Vermont poised to elect first socialist senator
The Guardian has a great profile of Bernie Sanders, overwhelming favorite in the Vermont senate race. Sanders is an eight-term congressman and an unapologetic socialist. If he's elected, he will be America's first socialist senator.
Sanders somehow got himself elected mayor of Burlington in 1981--as a flat-broke transplant from New York, no less:
"He used to sleep on the couch of a friend of mine, walking about town with no work," Prof [Garrison] Nelson said. "Bernie really is a subject for political anthropology. He has no political party. He has never been called charming. He has no money, and none of the resources we normally associate with success. However, he learned how to speak to a significant part of the disaffected population of Vermont."
Mr Sanders turned out to be a success as mayor, rejuvenating the city government and rehabilitating Burlington's depressed waterfront on Lake Champlain while ensuring that it was not gentrified beyond the reach of ordinary local people. "He stood this town on its ear," said Peter Freyne, a local journalist. [Guardian]
Democrats should study Sanders' example carefully. He knows how to translate left wing policy goals into a message that resonates emotionally with voters.