Bernie Sanders Abandons His Son in New Hampshire [OPINION]
Levi Sanders was destroyed politically in New Hampshire this week when Democrats voting in the primary followed his father's lead.
Levi Sanders ran for an open seat in Congress as a Democrat against 11 other people in the primary. The seat has been held by a Democrat who is retiring. The voters of this congressional district overwhelmingly supported Levi's father in the presidential primary just two years ago. Levi and Bernie agree on all of the issues important to Democrats.
Levi Sanders had every reason to believe he had a shot at being elected to Congress by the people who agree with him on the issues, and have demonstrated they will vote for a Sanders when given the opportunity. If the pollsters are correct, the Democrats in the northeast are going to have a great year at the ballot box. Winning this crowded primary meant Levi and Bernie would be joining the Kennedys in political history. The last father-son duo in Congress was Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Patrick Kennedy.
But Bernie Sanders refused to endorse his son. The family claimed the high ground by stating they were against nepotism and "dynastic politics." Bernie has indicated that he believes the voters should be able to make up their own mind in this election.
Bernie Sanders has been traveling the country for years supporting candidates he agrees with and wants to see get elected. While his son was struggling in New Hampshire, his father was in Florida to campaign for Democrats who support the same issues his son supports. Physically campaigning in August is miserable. Bernie chose to go to Florida rather than help his own son in New Hampshire.
Imagine how his son felt when he saw all the things his father was doing for others while doing nothing for him.
Bernie Sanders has one of the best lists of volunteers and donors in politics today. He didn't give his son access to the list.
According to the Boston Globe, the abandonment of Levi by his own flesh and blood was complete and deliberate:
"But Bernie Sanders’ decision not to weigh in has played a role in dampening support for his son, several longtime political observers say. If his own father isn’t backing him, why should voters? Last month, when Bernie Sanders had a conference call with the dozens of people on his New Hampshire steering committee, he thanked them for their work in 2016 and said it was crucial that they get involved in upcoming midterm elections. He never mentioned Levi’s campaign."
The Boston Globe has covered Bernie Sanders for decades and knows him better than most other news organizations. The New England paper of record reported:
"New Hampshire observers speculate that the real reason Bernie Sanders has not weighed in on his son’s behalf is that Levi Sanders is running what most in the state consider to be an inept campaign – and Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to be damaged in the run-up to a potential 2020 campaign of his own."
Bernie thinks his voters would hold it against him if he supported his son, who agrees with him and his supporters on all of their issues.
Why does he believe his supporters wouldn't understand a father helping his son?
How can anyone support a man who won't help his own family?
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.