March 31, 2017

Don’t Be Fooled, There’s Tension Between Warren And Sanders

When Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders take the stage together tonight, they’re sure to present a united front. And it’s true: they both share a commitment to fundamentally remaking America under their extreme-left wing vision. But beneath that surface, these two really don’t get along.

Their diverging strategies was highlighted once again today with Warren’s announcement that she wants a “people’s pledge” for her 2018 campaign. This pledge would ban outside campaign money from the Senate race. Yet in a direct contradiction to these principles, Sanders previously set up a group, Our Revelation, that accepts “dark money”:

“But while the establishment of the new group, Our Revolution, had been eagerly awaited by many of his most ardent supporters, it has been met with criticism and controversy over its financing and management. A principal concern among backers of Mr. Sanders, whose condemnation of the campaign finance system was a pillar of his presidential bid, is that the group can draw from the pool of ‘dark money’ that Mr. Sanders condemned for lacking transparency.”

This huge divide highlights the still-lingering tensions that come from the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. The rift started when Warren chose to not endorse Sanders for president, angering “many on the left”:

“The two faced their greatest rift earlier this year, however, when Warren refused Sanders’ repeated entreaties to endorse his run for the presidency. Given their shared values and history, her stance angered many on the left…”

The bad blood between Warren and Sanders supporters was evident at the DNC Convention when Warren was booed by many Sanders supporters in the crowd:

“But the Massachusetts senator maintained a studied neutrality in the primaries, declining to endorse until she backed Clinton after the outcome had been decided, and during her speech some Sanders supporters booed her, too. ‘We trusted you,’ some shouted (as my colleague John Cassidy noted).”

Both Warren and Sanders harbor presidential ambitions, yet only one can emerge as the leader of the extreme left. Under these conditions tension is inevitable.