Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who in his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign earned the second most delegates behind Hillary Clinton, appears to be readying a second presidential run.
Sanders has produced a video in which he announces that he's running for president in 2020, Politico reported Saturday, citing "two people familiar with the spot." The report also stated that Sanders has been interviewing potential staffers for his campaign.
An avowed democratic socialist, Sanders is officially an independent, although he caucuses with the Democratic Party, sought the Democratic nomination four years ago, and is expected to again.
Sanders, who is 77, would be the oldest president in history, as well as the first Jewish president and the first avowed democratic socialist.
Following his 2016 campaign, Sanders has become something of a controversial figure. He has a passionate core group of supporters, and his message clearly resonated beyond his campaign, with membership surging in the Democratic Socialists of America, and numerous candidates in the 2018 midterms calling themselves socialists, something that didn't happen for many years before that.
However, Sanders is still very much resented by many supporters of Hillary Clinton, who believe Sanders damaged Clinton's presidential prospects when he ran against her. Sanders, per CNN, has also been criticized for his handling of various sexual harassment allegations in his 2016 campaign, although Sanders himself has never been accused of any such things.Sanders, should he run again, would go against a very different field from his last campaign. Candidates already in the Democratic field include Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California. Lesser-known candidates include Representatives Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Julian Castro of Texas, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.
Others seen as possibilities to get into the race include former Vice President Joseph Biden, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, and current New York Mayor Bill Di Blasio.
The primary debates will begin in June, with the first debate taking place on NBC and Telemundo, and featuring two nights of debates, considering all of the candidates expected to participate. Per NBC News, the number of candidates will be capped at 20, with the field chosen at random for the two debates. The similarly large Republican field in 2016 led to the inclusion of "undercard" debates, in which lower-polling candidates debated separately, on more than one occasion.