Saturday in North Charleston, South Carolina, Bernie Sanders gathered in front of 3,000 eager pairs of ears with pointed words directed towards the Koch brothers. Charles and David Koch have become synonymous with the Citizens United decision that allows corporations, unions and wealthy individuals to spend unlimited sums in campaigns.
"We live in a nation in which a handful of very, very wealthy people have extraordinary power over our economy and our political life and the media," Sanders said. "They are very, very powerful and many of them are extremely greedy. For the life of me, I will never understand how a family like the Koch brothers, worth $85 billion, apparently think that's not enough money."
Throughout his campaign, Sanders has been very selective in not mentioning any Republican candidates or his main opponent for the Democratic seat, Hillary Clinton. He also has taken great pride in telling his audiences that he stands out for refusing any support from Super PACs, the political committees that can accept the unlimited sums as long as they don't coordinate directly with candidates' principal campaign committees. He says he has more than 400,000 individual contributors who have chipped in an average of $31.20, stating that this is a people's campaign.
The main news coverage that Sanders has received, outside of shock from media outlets from the huge numbers that show up at his rallies, has been from 2 events in which the Black Lives Matter movement took over the proceedings. The first was a sit down interview at the Liberal Netroots Nation in Phoenix on July 19th and again in Seattle on August 8th, the event in Seattle ended without Sanders actually getting to speak to the large crowd that had gathered.
Political pundits on each side downplay the legitimacy of Sanders as a serious threat to Hillary Clinton, based mainly on his approval rating among African Americans. These large numbers at each speaking event tell a very different story, one in which the American people see a Clinton and Bush name associated with an election and see that those names have kept coming up for the last 20 years in presidential elections.
Sanders has piqued the nation's interest, in this large swathe of names throwing their hat in the ring, perhaps this grassroots Senator from Vermont can shake it up even more by garnering the coveted spot as the Democratic Presidential Nominee.