Is Bernie Sanders' Son Stumping For Him?

by Seth Millstein

The Iowa caucuses are a little over a week away, and both Democrats and Republicans are barnstorming the state to rally support. As is the norm in American presidential politics, the candidates’ families are coming out to stump for them as well. Chelsea Clinton has started campaigning for her mom, and Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi has been referred to his “secret weapon.” Bernie Sanders’ wife has been a constant by his side on the trail — but what about his son? Is Levi Sanders campaigning for his dad, Bernie?

It wouldn't seem so. According to CNN reporter Dan Merica, Levi introduced his dad at two rallies in New Hampshire back in August, but other than that, there's no record of Levi hitting the stump for his dad. Levi’s line of work falls well within his father's campaign platform: He’s a legal advocate for Americans with health problems and disabilities, and helps ensure that Boston-area hospitals are compliant with the American with Disabilities Act. That sounds like the exact kind of thing Bernie would be on board with, but nevertheless, Levi isn’t doing a lot of campaigning for his .

That’s not to say that he hasn’t helped out in Bernie’s political career in the past. He did some behind-the-scenes consulting and organizational work for his father’s successful 2006 Senate bid, and maybe that’s where he prefers to be: Behind-the-scenes. Levi generally keeps a low profile, and that’s something that sets him apart from many — perhaps most — other political families.

But Levi was briefly put in the spotlight earlier in the 2016 campaign. Back in July, when Bernie’s candidacy was just beginning to catch steam, Politico ran an article titled “Bernie Sanders Has A Secret.” The secret, as it turns out, was that Levi was born out of wedlock to Bernie’s ex-girlfriend, who he never married.

Calling it a “secret,” though, may have been a tad hyperbolic. Sure, Bernie is reluctant to discuss his private life and prefers to talk policy. However, as Politico reported, the likely reason that his son’s biographical details were initially murky was because a reporter made a mistake while transcribing an interview with Sanders. Furthermore, the “secret” in question isn’t really all that salacious, and more importantly, it has precisely zero bearing on Sanders’ qualifications to be president.

Hal Yeager/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Levi didn’t comment on that article, which yet again suggests that he likes to stay out of the limelight. But again, that doesn’t mean he’s been completely absent: On Thursday, a Reuters photographer snapped a picture of Levi listening to his father speak at a campaign stop. He may not be hitting the stump for his dad — or “Bernster,” as Levi refers to him — but he isn’t avoiding him, either.