An independent in the Senate, he’s functionally close to being a Democrat, and he is running for president on that ticket, people close to his campaign told the Associated Press.
Sanders is widely believed to by the closest thing to a liberal challenger to Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state and senator from New York. He’s a longstanding opponent of unnamed campaign contributions, something that Clinton has profited enormously from, even though she claims removing big money from politics is also a priority for her, too.
The two Democratic hopefuls even humanized their candidacies on social media Thursday, with Sanders announcing his candidacy on a new Reddit account (he already had one he’d used in previous AMA interviews) on a forum created by his supporters, and with Hillary tweeting a welcome message to Sanders.
I agree with Bernie. Focus must be on helping America's middle class. GOP would hold them back. I welcome him to the race. –H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 30, 2015
Sanders even responded with a light jab on campaign finance reform.
Thanks @HillaryClinton. Looking forward to debating the big issues: income inequality, climate change & getting big money out of politics.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 30, 2015
Of course, Clinton holds a commanding lead over all candidates, including Republicans. But as we all know, she’s not exactly a stranger to being upset by an idealistic Democratic challenger who focuses on the middle class.
Photo via DonkeyHotey/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)