The title of the Barre Montpelier Times Argus editorial board's Saturday article was laconic: "Don't run."
"Bernie Sanders should not run for president," the editors wrote. "In fact, we beg him not to. That is an unfavorable opinion, especially among most Vermonters and progressives who support the platform that has come to define him. But at this point, there are more things about another Sanders run at the White House that concern us than excite us."
The paper warns that a Sanders bid "risks dividing the well-fractured Democratic Party, and could lead to another split in the 2020 presidential vote," urging him to select "principle over ego" and step aside and "and let others carry the water for you."
This should come as little surprise, given that back in February 2016, the Times Argus officially endorsed Sanders' 2016 primary rival, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont paper Seven Days noted at the time.
The Times Argus editors describe candidate Sanders as "exhausting" and lament that he is personally "abrasive," "difficult to work with," "bombastic and prickly" and "dismissive and rude in his arrogance."
Sounds like your typical New Englander to us, though.
However, the New York Times noted on Wednesday that over the last month, nearly a dozen Democratic National Committee delegates and former state and national staff members have gone on the record about sexual harassment and demeaning treatment they received during Bernie's 2016 bid for the presidency.
While none of the accusations have been made directly at the senator, his parry to CNN's Anderson Cooper that he was "a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case" raises some more serious issues: can Sanders fight for equal rights for women without addressing and taking accountability for accusations of discrimination, lewd comments and unequal pay experienced by female staffers in his campaign? The Times Argus editors feel he cannot.
That said, Sanders is among the top picks for likely Iowa primary caucus goers, leading the pack alongside former Vice President Joe Biden, the Des Moines Register reported last month. The caucus is among the first primary votes cast, and is scheduled for February 3, 2020.