Vermont’s Jewish socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is closing the gap between him and front-runner Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries in New Hampshire and Iowa, according to a new poll published by Bloomberg News.
Clinton still holds a huge lead in the two states that are among the first to stage primaries early next year, but she could be in trouble if the her loss in strength is only the beginning of a trend towards Sanders.
Alternatively, Sanders may have gained all the support he can possibly get.
The maverick from Vermont has raised several issues that Clinton has tied to ignore. Sander has clipped six to eight points off the popularity of Clinton, who still has 50 percent support in Iowa and 56 percent in New Hampshire.
Not surprisingly, Sanders fared better than Clinton in the areas of authenticity and a desire to challenge Wall Street.
The race is taking on the appearance of David and Goliath, and right-wing media in the United States have been having a field day revealing new examples that show Clinton as a farce.
“It’s tremendous progress that he is making with voters in the first two states,” Tad Devine, Sanders’ chief political strategist, told Bloomberg. “It’s something we felt on the ground.”
The gender gap is clear, with women supporting Clinton far more than men do, while the opposite is true in the male-female breakdown for support for Sanders.
Purple Strategies’ Doug Usher told the news site:
Clinton remains enormously well-known and well-liked in New Hampshire, a state she won before. She benefits from a gender gap in a primary that will be disproportionately female, and even Sanders’ voters admit Clinton is likely the nominee. As long as Democrats like both candidates simultaneously, Sanders will have an uphill climb.
One of Clinton’s strong points is that she viewed as a stronger candidate to be able to defeat the Republican nominee.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Jew who is not involved in organization religion, will toss his hat in the political rang today and announce he is challenging Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic party’s nominee for president in 2016.
We would write that he is throwing his kippa into the ring except for the faint possibility that he even owns one.
Vermont Public News (VPR) reported, “Sanders will release a short statement….and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks…. Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.”
Sanders is an Independent and a vocal critic of “corporate America” and the government’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
A socialist, the 73-year-old Sanders wants to make campaign finance reform, climate change and the rich-poor gap as the center of his campaign, and he will focus on the proposed TPP to try force Clinton to declare whether she supports or opposes it.
Sanders might be exactly what the United States needs, someone who is not afraid to challenge the “billionaire class” instead of cooperating with it while the middle class, as in almost every other western country, fells it is becoming an endangered species.
His being Jewish is not going to win him any points from Orthodox or even the Conservative Jews.
Sanders, born in Brooklyn, once volunteered on an Israeli kibbutz after university, an experience which may have bolstered his socialist views.
As for Judaism, he is not actively involved, and the Burlington, Vermont Free Press reports:
When it comes to the impact of religion on his life, he said, ‘I find myself very close to the teachings of Pope Francis,’ and he described the pope as ‘incredibly smart and brave.’
A quote from Pope Francis also graces Sander’s Sanders for President Facebook page.
Judaism and being Jewish are not part of his public face. The Jewish Telegraph Agency wrote last January after an interview with Sanders, “With a series of observations about the Jewish history of rootlessness and oppression, Sanders begins to describe the role of his lower-middle-class upbringing in forging him into the Congress’ only self-described socialist.
Sanders boycotted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress last month. He has deep roots in the civil rights and the anti-Vietnam war movements but has tried to remain neutral concerning Israel.
He said a Town Hall meeting in Vermont last year that Israel “over-reacted” to Hamas missile attacks but noted that the terrorist organization attacked from within populated areas and wants to destroy Israel.
If it is good news that this Jew is running for president, pray that he beats Clinton so he can lose the big race.
Below is a video of Sanders explaining why he boycotted Netanyahu’s speech.
The U.S. Postal Service has created a new Hanukkah stamp this year featuring an iron menorah made by a Vermont blacksmith, but the omission of a stamp for Christmas has left a lot of people burning angry.
Pouring salt on their wounds, the Postal Service also issued two other stamps for the holiday, one marking the African American holiday Kwanzaa and a third showing a gingerbread house.
The Hanukkah stamp shows a menorah made by Steve Bronstein of Mansfield, Vermont. He told the Rutland Herald he did not even know his menorah was in the running to be represented on a stamp.
“When they called and said they wanted to make a stamp out of the menorah, I thought they meant a rubber stamp,” he told the local newspaper. “I didn’t know I was talking to the postal service. I’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s nice to get some acknowledgement every once in a while.”
Bronstein, armed with a degree in biology, moved from New York to Vermont with the idea of finding work at a medical school.
He said that since one of his hobbies is woodworking, he decided to make a chisel for one of his projects since he could not find the right in local hardware stores. His introduction into tool making piqued his interest, and he ended up working as a blacksmith.
He said when he made his first menorah in 1985, people thought he was off his dreidel.
“At the time, Hanukkah menorahs were brass and shiny and had more of a 1960s design aesthetic,” Bronstein explained. “I was doing something very different and it worked really well. I’ve sold a ton.”
He now sells around 100 menorahs a year and his works can be found in collections such as the Jewish Museum in New York.
While Bronstein is elated about the honor of his menorah being on envelopes across the nation, the Postal Service is on the receiving end of a lot of anger because of its omission of Christmas for this year’s “holiday stamps.”
After it advertised the stamps featuring the menorah, Kwanzaa and a gingerbread house, people started pouring on the criticism.
One tweet sarcastically stated, “Don’t forget those three American holidays: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and…..gingerbread house. #USPS.”
The Postal Service apologized, saying no offense was intended.
“Our design included the most recent newly issued stamps. We did not look to offend or exclude any religion,” the postal service stated.