Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is now running for the Democratic nomination for president, and people are very excited. Sanders is smart, and passionate, and says lively things about challenging the billionaires’ control of politics.
Of course, he has about as good a chance of actually being elected president as Kim Jong Un.
Although perhaps a slightly better chance than Rick Santorum.
To begin with, he’s not actually a Democrat; he’s an avowed socialist representing a state smaller than some NASCAR crowds. (True, Dick Cheney came from Wyoming, the only state smaller, but look how that worked out.) He’s also 73 years old, meaning he could address Hillary Clinton as “kid.”
But just to keep things interesting, someone has to run against Clinton in the primaries (or at least the first few). Joe Biden is even older (and stranger), and Delaware is only about a grandstand bigger than Vermont. The chances of former Maryland Gov. (and Baltimore mayor) Martin O’Malley seem to have vanished in the streets of Baltimore, just as after Ferguson, you no longer hear much about the vice-presidential prospects of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
Democrats, of course, always enjoy a good fight on these matters, and have ever since James K. Polk nosed out Martin van Buren in 1844. (Biden was third.) But in 2016, Democrats might have a particular interest in actually winning the White House; otherwise, a Republican president is likely to have an entirely Republican Congress, and name the next four Supreme Court justices.
Admittedly, the Republican president probably won’t be Rick Santorum. But the 2016 Republican nominee also probably won’t be as flexible and progressive as George W. Bush.
Something for Democrats to bear in mind as they enjoy the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders.