right to make sure that she is working in an environment which is free of harassment, which is safe and is comfortable, and I will do my best to make that happen.”

With Post Wires

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