Podesta: Sanders Is 'Angry at the World,' Warren Appeals More to Clinton Supporters

Sen. Bernie Sanders / Getty Images
August 23, 2018

Former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) is "angry at the world" and wouldn't appeal as much to "traditionally liberal Democrats" as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).

Podesta told BuzzFeed News that Sanders, who mounted a sturdy challenge to Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary, is more likely to gain favor with young voters because he's "so angry."

"I think Bernie’s thing plays better with younger voters, because he’s so angry," Podesta said. "I’m not talking about being angry at Trump. I’m talking about being angry at the world. She doesn’t carry that with her."

It's another implicit shot at Sanders from Clinton World, which carries residual bitterness from its battle for the nomination two years ago.

Sanders and Clinton's fight exposed raw rifts within the Democratic Party, with Clinton representing the preferred pick of the establishment and Sanders' insurgent candidacy inspiring hope in its far-left flank. Clinton fended him off to win the nomination and receive his reluctant endorsement, but she blamed him later on for her loss at Donald Trump's hands.

She wrote in her election memoir What Happened that his broadsides on her during the primary, such as that she was a Wall Street puppet, did "lasting damage" and helped play into Trump's "Crooked Hillary" attacks.

Warren was one of the last Senate Democrats to endorse Clinton in 2016, waiting until after she clinched the nomination. Some Sanders supporters remain angry that she didn't back their more progressive candidate.

BuzzFeed profiled Warren in juxtaposition to Sanders as the two progressive favorites position themselves for long-rumored 2020 White House bids.

"They’re overlapping bell curves, but they’re not the same," Podesta said.

Longtime Democratic operative Anita Dunn said Sanders is "trying to create a movement" while Warren is focused more on influencing policy.

"As much as people try to lump them together, they are stylistically very different," Dunn said. "He is trying to create a movement. She approaches so many of these policy issues as a good lawyer or powerful cross-examiner would. She looks for ways where the laws can be improved."