Self-avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) may not have won the Democratic nomination, but he is still reportedly hoping to bring his progressive views into the executive branch.
According to a new report from Politico, Sanders has expressed interest in joining a potential Joe Biden administration and is particularly interested in becoming the next Secretary of Labor.
One anonymous source close to the senator told the news outlet, “I can confirm he’s trying to figure out how to land that role or something like it” and that “he, personally, does have an interest in it.”
When reached out to for comment by Politico, Sanders reportedly declined to confirm or deny that he was gunning for the post.
“Right now I am focused on seeing that Biden is elected president,” he said. “That’s what my main focus is.”
Why does it matter?
Sanders failed to win the Democratic nomination in the 2016 and 2020 election cycles in large part because his radical progressive views were still deemed out of step with the majority of Americans. But since dropping out of the 2020 race in April, Sanders and his camp have been working diligently — and with much success — at pulling Biden’s camp to the left on several key policy areas.
Allies of the two candidates even came together to produce and publish a document titled, the “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations,” which detailed a range of shared policy initiatives. The massive 110-page document covered a wide range of issues, including climate change, health care, criminal justice, and education.
The working group that created the joint policy document was chaired by former Secretary of State John Kerry and progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In the Politico report, Sanders’ former campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said his former boss is “100 percent in Joe Biden’s court,” and added, “We’ve had a good working relationship with the Biden team and I expect we’ll maintain that all the way through.”
News that Sanders is interested in a cabinet position will come as a welcome development to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party but could simultaneously scare away moderate Democrats and independents who are concerned about the nation’s leftward drift.
Nevertheless, Sanders has the early support of former Bill Clinton administration Labor secretary, Robert Reich.
Reich — who recently made news by calling for a post-election commission to censor and blacklist supporters of President Trump — told Politico that Sanders would be “terrific.”