Why Bernie Sanders' Candidacy Matters

Matt Taibbi: He's not a 'novelty act,' he's a challenge to our political system
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2015 3:25 PM CDT
Why Bernie Sanders' Candidacy Matters
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks to the media Thursday about his candidacy.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – In announcing his candidacy for president, Bernie Sanders asked that we not underestimate him. At Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi writes that it will be a shame if we do. Tabbi once covered the 73-year-old independent for a lengthy profile and calls him "the rarest of Washington animals, a completely honest person." The Vermont senator genuinely cares about helping the under-privileged, not about money, power, or optics, he writes. But he makes the case that Sanders is no mere "novelty act," despite the condescending coverage you'll read in the big papers belittling his credibility as a candidate solely on the basis of money.

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The rest of us have been conditioned to buy into that line of thought, and that's why Sanders' decision to run is a "great thing," writes Taibbi. "If the press is smart enough to grasp it, his entrance into the race makes for a profound storyline that could force all of us to ask some very uncomfortable questions." Unlike the other candidates in both parties, Sanders doesn't get his power from financial and corporate interests. He gets it from his constituents in Vermont, where a "surprisingly enormous percentage" of people know him personally. As such, he "offers an implicit challenge to the current system of national electoral politics." Click for the full column. (Read more Bernie Sanders stories.)

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