Small Potatoes & Few in the Hill: The NYTimes Presents Sen. Sanders with A Status Update

During the 2016 campaign, Sanders was of infinite use to the NYTimes hierarchy in their decades-long quest to demonize Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s not running in 2020, and it would seem the NYTimes wants the widest audience possible to know their current far-more-lukewarm assessment of the Vermont Independent:

Senator Bernie Sanders met on Wednesday with former staff members who conveyed their dismay over the mistreatment of women during his 2016 campaign, in an effort to calm the unrest over sexism that is overshadowing his possible 2020 bid.

Mr. Sanders met with roughly two dozen former workers for about an hour in a conference room at a hotel near the Capitol. The meeting was convened in response to a recent letter sent by more than two dozen people who worked on Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign, asking to meet with the senator and his leadership team to discuss issues of harassment.

The senator did not make himself available for comment afterward, and some attendees said they preferred to keep the discussions private. One woman said she found the meeting exhausting but declined to elaborate…

Among those close to Mr. Sanders who attended were Jeff Weaver, his 2016 campaign manager, and Ari Rabin-Havt, Mr. Sanders’s deputy chief of staff. There were also some people from his campaign arm, including Arianna Jones, a communications aide. Mr. Sanders’s wife, Jane Sanders, made a brief appearance.

Mr. Sanders skipped an important Senate vote on Russia sanctions to attend the meeting around noontime. He was the only senator not to appear as Republicans blocked a Democratic resolution to prevent the Trump administration from easing sanctions on a Russian oligarch. The measure, which required 60 votes to proceed, was defeated, 57 to 42, and his vote would not have affected the outcome.

There were some signs of trouble even before the meeting began. Some attendees were upset that the draft of the agenda did not directly address specific allegations of mistreatment of women, or say which top Sanders aides would attend. Several women said the travel logistics were poorly handled, with some saying they were not invited until 48 hours before the daylong meeting was scheduled to begin…

Truly, a climactic change of attitude. Perhaps the NYTimes will be able to unearth copies of Sen. Sanders’ tax returns this time?

Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: There’s A ‘Trump & His Wall’ Metaphor Here Somewhere…

And that’s only the second weirdest twitter meme of the evening.

Warning: Do not go below the fold within three hours of eating…
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Late-Night Reiteration #1,357 Open Thread: Bernie Sanders Has Exactly *One* Principle

“What’s in it for me, Bernie Sanders?”

Now that Bernie has all-but-officially launched his 2020 candidacy, he’s gonna be waaay too busy collecting tributes from his cultists to actually spend time or prestige on the job he’s already got…

Sanders outranks Manchin in seniority on the committee and could block him. But the Vermont independent has shown little inclination to leave his perch as the ranking member of the Budget Committee — even though he made climate change and clean energy a major plank in his 2016 presidential run and plans a national town hall on the issue Monday…

Sanders, who is exploring a 2020 presidential campaign, wrote in an email to POLITICO on Wednesday evening that he is proud of his work on the Budget Committee, where he’s been for his past two terms, and suggested he’d likely stay.

“As ranking member I have helped fight for budget and national priorities, which represent the needs of working families and not just the 1 percent. I look forward to continuing the fight in the new session for social, racial, economic and environmental justice,” he said…

Manchin’s critics aren’t explicitly pressuring Sanders to seize the Energy spot. Some say it’s up to Schumer to reassess seniority rules or do whatever necessary to prevent Manchin from moving up. Other committee Democrats who are more senior than Manchin and could step into the role include Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who are currently ranking members of the Finance and Agriculture committees, respectively….

Stabenow would also have seniority over Manchin and could face pressure, though she expressed happiness with her current top slot on the Agriculture Committee this week…

Ron Wyden, as we know, has been an Intelligence workhorse for keeping pressure on the GOPers trying to hide Trump’s crimes. And the Ag Committee also controls food stamp regulation, where Debbie Stabenow has done important work protecting Michigan farmers and those who most need government support.

Unless I’ve missed something — feel free to update me! — all Bernie has done on the Budget Committee is make finger-wagging, social-media-friendly speeches complaining that none of his fellow members appreciate Bernie Sanders’ brilliance.

And I guess that’s all the “help” environmentalists should expect from Bernie Sanders, now or in the future.

Late Night ‘This Crap Again’ Open Thread: It’s A Boid… It’s A Plane… It’s BIZARRO TRUMP!

This was the role Donald Trump was supposed to assume in December 2016 — the grifter travelling first-class on ‘campaign donations’, riling up the rubes in his base to shiv Democrats and prop up Republicans. Sanders is no Trump, showman-wise, but then the Cosplay Socialists in his particular camp are even more pathetically eager to be pleased than the MAGAts.

And of course the NYTimes is there for him!

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has not yet announced he is running. But for several blocks in this college town on Sunday afternoon, he was certainly marching.

From the front of a group of Iowa State College Democrats, Mr. Sanders, widely assumed to be preparing another presidential candidacy, inspired cheers and chants, his mere presence whipping up the kind of political excitement this early-voting state knows so well.

But if Democratic euphoria was the theme of the day, Mr. Sanders also sounded a cautionary note about the party’s prospects in the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

“I happen not to believe that there’s going to be this great blue wave,” he said earlier on Sunday at an event in Fort Dodge, in north central Iowa. “I happen to believe that on election night, which party controls the U.S. House will come down to a very few seats.”…

Somewhere Dean Baquet felt a thrill run up his leg, without quite knowing why.

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Friday Morning Open Thread: Let Them Call It A Win, If It Stops the Argument…

Look, any Bernie supporters want to declare victory and get out, I am more than willing to give ’em a big hand on their way. Even better, should the more realistic ones choose to actually become Democrats, I’ll give ’em a second chance to show that they’re willing to do the hard work of winning voters, not just stanning a celebrity. From Politico (so: whole shaker of salt), “Bernie 2016 alums wary of 2020 sequel”:

With the Vermont senator kicking off a nine-state tour on Friday with stops in Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada and California, a sizable contingent of the people who helped build his insurgent 2016 campaign is ambivalent about a second run, according to interviews with more than a dozen former staffers. Many of them are looking for a different progressive champion to finish what Sanders started.

Sanders should just declare victory, they said, content in the knowledge that much of his 2016 platform has been adopted by other ambitious Democrats considering White House bids. Plus, he’s a white man who would turn 80 in his first year as president, who’d be trying to lead a diverse party fueled by the energy of young voters, women and people of color.

“I think that if a younger candidate can pick up the mantle and have Bernie’s support, I think that would be a better option for 2020. I feel like 60 to 70 percent of former staffers are looking around for another Bernie-esque candidate this time around, even if it’s not him,” said Daniel Deriso, a field organizer for Sanders’ 2016 campaign who went on to help run a successful insurgent mayoral campaign in Birmingham, Ala., last year. “But if Bernie called me to have me work on the campaign then I’d do it.”…

Enough fervent supporters — from the 2016 campaign’s top officials to field organizers — are wary of a 2020 run that it could be difficult to reignite the 2016 movement. Jeff Weaver, who managed the 2016 race, has been talking about the idea of a “Draft Bernie PAC” of sorts after the midterms. But many supporters have been noncommittal, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions…

A common frustration among former staffers is that they feel Sanders and his tight circle of aides have taken their support for granted and failed to keep their 2016 team cohesive, which would have been an inherent advantage in a second run.

Multiple former staffers said that the Clinton campaign alumni network is far more connected and active than Sanders’…

“He’s the grandpa of the movement,” said another campaign worker from 2016, “but that might not make him the best choice for 2020.”

So… People who want an actual career working in politics have accepted their loss and are calculating their next moves. Tad Devine is lying low, waiting for Robert Mueller to wrap up his various investigations. Jeff Weaver wants to get the band back together — but being the Media Village Idiot’s “More Virtuous Than Thou” Gadfly is pretty much a one-man enterprise. Just look at the latest performance reviews for its most famous modern exemplar:

(If Nader is hoping / expecting Bloomberg to throw him a bone, or a paid consultancy, he must really be desperate. Mayor Mike has been content to let the Horserace Pundits do his testing-the-candidacy-waters media for free, all these years; I seriously doubt pity, or excitement at Nader’s celebrity, will loosen his pursestrings at this point.)

Late Night Open Thread: Well, That Explains Tuesday…

… but this was Monday:

Late Night Crankypants Grifters Open Thread: STFU, Sen. Sanders

Sanders, as predicted, has gone full-metal Ron Paul: Now his Travelling WWC Economic Anxiety Tour is solely a tool for separating his cultists from their money. Unfortunately, the Media Village Idiots hate Democrats almost as much as they love Republicans, so they’re a lot more interested in megaphoning St. Bernie’s attacks on our party than they ever were in helping Dr. Ron (or his idiot son Rand) abuse “his” party-of-convenience.

If there was one day this year when the red-rose-in-their-twitter-profiles “Socialist Progressive” manbabies and the women who love them could’ve profited from not insisting that every political statement or action should revolve around them, you’d think the commemoration of MLK Jr’s assassination (by an economically-anxious WWC guy) would’ve been that day.

And if Senator Sanders couldn’t find a single commemoration in his home state (there are certainly civil rights supporters in Vermont, many of them presumably Sanders voters), surely he could’ve found an appropriate event in the Washington DC area. But the national media attention was in Selma — so to Selma, Bernie rushed!…

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