NEW YORK – In his campaign video, released last week, Vermont senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders singled out greenhouse gas emissions as a special interest that he would take on. But in the final months of the 2016 campaign, Sanders repeatedly requested and received the use of a covered wagon and methane-spewing oxen. Methane emissions remain a major contributor to climate change.
Increased scrutiny of his travel practices, which are at odds with his positions on the environment and income inequality, are among the challenges that Sanders will face during his second run for the White House.
“I’m not shocked that while thousands of volunteers braved the heat and cold to knock on doors until their fingers bled in a desperate effort to stop Donald Trump, his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders would only deign to leave his plush D.C. office or his brand new home on the lake if he was carted around in a cushy covered wagon like some banker from Boston,” said Zac Petkanas, who was the director of rapid response for the Clinton campaign.
“We handed the Sanders team a list of places that we wanted him to speak at, thirty five, forty speeches in 3 weeks, and his campaign had the audacity to request a covered wagon with three yoke of oxen, 5 extra sets of clothes, 10 boxes of ammunition, and two extra axles, wheels, and wagon tongues. Then, they asked for 1000 pounds of food. We all kind of looked at each other, scratching our heads.” added Petkanas.
Before figuring out the logistics of Sanders’ travel, “our working assumption was that 90 percent of the time it would be walking,” said another person familiar with the matter. “If he was trying to hop from city to city in a particular state and walking didn’t work, we were open to renting a bicycle”.
“At that time, getting him on board, and his followers engaged for her, was a big priority,” said one former Clinton staffer, who explained that campaign leadership, including campaign manager Robby Mook, decided it was something Sanders wouldn’t budge on, so the campaign approved the requests to keep peace with the senator.
Asked whether Sanders will ox-cart it for his 2020 campaign, Sanders spokesperson Arianna Jones said he “will be traveling by rickshaw whenever possible. The campaign will consider the use of covered wagons based on a variety of factors, including security requirements, logistics, if Sanders contracts dysentery, and media interest in traveling with the senator.”