Bernie Sanders kicks off cross-country tour in Maine

Whereas party grandees once schemed in private over how to sabotage the Vermont senator's 2016 presidential campaign, they're now copacetic with Sanders' sway over the American left. According to the Hill, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, citing an April Harvard-Harris survey where 57 percent of respondents viewed the Vermont Senator favorably, with only 32 percent of respondents viewing him unfavorably.

Those interested in attending the free event at noon Thursday will need to go online to the my.democrats.org/page/s/come-together-and-fight-back-tour-tx website.

"If the Democratic Party is going to succeed - and I want to see it succeed - it's gonna have to open its door to Independents", he said during an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes. Why, they ask, is someone who refuses to identify as a Democrat, being given so much say in the party's future? What I'm trying to do, and I've been doing this for a number of years in a variety of ways, is to revitalize American democracy, to create a political system that is not dominated by billionaires and large corporations, but bring working people into the political process.

"The Democrats need a serious wake-up call", Ingoglia said. Sanders has made headlines himself for criticizing the Democrats and saying the party needs to make changes. Bright, an organic farmer who helped Sanders win the state's Democratic caucuses, was one of Maine's four voters in the Electoral College.

While the Democratic Party searches for a path back to power around the country, Sanders is using his popularity to draw thousands to events to promote next-generation Democrats, though his effectiveness so far is unclear.

Some attendees said it's time to unite and reform the Democratic Party, while others said they're skeptical of the political establishment and big money in politics.

Thrust into opposition, a stance many of them seemed to genuinely believe they would never again have to assume, the Democratic Party is now rethinking everything.

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Sanders and Perez are heading to Maine, Kentucky, Florida, Arizona and Nevada, with potentially additional stops in the works. You can agree with him on most issues or even every issue, but if you think the Democratic Party is the best available vehicle to accomplish progressive goals, you're going to find yourself at odds with him.

As Sanders and Perez embark on their rebuilding tour, a special congressional election in Kansas last week showed that Democrats are still quick to blame one another in the face of defeat.

"I am really glad you reacted like that way", he said when the cheering died down. This means building or strengthening state and local parties in red states or red areas of blue states where Democrats are not competitive at the local level.

Q. There's a risk that, in the Trump era, Democrats are perceived as just against things.

"Our job is to radically transform the Democratic Party", said Sanders to the very loud and enthusiastic crowd.

In Portland, Sanders struck a familiar chord as he railed against "the greed of the billionaire class... and corporate America", ripping Trump for enacting policies that leave millions behind.

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