The presidential campaign: Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has taken the 2016 race by surprise. The onetime long-shot candidate has pulled formidable grassroots support, surging against front-runner Hillary Clinton in recent public opinion polls.
As first-in-the-nation contests loom, Sanders appears neck-and-neck with Clinton in Iowa and even leads the race in New Hampshire. The Vermont senator and former mayor of Burlington seems to have further imperiled his rival’s once-inevitable path to the Democratic nomination.
The self-described democratic socialist is known for his unapologetic populous message, trumpeting change on income inequality, college affordability and criminal justice reform. A key item on his agenda is to reform Wall Street. Sanders argued that the federal government fails to prosecute corporations that have paid massive settlements — even though they often admit to criminal wrongdoing.
On the campaign tail, Sanders has been calling for a political revolution and promised to change the way politics work. In both his message and his strategy of working to gain a groundswell of support in Iowa, the candidate is echoing strategies successfully used by Obama in 2008. Like the president, he has vowed to challenge the powerful and wealthy, whom he says have too much political power on Capitol Hill.
Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after 16 years as Vermont’s sole congressman in the House of Representatives. The Brooklyn native, who would become the country’s first Jewish president, is serving his second term in the U.S. Senate.
These photographs were shot on assignment by photographer Mark Peterson for MSNBC Photography as part of his on-going body of work “Political Theater” which examines the landscape of the American political system.