The Atlantic

Bernie Sanders Is Ready to Rumble

The senator from Vermont thinks he can prevail against the crowded Democratic field and then beat Trump for president in 2020.
Source: Patrick Semansky / AP

Bernie Sanders has seen himself as on a mission since he started running for office in the 1970s, and he sees no reason to stop now. He thinks he’s dramatically changed the conversation over the past three years, and he feels like he’s close to achieving his ultimate goal.

Plus, there’s Donald Trump.

When the president used his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to preview his own reelection campaign and warn against creeping socialism, Sanders was only encouraged. He’d love to take on Trump directly, and people around him think he’ll be able to use Trump’s threat to coalesce support in the primaries.

“Nothing unifies Democrats like being made a villain by Trump,” said one Sanders ally.

The senator from Vermont has been huddling with staff in meetings and brainstorming on phone calls over the past few weeks, chewing over plans. Barring a surprise, last-minute change of heart, he will jump into the 2020 race, convinced he can win, according to

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