Bernie Sanders Announces He Is Leaving The Democratic Party

Robert Jonathan

Bernie Sanders is staging his own #DemExit of a kind.

He revealed this week that he is resuming his status as a political independent and leaving the Democratic Party when he goes back to work in the U.S. Senate.

The Vermont senator, a self-described socialist and runner-up to Hillary Clinton in the presidential primary sweepstakes, ran for president as a Democrat.

Last November, when filing his paperwork for the New Hampshire primary, Sanders said "I am running as a Democrat obviously, I am a Democrat now," the Burlington Free Press reported. "Sanders says he'll run as a Democrat in future elections," the Free Press added.

On Tuesday, Sanders seemed to change his tune about his party affiliation. During the Bloomberg Politics breakfast in Philadelphia, he declared that "I was elected as an independent; I'll stay two years more as an independent," the Wall Street Journal detailed.

"Asked after the event whether Mr. Sanders considers himself a Democrat or an independent, a campaign aide said, 'He ran for president as a Democrat but was elected to a six-year term in the Senate as an independent,'" the WSJ added.

As an elected official in Congress, Sanders caucused with the Democrats, which means he voted with them most of the time. "Sanders, who considers himself, officially, an Independent in Congress because his views lean further left than the Democratic party's platform, caucuses with Democrats...And now, despite pleading with his base to support Hillary, even though they're concerned that she's too moderate, Sanders will return to Vermont and to his seat in the Senate, and he'll do it with no official party affiliation," HeatStreet noted.

During the roll call inside the Wells Fargo Center, Bernie Sanders himself headed to the Vermont delegation and called upon the entire assemblage in the arena to suspend the traditional state-by-state tally as a show of party unity and validate the Hillary Clinton presidential nomination by acclimation.

Reacting to the news that Bernie Sanders has quit the Democratic Party, the Daily Mail observed that "More than 13 million people voted for Sanders in the party's primaries and caucuses, and Clinton will now be hoping she can hang on to those voters. Sanders has a long affiliation with the party despite not being a member, with senior Democrats endorsing him when he ran for Senate in 2005. However, the news that he intends on returning to being an independent suggests that he may not want -- or be in line for -- a position within a possible Clinton government following the election."

The DNC in Philadelphia has become engulfed in controversy and unrest over the WikiLeaks #DNCLeaks email (and now voicemail) dump that suggests that party insiders attempted to undermine the insurgent presidential campaign of Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton, including collusion with news outlets to make Bernie and his campaign look bad. Amidst the fallout from the scandal, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz lost her job as DNC chair.

Against this backdrop, hundreds of unhappy Sanders delegates staged a walkout last night shortly after Hillary Clinton's nomination became official. Many more Sanders supporters or erstwhile supporters converged outside the convention venue security fence to protest the status quo.

The Democrats also approved a tentative plan to supposedly downgrade the influence of many of the superdelegates by the time the next presidential election rolls around in four years. The controversy over superdelegates has become a wedge issue for the Clinton and Sanders factions.

[Photo by Matt Rourke/AP Images]