Bernie’s Campaign Manager: We’re the 2020 ‘Front-Runner,’ and We’re Going ‘Bigger’ Bernie’s Campaign Manager: We’re the 2020 ‘Front-Runner,’ and We’re Going ‘Bigger’ – NTK Network

Bernie’s Campaign Manager: We’re the 2020 ‘Front-Runner,’ and We’re Going ‘Bigger’

The 2016 dark horse benefited from his underdog role in 2016. Now, without a formal 2020 announcement, his chief strategist is saying Sanders’ next run will be a bulkier operation.

By NTK Staff | 12.03.2018 @11:00am
Bernie’s Campaign Manager: We’re the 2020 ‘Front-Runner,’ and We’re Going ‘Bigger’

“It’ll be a much bigger campaign if he runs again, in terms of the size of the operation,” said Jeff Weaver, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2016 campaign manager.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Weaver shot down the notion that Sanders had missed his chance for victory in 2016, and that a slew of progressive candidates running in 2020 could limit Sanders’ chances to break through. He also clearly defined Sanders as the “front-runner,” marking a massive change from Sanders’ 2016 underdog status.

“This time, he starts off as a front-runner, or one of the front-runners,” Sanders’ 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver told The Associated Press, highlighting the senator’s proven ability to generate massive fundraising through small-dollar donations and his ready-made network of staff and volunteers.

Weaver added: “It’ll be a much bigger campaign if he runs again, in terms of the size of the operation.”

While there are benefits to being considered a “top dog” in a crowded field, there are downsides as well. A trimmer political operation can be more nimble, agile, and responsive. That aspect of Sanders’ 2016 campaign gave him an advantage over Hillary Clinton. By adding more offices and staffers, Sanders’ 2020 campaign will inherently become more bureaucratic.

During a weekend summit, Sanders’ team brought in high-profile celebrities and backers to listen to the senator’s message.

Actor John Cusack attended the event and called Sanders “the only real progressive candidate out there.” Danny Glover, an actor and 2016 Sanders supporter, was more calculated, saying, “I’m going to support who I feel to be the most progressive choice.”

A recent survey of Iowa Democrats found that there is a hunger for a “generational change,” which could spell trouble for Sanders, 77. Still, fellow front-runners, Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), are in the same boat. That could help Sanders neutralize that threat, but younger candidates like Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), or even Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), could prove problematic for the septuagenarian.

Weaver did not mention a timeline for a formal 2020 announcement from Sanders, according to the AP’s reporting.

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