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Bernie Sanders' Campaign Manager Makes Headlines

Faiz Shakir may be first Muslim to run a major presidential campaign in US
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2019 5:42 AM CST
Updated Feb 19, 2019 5:28 PM CST
In this Jan. 16, 2019, file photo Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., attends a hearing on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – Last time, he was the underdog, notes NPR. This time, he'll be one of the favorites. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday told Vermont Public Radio that he is entering the 2020 race for president. The 77-year-old joins a crowded field, with big names including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Amy Klobuchar already in the mix. "We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it's time to move that revolution forward," said the independent senator. He will campaign on familiar issues, including universal health care and a $15 minimum wage. Hours after his announcement, Sanders made headlines again with the news that he had hired the ACLU's national political director, Faiz Shakir, as his campaign manager. CNN has more on Shakir's progressive background and the Daily Beast notes he's likely the first Muslim to run a major presidential campaign in the US.

As the Washington Post notes, a big challenge facing Sanders is that many of his 2020 rivals already embrace policy positions he's pushing. In his announcement, Sanders didn't mince words when talking about the man he hopes to replace as president. "I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country," Sanders said. "I think he is a pathological liar. ... I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants." Sanders has already gotten two major endorsements: fellow Vermont lawmakers Sen. Pat Leahy, a Clinton supporter in 2016, and Rep. Pete Welch, who did endorse Sanders in 2016 but not until just before Vermont's primary. (Click for five takes on Sanders' candidacy.)

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