Wall Street is feeling the Bern. Bernie Sanders has made corruption on Wall Street his top priority in his presidential campaign, tapping into voters’ general mistrust of banks and billionaires. He outlined his plan to reform Wall Street this week which includes breaking up the largest banks, reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, capping credit card interest rates and limiting ATM fees. These are all admirable goals if he can pull them off, but Sanders will need to focus on more than just Wall Street in order to win the nomination.
It’s hard to see why Bernie Sanders is so undeniably popular. He’s an old, angry liberal politician who spouts a single socialist message about the inequality perpetrated by Wall Street. Yet he raised 33 million in donations in the last quarter, mostly small amounts of cash from independent donors. This shows that he has clearly caught the attention of a lot of people who care strongly about what he’s saying. But it still may not be enough to beat Hillary Clinton, who is ahead in almost every poll and has the endorsement of the party establishment and the media behind her.
Clinton is seen as a tough and capable commander in chief, and people are asking if Sanders would be as capable when it comes to creating jobs, fixing immigration or putting a stop to ISIS. His anti-Wall Street rhetoric could be hurting more than helping his cause, potentially costing him millions in endorsements which could be crucial to reaching more voters. Sanders needs to build his case that he is more electable in the general election than Clinton, and win over young people, women and minority voters. Perhaps the key to that lies in broadening his appeal by speaking as passionately and repetitively on other issues as he does about Wall Street.
Feeling old and angry? Nobody does it like Clint Eastwood. Movie for your mood: Gran Torino