In Vermont, where he has been running for something for as long as anyone can remember, the senator is known, simply, as “Bernie.” His national profile is not quite so well established but there are people who have floated the possibility that he might run for president representing the left flank of the Democratic party. He, in fact, among them. So Time magazine interviewed him, raising the prospect, and he made the usual coy noises. However, on the question of Hillary Clinton’s suitability for the job, he was more emphatic.

I like Hillary. I knew her when I was in the House and she was First Lady, and obviously I knew her when she and I served together in the Senate. So I like her. She’s a very, very intelligent person, no question about it. But, you know, I don’t know what her political future is, whether she’s going to run. I don’t know what she’s going to say. But I think, you know, if you talk about the need for a political revolution in America, I think it’s fair to say that Secretary Clinton probably will not be one of the more active people.

Likable enough, then, as another political rival once said. But not right for times when:

… we need a tax system which in fact makes it very clear that the wealthy and large corporations are going to start paying their fare share of taxes, that we’re going to have real campaign finance reform so that the Koch brothers and other billionaires cannot buy elections, that we’re going to overturn Citizens United.’ Do you think that’s Hillary Clinton’s agenda? I don’t think so.

A likable, intelligent tool of the rich, then?

That’s a message that ought to put some spice in the primaries.

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