Former Sen. Russ Feingold: Bernie Sanders could create ‘a miracle of turnout’

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Full disclosure: My candidate is Elizabeth Warren, for reasons I won’t go into in a Bernie diary because, well, it’s a Bernie diary.

But though I prefer Warren as my progressive champion, I’m not among the cohort of Democrats who think Bernie would be a disastrous candidate. And I’m in pretty good company, it turns out.

In a public discussion with Capital Times associate editor John Nichols in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday, Russ Feingold, who represented Wisconsin for three terms in the U.S. Senate before RoJo the Clown defeated him in the GOP wave election of 2010, said he’s not afraid of a Bernie Sanders nomination. In fact, he thinks the Vermont senator could bring voters out in droves this November.

“I believe that Bernie Sanders is potentially creating a miracle of turnout,” Feingold said. “Yes, you should try to convince people that voted for Trump. But I have a little trouble understanding people who voted for Trump. And there are so many people from diverse backgrounds and others who, if they feel that the political process is open to them, they will vote.”

For the record, Feingold is also Team Warren — “I’ve been saying for months that if I had a ballot in front of me I’d vote for Elizabeth,” he said — but he acknowledges he’s “torn” between Warren and Sanders.

He also said he’s seen a new Bernie emerge since the senator’s heart attack in October: “It’s the oddest thing, because I served with Bernie, and he was not the most fun guy. Ever since this heart attack, he seems very loose.”

For the record, Feingold is not a fan of Michael Bloomberg or the way the multibillionaire has gone about trying to secure the nomination: “I fundamentally believe if one person can put that much money into their own campaign, or give it to somebody else, it’s fundamentally and inherently corrupt. But if I had to go for Michael Bloomberg over Donald Trump I would in a New York minute, as they say.”

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4 Comments on "Former Sen. Russ Feingold: Bernie Sanders could create ‘a miracle of turnout’"

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David Bishop
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David Bishop

Bring out the moderates (dems and repubs) to vote for a ‘socialist’ (the way that word will be (already is) demonized for the next 10 months)? That is childish, naive dreaming that will doom our country for another 4 years.

fishouttaH2o
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fishouttaH2o

This gives us time to tell voters how our Democratic Socialist system helps us now. For example Food inspectors, roads, bridges, airports, care for Veterans, and if our house catches on fire we can call for help, or stand by our antisocialist principles, and put it out ourselves.

Philippa
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Philippa

Thank you for the amusing line about anti socialists putting out their own fire. It made me laugh.
Why do a lot of people associate democratic socialism with communism? We need this to give our lives security

carol levy
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carol levy

surprised he said this. independents and GOPs who might be considering voting dem will moat probably not want to vote for someone whose policies are so “left” (this includes a decent number of dems too) but in addition have little to no chance of being passed even if the senate turned blue. I do not support Sanders but no matter whom nominee I will votebluenomatterwho