Bernie Sanders has insisted he was not on the verge of a primary run against Barack Obama during the summer of 2011—but that would have been news to activists in New Hampshire at the time, who were watching his schedule in the first primary state and listening to his speeches criticizing the president then running for reelection.
…Sanders said that people could ask Reid or fellow Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, and that they’d deny that Sanders had talked about running. But I did ask Reid and Leahy about this last week in reporting the story, and neither of them denied it.
…Attending these sorts of events is one thing that potential candidates for president do to test the waters, get their names out there, and try out their stump speeches.
…“People in NH sure knew what it looked like, and sometimes what it looks like and what you’re really doing is a distinction without a difference.”
…“It seemed like he had an objective,” Kilchenstein said. “He wasn’t there as a courtesy as much as he showed up with a message.”
…When Sanders arrived at the barbecue on August 21, he ripped into Obama.
…Sanders last Thursday called Obama an “icon” in an interview with CNN, but has not explained what changed over the nine years from that summer of 2011, when he spoke of “deep disappointment” with Obama in an interview on a progressive radio show.
Bernie dun’ give a f*ck. He’d burn everything else down, including the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, if he thought it would advance his own agenda.
…And, rather like his about-face on the nomination rules he himself helped to create, he sure as sh*t has no problems revising history to suit his own goals. You don’t come to NH at that point in the cycle and criticize the presumptive nominee unless you are running. His denials don’t change that simple fact.
…And for what it is worth, rumor has it that he was dismissive and stand-offish to the attendees at the county picnic in question.