Independent Senator

Mayoral Experiences Of Three Democratic Presidential Candidates Unique Among Presidential Seekers Over Long Period Of Time!

With the entrance of former Rhode Island Governor and Senator Lincoln Chafee into the Democratic Presidential race a week ago, we now have three of the four announced candidates in that party with a unique experience, rare among Presidential candidates historically—mayoral experience.

Being a mayor, even of a small sized city, is an experience that relates much more to the people than being a Governor or Senator.

Lincoln Chafee was Mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island for seven years; Senator from Rhode Island for eight years; and then Governor of Rhode Island for one four year term, giving him a total of 19 years in public office. He started off as a liberal Republican, the last of the old breed that had existed for decades, but no longer exists. Chafee opposed George W. Bush on the Iraq War, the only GOP Senator to vote “No” on the war. After being defeated for reelection by Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006, Chafee became a declared Independent and was elected Governor as such in 2010. Then in 2013, he joined the Democratic Party. His government experience made him fully aware of local urban problems, and he has a reputation of being thoughtful, courageous, and principled, as one of the few people to go from one party to independent to the other major party.

Bernie Sanders was Mayor of Burlington, Vermont for eight years; Congressman from Vermont for sixteen years; and has been Senator from Vermont going on nine years, giving him a total of 33 years in public office. He is also the longest serving Independent member of Congress in American history, as he is a proud Socialist who has allied with the Democratic caucus. He is a man who truly understands urban issues, as well as state and national issues. He has shown great principle and convictions, and everyone knows you get the truth and the whole story from Bernie Sanders when he answers questions.

Martin O’Malley was Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland for seven years and Governor of Maryland for eight years, giving him a total of 15 years in public office. Under his tenure, Maryland became the leading state in education and treatment of the disabled and senior citizens, and O’Malley took the lead on progressive issues both at the city and state level. He is seen as having potential to be a future President, even if he is unable, similar to Chafee and Sanders, to overcome Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton.

So despite Hillary Clinton’s great advantage at this point, she is gaining three rivals who are not to be ignored or ridiculed, as they have solid experience in dealing with the issues of people, and reputations as true progressives!

The Pluses And Minuses Of A Bernie Sanders Independent Presidential Candidacy

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is a true national treasure, an independent Socialist, longest serving Independent member of Congress in American history, who allies with the Democratic Party but is not a member of the party.

Sanders, originally Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, served as the only House member from his state for 16 years, from 1991-2007, and is now in his second term in the US Senate.

He has now devoted 23 years to service for his state and the nation, and even if one does not agree with his stands on issues, no sane person sees him as a threat simply because he is a “socialist”.

Sanders has now suggested that he might run as an Independent candidate for President in 2016 if no one else in the Democratic Party is willing to promote what he believes in, suggesting Senator Elizabeth Warren as a potential nominee that he could support.

Sanders makes it clear that someone has to run on the issues of Wall Street control, the problem of growing poverty affecting the middle class, the crisis of global warming, and the need to protect Social Security and Medicare, all issues he has been in the forefront on, more than just about anyone else.

The danger of a potential independent candidacy by Sanders, which he admits is mostly unlikely, is that it would split the Democratic vote and help a right wing Republican to win the White House.

That was the effect of Ralph Nader in the Presidential Election of 2000, and the last thing we need is a Republican who will set progress backward ever further.

So while Bernie Sanders is appealing, it is hoped he will decide, ultimately, not to run, and if Elizabeth Warren runs and loses, that she will unite behind whoever is the Democratic nominee, even if seen as a comparative moderate, such as Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Mark Warner.