In the American sense of the word, there is nothing “independent” about Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; an outspoken advocate of bigger government, higher taxes and further income redistribution á la Obama. As an avowed Socialist, his collectivist views are anti-Capitalist and antithetical to the American economic system. With 93 million able-bodied Americans looking for full time employment— and uncounted by labor statistics— a politician with Mr. Sanders’s views is too radical to be elected, even by loopy Democrat standards. So why is such a wild card in the race for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president?
Make no mistake: he of the little “I” by his surname is nothing more than a shill for the Democratic Party. Indeed, he who regularly caucuses and votes with Democrats is a de facto Democrat. In truth, Mr. Sanders is running precisely because he is unelectable. His role in this Kabuki theater is to happily serve the collective: to be a smiling, friendly place holder to populate the stage during debates and in the press. To this end, he has not and will not say anything truly controversial about Hillary Clinton as any legitimate contender would. For example, the best Mr. Sanders can muster is milquetoast platitudes: “Hillary Clinton is a candidate, I am a candidate…. The people in this country will make their choice.” The closest thing to a criticism thus far was calling Mrs. Clinton a “fence-sitter” on the Trans-Pacific trade proposal. Mr. Sanders should know that fence-sitting— and going with the changing political winds—is the very epitome of Clintonian politics.
Mr. Sanders presence creates the illusion of a contest for the Democratic nomination—rather than a coronation—and makes Hillary Clinton appear more politically mainstream—and therefore, more palatable to the general electorate. The payoff to Mr. Sanders is increased personal visibility in the political conversation and a wide platform to promote his anti-Capitalist agenda.
On the other hand, with only three years of Senate experience under her belt Mrs. Warren is savvy enough to know that the voters are unlikely to elect another third year, neophyte, progressive Senator to the White House. That's why she who claims to be “1/32 American Indian” will bide her time and cool her moccasin-adorned heels in the legislature.