On a recent edition of her show, Rachel Maddow took a few moments to run down the long list of GOP 2016 Presidential Candidates, including–but not limited to–Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick “Pants On Fire” Perry, Rick Santorum, Alan West, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. In total, she says there are more than 20 contenders for the GOP nomination.
Bernie Sanders officially announced his candidacy last Thursday, and within the first 24 hours he raised over $1.5million from over 35,000 people. The average donation was around $43. This haul was larger than any of the GOP candidates in their first 24 hours–and Bernie doesn’t have any billionaire or corporate donors. Nor does have have a Super PAC. He is relying on his constituents, and a grass roots effort.
Some people are still scoffing at the legitimacy of a Bernie Sanders presidency, much like some people scoffed at the Occupy Wall Street movement. Both are similar in that they rely on boots on the ground, they rely on people actually getting up out of their seats and onto the streets and making themselves heard. The Occupy movement proved that we can peacefully affect change and bring important subject matters to the forefront, subjects that the traditional media outlets largely ignore. Social media has changed how many people are getting their information. If it weren’t for social media, the Occupy movement might have been forever hidden and never exploded into the spotlight. For the very first time, Occupy Wall Street has endorsed a President candidate and that candidate is Bernie Sanders, calling Sanders the “Only Populist Candidate for President.”
Aljazeera America makes an interesting point on the likelihood of Sanders’ primary support:
49 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they supported Clinton, 20 percent favored Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 12 percent chose Sanders… Once left-leaning voters accept Warren’s decision not to run, it isn’t inconceivable for her supporters to move into Sanders’ camp. That could boost him to almost a third of the support from likely Democratic primary voters in addition to potential support from voters who support Biden, O’Malley and former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb.
Bernie hit the Sunday morning talk show circuit with George Stephanopoulos to talk about what a Sanders Administration might be like. When it was pointed out that Bernie opposed both Lew and Geithner as Secretary of Treasury, and asked whom he would like to run the Treasury, Bernie quickly replied, “Robert Reich.” When Stephanopoulos asked about detractors saying he might be unelectable, Bernie replied, “Don’t underestimate me.” Based on the grassroots donations, volunteers and endorsements, we indeed should not.
His confidence and exuberance continued to shine when he appeared with Rachel Maddow. She started the interview by saying that she had a feeling that his candidacy had gotten off to a better start than he anticipated. His very matter-of-fact response was:
I had the feeling, Rachel that there was a strong undercurrent of support, and when we announced on Thursday, we sent out an email on [the] website BernieSanders.com. We got 35,000 responses in terms of contributions, and 100,000 people indicated on the first day alone that they wanted to sign up and work on the campaign, and those numbers have gone up in the last few days. I feel really good about that.
Maddow, surprised, asked, “You have 100,000 people who have pledged to volunteer on the campaign already?” Bernie responded, “No, actually, we have 175,000.” He feels the overwhelming grassroots support is because he is willing to take on Wall Street, the billionaire class, climate change, education rather than incarceration and trade agreements that favor other countries rather than the US.
WATCH the upbeat interview here:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRXVoUIdysI?feature=player_detailpage]
Featured image is a screenshot from the video above.