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Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) is vying for the post of Secretary of Labor in a future Biden administration, Politico reported on Thursday.
Sanders has reportedly been in contact with allies on the Biden transition team and expressed interest in the position. An appointment of the Vermont senator could be seen as a victory for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, after Sanders was defeated by Biden in the presidential primaries.
“I can confirm he’s trying to figure out how to land that role or something like it,” a person close to Sanders told Politico. “He, personally, does have an interest in it.”
Former Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said he planned on pushing a Biden administration to include “progressive voices.” Those comments come after some Sanders supporters have expressed disgust with having to back Biden, including former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, who compared endorsing Biden to eating a “bowl of s***.”
“It would be great to have a unity government that takes into account that progressives are a pretty healthy portion of the electorate,” Shakir said.
Another person close to Sanders, however, said there was “zero chance” that he would be appointed, “because of how he operates and works with other people.” Sanders is known for his stubbornness, and refused to concede a loss in the 2020 primaries for weeks after his path to the nomination was effectively closed.
For his part, Sanders declined to confirm or deny the reports of his angling for Labor secretary.
“Right now I am focused on seeing that Biden is elected president,” the Vermont senator told Politico. “That’s what my main focus is.”
Sanders has developed deep relationships with labor unions throughout his decades-long career. Various unions backed Sanders’s medicare-for-all plan during the Democratic primaries, spurning policies supported by Biden.