Bernie and Levi Sanders are showing that when it comes to politics, the saying “like father, like son” doesn’t necessarily hold true. Vox reports that the senator is refusing to endorse his son Levi’s congressional campaign in New Hampshire. The reason is that Bernie does not believe in “dynasty politics.”
“Levi has spent his life in service to low income and working families, and I am very proud of all that he has done,” Sanders said to the Boston Globe this week. “In our family, however, we do not believe in dynastic politics. Levi is running his own campaign in his own way.”
Bernie’s statement following the announcement of Levi’s run for Congress was also lukewarm.
“The decision as to who to vote for will be determined by the people of New Hampshire’s first district, and nobody else,” the popular politician said.
It looks like Bernie doesn’t want to use his influence to sway voters’ decisions one way or another. But is there more to his reluctance to endorse Levi Sanders?
Vox suggests that he may not want to support his son’s run for office because he isn’t an ideal candidate and has a low likelihood of winning the congressional seat.
Levi does not reside in the district that he’s aiming to represent, which, while not a pre-requisite for running, probably won’t win him any points among the constituents who do live there. He lives in Claremont, which is in the Second District on the southwestern border between New Hampshire and Vermont. Levi is running in the First District.
Furthermore, Bernie’s presidential campaigned attracted lots of donors who contributed money to his campaign. With Levi’s campaign, the opposite is true. According to Vox, the younger Sanders has only amassed $11,500 since he launched his campaign.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who travels the country campaigning for Democrats, has not endorsed his only son, Levi Sanders, who is running for Congress in New Hampshire. https://t.co/jnFhQrACpn
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) June 7, 2018
New Hampshire state representative Rep. Tim Smith told the Boston Globe that he hasn’t met anyone “in the New Hampshire Bernie community who is excited about Levi running.”
The senator from Vermont might be eyeing another run for president in 2020 and may not want to carry the baggage of his son’s campaign if he fails, Vox surmises.
Levi Sanders has also shared some political views on social media that could hurt Bernie’s brand, especially if he endorsed him. In 2017, he tweeted criticism of MSNBC news personality Joy-Ann Reid for “identity politics.” He also decried the use of the term “white privilege” insisting that white working class people have been hurt by changes in the economy as much as anyone else.
https://t.co/8xCKcgxkyf She engages in identity politics and alienates so many who are low income and working class.
— Levi Sanders (@Celentra) October 5, 2017
https://t.co/xFDxPZCQip. Stop using this white privilege garbage. The white working class is getting crushed economically.
— Levi Sanders (@Celentra) December 2, 2016
https://t.co/COtf5ocE3x I assure you, most working class families don't care about this issue.
— Levi Sanders (@Celentra) October 10, 2016
Levi, pronounced more like levee rather than the classic brand of jeans, is Bernie’s son with his former girlfriend, Susan Campbell Mott. He also has a stepdaughter, Carina Driscoll, who is running for mayor in the city of Burlington.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) June 6, 2018