Bernie Sanders pulled together his top political advisers last Saturday to reportedly discuss a possible 2020 presidential campaign.
While this “Weekend at Bernie’s” scenario did not include a posh beach house, the gathering with the Vermont senator during the government shutdown covered several topics, including the possibility of another run for president, according to Politico.
Multiple Democrats indicated that the former 2016 candidate has not made any final decisions about running in 2020 but sees beating President Trump as important enough to be prepared in case he does.
According to Politico:
Sanders regularly speaks with a close group of advisers and periodically brings top allies in to discuss his political maneuvers, but Saturday’s get-together included planning for the rest of 2018 as well as a specifically slated 2020 component, said Democrats familiar with the session, which was scheduled for the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. Part of the discussion included gaming out how the rest of the field might look, since 2016’s landscape — effectively pitting Sanders directly against Hillary Clinton — was far more straightforward than the expected 2020 free-for-all.
And though the meeting with the Democratic socialist was not called to plan a 2020 campaign, it was a larger gathering than previous get-togethers and had an already planned component to discuss the next presidential race.
“The senator is extremely focused on making sure the Democrats win in 2018 and that is the primary goal right now: to retake the House and retake the Senate so we can stop this horrendous Trump agenda,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager and top political adviser, said.
The senator, who would be 78 years old in 2020, has not confirmed or ruled out plans to run but remains at the top of polling for potential Democratic candidates, according to Politico. He made several trips to Iowa and New Hampshire in 2017, typical moves by someone interested in running.
The weekend with Bernie crowd included many who were involved in his 2016 campaign, and some were spotted later Saturday evening having dinner at the downtown BLT Steak restaurant.
Joining Sanders and Weaver at the meeting were Democratic strategists Mark Longabaugh and Julian Mulvey as well as pollster Ben Tulchin. Sanders senate adviser Ari Rabin-Havt, online fundraiser Tim Tagaris, political adviser Chuck Rocha, and former Sanders communications aide Arianna Jones were also in attendance as was Nina Turner, the former Ohio state senator who is now president of Sanders’ post-campaign political group, Our Revolution.
The senator told his supporters in an email Monday that he intends to support candidates all over the country in addition to “reactivating the distributed organizing network that was at the heart of our grassroots success in 2015/2016.” A “Medicare for All” town hall event on Tuesday drew over 1 million viewers online, Sanders’ communications director, Josh Miller-Lewis, tweeted.
1.1 million people watched Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Town Hall live tonight. As Bernie predicted, “Better than CNN.” pic.twitter.com/m2uRP7Dq0v
— Josh Miller-Lewis (@jmillerlewis) January 24, 2018
Sanders, who is up for reelection in Vermont in November, could face quite a field of contenders if he decides to push ahead with a 2020 presidential run, possibly to include former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
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