Bernie Sanders Has Big Plans For VP Debate Night

by Chris Tognotti

The first and only vice presidential debate of the 2016 race is almost upon us, and even though it might not be the record-setting affair the first presidential debate was, it'll be an interesting and essential watch all the same. After all, vice presidents matter; they have to prove themselves qualified to inherit the office of president. The debate is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 4 and it's only natural to wonder what scenes, sounds, and sightings might take place — for instance, will Bernie Sanders be at the vice presidential debate?

If you're up-to-date with the political scene, then the white-haired, bespectacled Vermont senator needs no introduction. During the Democratic primaries, Sanders' political movement made him one of the defining personalities of the 2016 campaign season. He also ran to the left of Clinton, and was quite open about wanting her to pick a strongly progressive choice for vice president, a desire not necessarily met when she selected relatively moderate Virginia senator Tim Kaine.

That hasn't stopped him from hitting the campaign trail to stump for Clinton, however. Throughout the long summer months of his primary campaign, Sanders repeatedly promised he would do everything in his power to defeat Donald Trump, and this last week he's been putting in the work to prove it.

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But as for the vice presidential debate, at least according to the Clinton campaign's official schedule, Sanders won't be in attendance. To be clear, that shouldn't be taken as an indication that he's unhappy with how things are going. Between campaigning for Clinton and tending to his own career and new political organization, Our Revolution, Sanders has a pretty busy schedule.

Tuesday, Oct. 4 is particularly jam-packed for him. As noted on the Clinton campaign's official schedule, Sanders will be appearing at a pair of events that day. Both are in Minnesota, and the second of which won't end until 10:00 p.m. ET — in other words, an hour into Kaine's clash with Trump's running mate Mike Pence. Unless he's planning to deviate pretty sharply from that schedule, there's no way he'll be in Farmville, Virginia, to watch the showdown.

Sanders' benefit to the Clinton campaign is plainly on the trail, not sitting in a debate hall someplace. After all, he's a different kind of politician — more at home interacting directly with voters than he'd ever be hanging out in the post-debate spin room.