Vermont Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is making political waves in America ahead of what many observers believe is his intended Presidential run in the upcoming 2016 elections. He has slammed Republicans for pushing through the Keystone oil pipeline legislation, criticized President Obama over the current administration’s support for a new free trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has named Professor Stephanie Kelton as his chief economic advisor.
The son of Jewish immigrants was born and raised in Brooklyn. While elected to the Senate as an independent in 2006 after having served as a Socialist in the House of representatives, Sanders caucuses with the Democrats and is hinting at running in the Democratic party’s primaries in 2016. Many democrats feel that he has no chance of getting the nomination but fear that he could harm Hilary Clinton’s chances of winning the Presidency if there is a bitter primary fight.
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Also, should Sanders run as an independent, he could do to the Democratic nominee what Ralph Nader did to Al Gore in 2000.
Sanders is now the ranking Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee and he appointed Kelton, a University of Missouri – Kansas City professor his chief economist. This was perceived by many as a shot across the bow of the Obama Administration over its policies regarding corporate America. Sanders has been on record as critical of the President for not doing enough to reign in what the Senator feels are corporate excesses and Kelton has a reputation for wanting more corporate regulations.
As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new agreement that the US is negotiating with 11 Pacific nations, Senator Sanders is angry over the secrecy of the ongoing negotiations. He sent a letter to that effect to the office of U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman saying that he has been, “very concerned that up to this date the text of this agreement has not been made public. The only text that I am aware of that has been made public so far has been through leaked documents, and I find what I read very troubling.”
“It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it.”