Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) delivered the keynote address at The Sanders Institute Gathering—organized by his wife Jane Sanders—on Friday night in Burlington, Vermont. (Photo: © Will Allen 2018 / @willallenexplore)

US Labor Leader Says Case for Bernie Sanders 2020 Is Simple: His 'Life and Heart and Soul'

"I always say that heroes are not made, they're cornered," says RoseAnn DeMoro, former head of the National Nurses United. "And I've never seen anybody more cornered in my life than Bernie Sanders."

Jon Queally

With the U.S. midterms concluded, a new book just out, and a weekend 'Gathering' of progressive leaders and close allies in his home state of Vermont, there is plenty of fresh talk about whether Sen. Bernie Sanders will run for president again in 2020.

Some think he's not the best choice for Democrats. Some think he clearly should run. Some argue the progressive case is obvious. Some who even worked for Sanders' 2016 campaign are not sure, at least according to the headline, that another run is the wisest move.

But while Sanders, his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders, the family, and his political team have made clear they are seriously considering it—there is no decision yet.

"We need a leader that is going to unify the world. We need someone who gives their life and heart and soul to making us secure on our planet, in our workplace, in our homes, in our lives, after we retire, when our children are born — and that's Bernie Sanders. And there is no one who comes near him on the political scene."
—RoseAnn DeMoro
Songwriter and music legend Bruce Springsteen may not have intended to make the case, but comments he made in an interview published on Sunday have been seized by at least a few of those clamoring for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to end the internal debate his team is having about the run and announce as the best Democratic Party candidate to challenge Donald Trump in the next election.

The longtime Democrat and legendary musician told The Sunday Times that Democrats in the U.S. need a candidate "who can speak some of the same language" as Trump when it comes to communicating with blue collar workers and others suffering under economic weight. "I don't see anyone out there at the moment…the man who can beat Trump, or the woman who can beat Trump," Springsteen said.

"The Democrats," he added, "don't have an obvious, effective presidential candidate."

But in response to Springsteen's remarks, U.S. labor leader and political organizer RoseAnn DeMoro—who spent the weekend at The Sanders Institute Gathering in Burlington, Vermont telling anyone asking or listening that the Independent senator is the only choice for the next presidential election—on Monday tweeted her agreement that the Democrats do not have anyone at the moment better than Sanders—officially an Independent—to lead the party in the effort to dethrone Trump.

"I agree with this," she said about Springsteen's critique of the potential Democratic field. "And that is why @springsteen needs to help #Bernie2020."

Interviewed by the Washington Post's David Weigel over the weekend, and asked about other possible 2020 candidates, DeMoro was described as "incredulous" about the very premise of the question. "There are no other candidates," she told him.

In a joint interview with Common Dreams and The Katie Halper Show on Saturday night, DeMoro said that in her mind—and in the minds of many progressive organizers, labor leaders, and rank-and-file voters—it's not even close.

"If Bernie doesn't run, we don't have anyone who represents what Bernie represents. There is no one in the political spectrum who represents the values that he has," she explained. "There are some who fake it, who feign it—they say, 'Oh, I'm for Medicare for All'—but when push comes to shove they can't articulate anything about Medicare for All. I'm mean, it's a joke."

And it is the integrity of Sanders, she says, that cannot be bought, manufactured, or faked. "When you actually, fundamentally believe something," she said, "people see that. They know when you're authentic."

"When you actually, fundamentally believe something—people see that. They know when you're authentic."

She is certainly not alone in making electrified demands that Sanders run. At the conclusion of a panel event at The Gathering in Burlington on Friday night, many were taken when Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister of Greece, made the international argument as he declared: "Let me convey a message from all of us in Europe, for all those comrades of yours that are now struggling to reclaim our cities, our world, our environment: We need Bernie Sanders to run for president!"

Though an intrinsically friendly crowd, there was an eruption of applause and a familiar 2016 chant soon filled the hall: "Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!"

Sanders did not take the bait, however. He demured and stated, "And on that note..." as the chant subsided and event concluded.

Speaking with the Associated Press, Jane O'Meara Sanders, who founded The Sanders Institute as a way to continue to press for the ideas that both she and Bernie believe in, said the family's final decision will be made by looking outward, not necessarily inward.

"It's not about us," O'Meara Sanders said. "It's about what's right for the country." The biggest question, she added, was this one: "Who can beat Donald Trump?"

For DeMoro, it's ultimately less about the failures or shortcomings of others—though those shortcomings do matter—but the singular quality of Sanders that would make him the most potent contender.

"We need a leader that is going to unify the world," she said. "We need someone who gives their life and heart and soul to making us secure on our planet, in our workplace, in our homes, in our lives, after we retire, when our children are born—and that's Bernie Sanders. And there is no one who comes near him on the political scene."

But whether he wants to or not—and there is plenty of evidence to suggest he will run—DeMoro's argument is that, in many ways, there is no choice for the longtime Independent to once again join the Democratic Party, as he did in 2016, in order to lead the nation (and the world) in the existential fight to defeat Donald Trump and the Republican Party he now controls.

"I always say that heroes are not made, they're cornered," DeMoro said. "And I've never seen anybody more cornered in my life than Bernie Sanders."

Listen to The Katie Halper Show's coverage of the weekend Gathering here. Listen the full bonus "on the rocks" interview with RoseAnn DeMoro here.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Federal Judge Allows 'Untenable' Plan to Send Juvenile Inmates to Angola Prison

"The move defies all common sense and best practices, and it will cause irrevocable damage to our youth and families," said one children's advocate.

Julia Conley ·

'Catastrophic': Arizona Judge Allows 1864 Abortion Ban to Go Into Effect

"No archaic law should dictate our reproductive freedom," said one rights advocate.

Julia Conley ·

US Progressives Express Solidarity With Iranian Protesters After Death of Mahsa Amini

"The right to choose belongs to us all, from hijabs to reproductive care," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Julia Conley ·

Critics of Louisiana LNG Project 'Hopeful' as Huge Sales Contracts Canceled

"The fight is not over," says one activist, but "from tax breaks to pollution and now to these recent financial downswings, we have all the evidence we need to understand that Driftwood will be a parasite."

Jessica Corbett ·

DHS Officials Urge Biden to End 'Disastrous Leadership' of Embattled IG

In an anonymous letter, the Homeland Security staffers say Inspector General Joseph Cuffari's actions "embarrass the entire agency."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo