Bernie Sanders visits CU

In what was probably the largest rally so far in a metropolitan area of less than a million, a crowd of over 15,000 loud supporters turned out to cheer for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders October 9 evening here.

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The name Bernie Sanders is one rife with controversy. In addition to opposing the war, the party pushed for things including a guaranteed minimum wage, tougher corporate regulations, and an end to compulsory education. Jane Sanders, however, is more hands on.

While this is her life now, Jane Sanders never thought it would be.

The 37 years that precede Jane’s marriage to Bernie – years during which she left Brooklyn to pursue a degree at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, married, had kids, dropped out of college, worked at a bank and supermarket, moved to Vermont, finished her bachelor’s degree, began working with juveniles at the Burlington Police Department, started a teen center, a newspaper, and a daycare program, earned a doctorate, worked as a provost for one small college and president of another, Burlington College, where her tenure provoked a few controversy and ended in her resignation – are all compressed into the following sentence: “In interviews and conversations, Jane Sanders plays coy with her political skills and ability, despite her past as a school board member and provost of Goddard College”.

None of this is to say that Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a sizable online audience of her own.

Now, Rudman says, “I think Bernie’s great”.

“I think there is a difference in where they want to bring the country”, she said.

And then there’s Keith Rudman, a 56 year old “self-employed trader” from Chicago who didn’t even know anything about Sanders until “probably a week or two” before he cut him a check for $5,000 on July 28.

“Sanders” close friend Richard Sugarman, an Orthodox Jew who teaches religious studies at the University of Vermont, said, “He’s not what you would call rule-observant.’ But, Sugarman added, ‘if you talk about his Jewish identity, it’s strong”. I like her. I respect her. I disagree with her on a number of issues.

The latest Iowa polls tell a different tale, yet the election is a long ways off. The usually perspicacious Nate Silver and his team at fivethirtyeight.com say that endorsements from politicos are historically among the best predictors of candidate success, and Sanders is lagging badly in that “primary”. When asked about the fact they are vying for the same gig, she looked embarrassed about the idea.

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“She supported TPP and then withdrew her support”, he said. I think he’s great. They think socialism is synonymous with communism – totalitarian ownership of all assets by the government, a system that failed where it was tried in USSR, China, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam. However, now that the Democratic debates are upon us, Sanders will need to be prepared to address other issues concerning the nation – including gun control, institutionalized racism and foreign policy. He has a group of people known as “Coders for Sanders” who have worked to help him fundraise 26 million in a single quarter, set up his website, and build an app to house the contact information of volunteers and potential voters. “I live in the Bluffs and we are outnumbered 100 to one”.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, left and Hillary Rodham Clinton laugh during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday Oct. 13 2015 in Las Vegas