- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2016

As a presidential hopeful, Sen. Bernard Sanders unapologetically describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” prompting much discussion among press and public about the candidate’s political pedigree. But wait. Mr. Sanders has also attracted the attention of some other socialists, like the New York-based Socialist Party USA, where the motto is, “Let’s build a future worthy of our dreams.” They too have a presidential candidate in mind for 2016. That would be Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik, who has a thought or two about Mr. Sanders.

“What I see is a candidate who’s running on the Democratic Party ticket. To me, Sanders sounds more like a progressive Democrat/social Democrat. I don’t see him putting forth a socialist proposal. I’m not seeing him talk about workers owning the means of production. I don’t see imperialism as a part of any socialist platform, period. So I think that there are some very fundamental differences,” Mr. Soltysik recently told The Socialist, the party’s official publication.

Then there is the Party for Socialism and Liberation, founded 12 years ago with offices in San Francisco and the nation’s capital. They also have been sizing up Mr. Sanders and they also have own presidential candidate.

“There have been no signs that the Sanders campaign’s momentum will let up. For a candidate to have gone from being considered non-serious to a real contender so explosively is testament to the depth and breadth of anger at Wall Street and the political establishment that exists in society. It also indicates serious weaknesses in the Clinton political machine, despite its vast network of contacts and lavish funding, including $21.4 million from the financial sector at the end of 2015,” says Walter Smolarek, managing editor for Liberation, the party’s newspaper. “The Sanders campaign also had to contend with increasingly hostile coverage from major media outlets and the mobilization of the Democratic establishment in Clinton’s defense.”

And their candidate? Gloria La Riva, a San Francisco-based labor, community and antiwar activist, is pushing a 10-point campaign agenda that includes an end to capitalism, free health care, education and affordable housing, and “making a job a constitutional right.”

BUMPER STICKER-TO-BE


SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane: Madeleine Albright’s comments ‘unfortunate and disturbing’


“That’s enough of those guns and large sodas, America. Bloomberg 2016. He’ll save you from your own bad judgment.”

— Suggested campaign slogan for potential presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, from National Review contributing editor Jim Geraghty.

The former three-term New York City mayor (who’s worth $40 billion by the way) has commissioned a second national poll to gauge his chances in an often chaotic presidential race. Will he skitter into the race?

“Mike is itching to do it,” a confidant of Mr. Bloomberg told the New York Post, hinting that the media kingpin believes there’s a spot on the slate for centrist alternative.

ABOUT THE WOMEN VOTING FOR WOMEN THING

Yeah, well so much for that. Rasmussen Reports has just released a new poll asking voters if women have an “obligation” to vote for a woman candidate, as suggested in a recent campaign event for Hillary Clinton. Only 4 percent of the respondents said it’s more important for women to vote for a woman candidate because she is a female. Ninety-one percent disagree and place more importance on where the woman candidate stands on the issues.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Feb. 9-10.

WEEKEND CANDIDATE TRACKER

The ninth Republican presidential debate looms for the six remaining GOP hopefuls on Saturday, who are in a loose orbit around South Carolina. The state’s primary is not for another week, but there’s still much to do.

Front-runner Donald Trump arrives for the bout from previous campaign rallies in Louisiana and Florida. Sen. Ted Cruz is all about faithful moments — his four events this weekend take place at churches. The Texan will also “share his testimony” at the Community Bible Church in Beaufort and appear at the Faith and Family Presidential Forum at Bob Jones University, as will Ben Carson. Mr. Carson also has a quartet of events, including a public Valentine’s Day Dinner with his wife Candy on Sunday in Columbia.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been campaigning all week with South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, appears at seven town halls this weekend and will also speak at the aforementioned presidential forum. A recharged Jeb Bush has nine events, Gov. John Kasich four — though he’s due for a meet-and-greet at Mutt’s Famous Barbecue in Mauldin. Mr. Kasich is off to Michigan by Sunday.

Fresh from the seventh Democratic debate, the Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernard Sanders are hitting the road. Mrs. Clinton spends the weekend at multiple “Get Out the Caucus” events in Las Vegas before bolting for Florida on Monday. Mr. Sanders is in Colorado this weekend, hosting a “Future to Believe In” rally.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: “Four over Four Victorian:, built in 1895 in Winnsboro, South Carolina. Completely renovated, plumbing and electrical upgrades, five bedrooms, two baths on three acres; heart of pine doors and floors, 14-foot ceilings, original stained glass, eight fireplaces, one wood stove. Grand front entry way, pillared porch, Custom-built workshop with dormer and second story, detached garage, mature oak and pecan trees, boxwoods. Priced at $294,900 through UnitedCountry.com; enter 39032-07650 under “nationwide” search function.

POLL DU JOUR

55 percent of Americans will celebrate Valentine’s Day on Sunday, spending a total of $19.7 billion nationwide on flowers, candy, jewelry, cards, clothing or an evening out.

91 percent of that group will buy something for their spouse or significant other, spending a total of $89.86.

55 percent will buy gifts for family members like children or parents, spending $28.

20 percent will buy something for friends, spending $8; 19 percent will buy their children’s classmates and teachers a gift, spending $7.

19 percent will also get their pet a gift, spending $5

Source: A National Retail Federation survey of 7,293 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 5-13 and released Wednesday.

Have a good Valentine’s Day — thank you for reading the Beltway, jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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