Can Bernie Sanders beat the odds — and big money — to become president of the United States? He thinks so.
Despite trailing Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, Bernie Sanders says he has already started writing his inaugural address to the nation. After a tumultuous week in which the Sanders campaign got snagged in an embarrassing imbroglio with the Democratic National Committee over a voter database breach, the democratic socialist from Vermont remains as confident as ever.
“Have I started writing my inauguration speech, as opposed to the speech I have to give tomorrow?” Sanders stated in an interview with HuffPo. “Look, the answer is yes. It is a very sobering thing to be thinking about oneself as president of the United States and the enormous responsibilities that go with that.”
Sanders trails Clinton considerably in national polls. RealClearPolitics reports that as of December 17th, an aggregate of polls places Clinton with 56.3% of registered Democrats, while Sanders garners only 30.6%.
Despite his low national polling, Sanders has cause for optimism. In New Hampshire, an important early primary state, recent polls show Sanders has 49.2% of the vote compared to Clinton’s 44.9%.
New Hampshire won’t be the first political contest of the season; that dubious honor goes to the Iowa caucus. However, New Hampshire is traditionally the first primary of the year and is considered by many to be a major bellwether for the nomination. If 2004 — when John Kerry essentially stole the nomination from the previously frontrunning Howard Dean with a New Hampshire upset — serves as any lesson, political observers will take note of the importance of this state in determining the eventual Democratic nominee. The significance of Sanders’ lead there should not be overlooked.
While Bernie Sanders writing his inaugural address may sound a bit hubristic, if his New Hampshire lead holds and he wins that primary, the political landscape could very well shift in early 2016. That said, the DNC elites have shown firm, unwavering support for the Wall Street-friendly Hillary Clinton. Pro-corporatist, establishment backing for the former secretary of state seems unlikely to change, regardless of whether Sanders pens an inaugural address or a rough draft of his 2017 State of the Union speech.
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