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Date TimeAugust 12, 2019
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Bernie Sanders takes victory lap at Iowa State Fair Soapbox, claiming credit for 2020 progressive strain
Bernie Sanders wants everyone to know exactly what has happened in the nearly four years since his breakout moment in Iowa in 2016, when he came within one per cent of the state's caucuses to kick off a long fight for the Democratic nomination.He lost that nomination fight, but on Sunday, Mr Sanders took something of a victory lap in Iowa anyway, when he returned to the Des Moines Register “Political Soapbox” as he pursues a second shot at the nomination.“When I came here four years ago, many of the ideas that I talked about, at that point, seemed very, very radical and kind of extreme,” Mr Sanders said. “Well, it turns out, they were not so extreme for the people of Iowa.” The presidential candidate, during his soapbox speech, argued that a lot of those ideas he had championed at the time have since come in vogue — and many have become law in states across the country.Seven states, for instance, have adopted a $15 minimum wage, alongside the House of Representatives. Virtually every Democrat in the 2020 field is now calling for universal healthcare — including his plan known has Medicare for All — on the trail, an issue that has dominated the two debates so far this year.The idea that a candidate talking about a major overhaul of the US government — a big structural change — could win has now entered into the mainstream, too. Candidates talk about that big change all especially Mr Sanders and his colleague Elizabeth Warren, both of whom are in the top echelons of a crowded Democratic field.And, Mr Sanders suggested that he has been setting trends more recently, too. While many Democratic candidates at the Iowa State Fair danced around calling Mr Trump a white supremacist, Mr Sanders went all in, and then said he was the first to do so.All in all, Mr Sanders seemed fairly jubilant while speaking to reporters, especially for a man whose Saturday Night Live impersonator, Larry David, portrays him as something of a curmudgeon.“It feels good, it really does,” Mr Sanders told a packed group of reporters in a tent set up behind the soapbox area, when asked how it felt to return to the soapbox.His supporters were amped up, too.Nathan Schofer, 47, a landscape designer from Aimes, Iowa, said that he came to see Mr Sanders’s energy, and that he did not disappoint.“Bernie’s always electric. I think he really gets the crowd going,” Mr Schofer said. “He’s always like that.”Michael McKinley, 68, a retired editor, said that he thinks the speech at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday was one of his best.“I’ve listened to him speak a number of times, and this was the best,” Mr McKinley said. “He is hitting his stride.”And Jaylen Cavil, 22, a pool manager who drove in from Kansas, said that she likes that Mr Sanders is rolling out many of the same ideas from four years ago. He’s consistent, and unafraid, she said.“I like that Bernie has always stood for the same thing, and he has been consistent for his many, many years in Congress,” Ms Cavil said.

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