A Vermont newspaper is urging Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) not to run for president in 2020: “In fact, we beg him not to.”
Another Sanders run would hurt the state of Vermont and the Democratic Party at large, argued the editorial, which appeared in The Barre Montpelier Times Argus on Jan. 5. The newspaper endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“We have repeatedly hit the senator on where his loyalties lay: Vermont or a bigger calling? We have asked him to make a choice, which he would argue was his recent re-election to Congress,” the editorial board wrote. “But in his previous run for the presidency, Sanders, an independent who ran for the White House as a Democrat, missed dozens of votes that likely would have helped Vermonters.”
The editorial also accused Sanders of caring more about cable news limelight than his own constituents and expressed fear that another presidential run might split the Democratic voting base.
“For us, this comes down to principle over ego,” the board said. “It is one thing to start a revolution, but at a certain point you need to know when to step out of the way and let others carry the water for you.”
Sanders has inspired a younger generation to campaign for “rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure; reversing climate change; creating worker co-ops; growing the trade-union movement; raising the minimum wage; pay equity for women workers; trade policies that benefit American workers; making college affordable for all; taking on Wall Street; health care as a human right; protecting the most vulnerable Americans; and tax reform,” the board said. But, as a candidate, the senator is “exhausting.”
The editorial pointed in particular to the recent accusations of sexism leveled at Sanders’ 2016 campaign, saying they, coupled with the senator’s “abrasive” personality, make him unfit for office.
“It is as extreme, on the other end of the spectrum in its policy elbow-throwing and idealism, as what we face today from the right in their standard bearer, Donald Trump,” the board said.
The editorial board concluded that despite Sanders’ national popularity, he would not be able to win in 2020: “Taken together—ego, electoral math, a tired message and a prickly media darling—Sanders is convincing himself that he’s the person who can win the White House in 2020. We are not convinced he should.”