Independent Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is set to deliver his first major 2020 speech. To be held Saturday at Brooklyn College, Sanders’ first campaign event on home turf — the senator was born and raised in Brooklyn — is guaranteed to influence and redefine his public image.
According to excerpts from the speech obtained by CNN, Sanders will — for the first time ever — extensively discuss his background, his family’s immigrant story, and subsequent working class struggles.
Eli Sanders, the senator’s father, came to the United States in the early 1920s from Poland. Eli’s entire family was wiped out in the Holocaust. Sanders’ mother, Dorothy Glassberg, was a child of immigrants.
The presidential candidate grew up and spent his youth in Brooklyn, New York, subsequently moving to Chicago — where he graduated from college and became an activist during the Civil Rights movement — and eventually settled in Vermont.
While discussing his personal and family history, Sanders is expected to take a dig at President Donald Trump, and make a comparison between his and Trump’s background.
“I did not have a mom and dad who gave me millions of dollars to build luxury skyscrapers and casinos and country clubs. But I had something more valuable: I had the role model of a father who had unbelievable courage in journeying across an ocean, with no money in his pocket and not knowing a word of English.”
“I did not come from a family that had the power to go on television to entertain people by telling workers: ‘You’re fired.’ I came from a family who knew all too well the frightening power employers can have over everyday workers,” he is expected to say.
Bernie Sanders’ decision to get personal was welcomed by his advisers, who have been urging the senator to share details from his biography with the public. He has long refrained from discussing such details, dismissing them as irrelevant, and choosing to focus, almost exclusively, on policy.
Campaign co-chair Nina Turner explained to CNN that the presidential candidate will “tell his story” in order to explain to his followers “what makes him tick.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 1, 2019
Shortly after officially announcing his presidential bid, Bernie Sanders emerged as a front-runner. As reported by The New York Times, Sanders managed to raise $10 million in less than a week, with the average overall contribution being around $26.
It comes as no surprise that Sanders is perceived as a leader in the already crowded democratic pool of candidates, given that he has built a tremendous fan base over the years, and that polls have consistently ranked the Vermont senator as one of the most popular politicians in the United States.