America’s Bernie-mentum has seemingly won over the Kremlin’s Vladimir-mentum.
Russian state news agency TASS reported Monday that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was “very glad” to see Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on the presidential election ballot in November 2016.
Sanders’ lone win of the Democratic primary came after he upset Hillary Clinton in the state of Washington, with 45 percent of the vote compared to her 44 percent.
Although Sanders conceded his race to then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, and endorsed him, he continued to state that he did not believe Clinton had the “mettle” to lead the nation.
“Her campaign’s attacks on me were beneath the office that I seek,” Sanders told Al Jazeera in December 2015. “If she had earned the nomination, I don’t believe there would have been anything on the campaign trail. I don’t think she would have talked about me — to her credit, she didn’t — in a negative way. But that’s a personal judgement, and I think everybody knows that I am not a person who takes it personally.”
For his part, Obama has been a longtime supporter of Sanders’ agenda and even changed his campaign slogan to “Change We Can Believe In” from “Yes We Can.”
Despite repeated attempts to denigrate his ideological differences with Sanders, Putin has never changed his position on why Sanders fell so short of the White House in 2016. In November 2017, Putin called Sanders’ presidential loss “a dangerous precedent” in which the U.S. voters’ ballot box choice didn’t matter. “When people get disillusioned and decide not to vote at all, it is a dangerous precedent,” Putin said.