Bernie Sanders’ campaign focuses on Sanders being the voice of the working and middle classes. His slogan is “A political revolution is coming,” and that pretty much sums up the way his campaign portrays him. Sanders is not afraid to speak his mind, and not play to the middle—which is echoed in his campaign. His campaign uses strong and combative language on the Bernie Sanders website. The topics in “Issues” include: “Fighting for Women’s Rights,” “Fighting for LGBT Equality,” Fighting to Lower Prescription Drug Prices,” and “It’s time to make college tuition free and debt free.” All of these topics imply fighting or other aggressive behavior, especially in regards to equality and helping out struggling Americans.
Sanders’ campaign differs from those of other presidential candidates, both Democratic and Republican, in the following different ways:
- There is no Super PAC supporting Sanders.
- Sanders does not ask his big allies, such as Ben & Jerry’s, to write big checks and raise funds for his behalf.
- He vows to run a positive campaign, refusing to outright attack other presidential candidates.
This is a welcoming change since we are all so used to well funded campaigns that dish out millions of dollars to air negative and attack ads about other presidential candidates.
“I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I have enormous respect for her. She’s a friend. But when you’re running for president of the United States, it’s important to differentiate the differences between the candidates, and there are real differences between Hillary Clinton and myself.”
— Bernie Sanders on Charlie Rose (October 26, 2015)
For the majority of the campaign thus far, Sanders has tended to avoid comparing himself to Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival. Interestingly, it appears that Bernie Sanders has started to shift his campaign strategies after the first Democratic presidential debate. Now, Sanders often draws direct contrasts between himself and Clinton to demonstrate to voters that he is different from Clinton. Below is a segment of Bernie Sanders’ interview with Charlie Rose where Sanders distinguishes himself from Clinton.
Some people argue that Sanders’ one-dimensional campaign–utmost emphasis on domestic issues–actually hurts his chance at getting elected. This criticism is covered under the “Criticism” tab of this blog.