With less than two years before the next U.S. presidential election, the country is facing questions of who may run against current President Donald Trump. One of the top contenders for the Democrats is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who ran during the 2016 election — but ultimately lost out on the nomination to Hillary Clinton.
Many hope that he is gearing up to make a formal announcement for candidacy again this year, but the Huffington Post noted that one newspaper — from his own home state — has recently taken to its pages to plead with the senator not to do so.
In an op-ed piece titled “Don’t Run” published on Saturday, January 5, members of the editorial board of the Barre Montpelier Times Argus wrote that they “beg” Bernie Sanders not to throw his hat into the ring. They noted that they found the idea of a second Sanders run more concerning than exciting.
One of their biggest concerns presented in the piece was the risk of dividing the “well-fractured” Democratic Party, especially following accusations of sexual harassment and sexism from former staffers of Sanders’ 2016 campaign.
Sanders said during an interview with Anderson Cooper that he did not know about the accusations, as he was “a little busy running around the country” — a response which the Barre Montpelier Times Argus editorial board called “inexcusable and insulting.”
The op-ed also cited a piece from the New York Times that questioned whether or not Bernie would be now able to “adequately fight for the interests of women, who have increasingly defined the Democratic Party in the Trump era.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) may be mulling a run for president, but the editorial board of one of his home state's newspapers is asking him not to. https://t.co/bBRyQa4BwO
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 7, 2019
Another concern coming from the Vermont publication was Sanders’ absence on key votes in the Senate that would have been particularly helpful for Vermont residents, something that the state could see again since Bernie Sanders was recently re-elected to Congress.
The board also added their criticism of the senator’s media moments, noting that he was more likely to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CNN or MSNBC rather than spending time talking to local reporters.
“Taken together — ego, electoral math, a tired message and a prickly media darling — Sanders is convincing himself that he’s the person who can win the White House in 2020. We are not convinced he should,” the board concluded.
Bernie Sanders has not yet announced whether or not he will launch a presidential campaign for the 2020 election, though he is at the top of the list for Democratic contenders — along with former Vice President Joe Biden, and Beto O’Rourke.