Bernie Sanders for president?

Bernie Sanders is leaving the door open to running for president in 2016.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  March 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM
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BURLINGTON, Vt., March 6 (UPI) -- Bernie Sanders isn't saying he's running for president. But he's not ruling the idea out, either.

In an interview with The Nation, the Independent former Senator said he doesn't feel the burning ambition some do to run for the country's highest office.

"I don't wake up every morning, as some people here in Washington do and say, 'You know, I really have to be president of the United States. I was born to be president of the United States,'" the Vermonter said. "What I do wake up every morning feeling is that this country faces more serious problems than at any time since the Great Depression, and there is a horrendous lack of serious political discourse or ideas out there that can address these crises, and that somebody has got to represent the working-class and the middle-class of this country in standing up to the big-money interests who have so much power over the economic and political life of this country."

"So I am prepared to run for president of the United States," he said. "I don't believe that I am the only person out there who can fight this fight, but I am certainly prepared to look seriously at that race."

Sanders said he's not making a formal announcement, nor is he actively raising money in preparation for a campaign. But he is turning up in places a progressive might not otherwise find himself, such as Alabama, and talking to Americans.

And even if he were to run, Sanders, who caucused with the Democrats while on the Hill, isn't sure what party flag he'd fly: Independent or Democrat.

"I think there is profound disgust among the American people for the conventional political process and the never-ending campaigns," he said. "If I run, my job is to help bring together the kind of coalition that can win -- that can transform politics."

"On the other hand, given the nature of the political system, given the nature of media in America, it would be much more difficult to get adequate coverage from the mainstream media running outside of the two-party system," he said. "It would certainly be very hard if not impossible to get into debates. It would require building an entire political infrastructure outside of the two-party system: to get on the ballot, to do all the things that would be required for a serious campaign."

Head over to The Nation to read the full interview, in which Sanders discusses the challenges of building a third party, what it means to be a democratic socialist, and Hillary Clinton's prospects.

[The Nation]

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