The Los Angeles Daily News reports that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will officially toss his hat into the presidential ring Thursday.

The self-described ‘democratic socialist’ is currently 73-years-old, making Sanders just a few years older than Hillary Clinton who is now 67. Former Rhode Island Governor, Lincoln Chafee, who seems to have dropped off the map after kind of sort of announcing candidacy, is 62-years-old.

Though he’s registered as an independent, all accounts suggest Sanders will run on the Democratic ticket.

According to Vermont’s NPR News Source, the first to report Sanders’ forthcoming candidacy:

VPR News has learned from several sources that Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.

Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.

Sanders’ entry into the Democratic race ensures that Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party.

Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.

The Washington Examiner’s Phillip Klein rightly pointed out that while Sanders won’t be a serious challenge for the Clinton regime, he will be a thorn in their side.

Sanders’ populist message, one that contrasts with that of a Wall Street, Big Corporation Money-loving Hillary, is one that will likely resonate with the left-wing of the Democratic party.

So populisty is Sanders that prior to any official presidential candidacy announcement, he’s already garnered the all important Occupy Wall Street Endorsement as the “only populist candidate for president.”

Occupy railed against Clinton’s big money backers:

While Hillary Clinton has announced a goal of raising an astonishing $2.5 billion for her campaign, much of will likely come from the same corporations and banks that already own Washington, Sanders has continuously held fast to his promise of never accepting corporate money. A side-by-side comparison of Clinton’s and Sanders’s donors shows whose interests the candidates will serve if elected.

While four of Hillary’s top donors are banks (over $1.5 million from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs; more than $1 million from JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley throughout Clinton’s political career), all of Sanders’s top 20 donors are organizations representing working people. The largest cumulative amount Sanders has received throughout the entirety of his 17-year political career is $95,000 from the Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union. Other unions supporting Sanders represent public school teachers, letter carriers, electricians, and auto workers.

And then made the case for Sanders:

Sanders is likely to make his official campaign announcement by the end of the month. While Elizabeth Warren carries 20 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, there are only 18 months left until the general election and she has yet to travel to either Iowa or New Hampshire, which all serious candidates have done by now. It’s safe to say Warren won’t be running, which means her supporters are likely to migrate to Bernie Sanders’s side, giving him potentially one-third of likely primary voters.

Given New Hampshire’s proximity to Sanders’s home state of Vermont and the senator’s familiarity with the area and its people, he would have a real shot at winning the New Hampshire primary if he were to run. If Sanders wins in the critical first-in-the-nation primary state, he will finally be seen as a credible candidate for the nomination by the top pollsters and pundits. And if Sanders wins the nomination, Americans will finally have the economic populist presidential candidate they’ve been waiting for. Whether or not this opponent of the billionaire class, corporate greed, Wall Street and environmental degradation – and this champion of working people, the unemployed, retirees, and student debtors – becomes our next president will be entirely up to us.

It would appear Sanders has big love for the astroturfed Occupiers:

In 2011, Sen. Sanders introduced a Senate version of Rep. Deutch’s Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy, or (OCCUPIED) amendment to the Constitution. The amendment would’ve overturned the left’s favorite boogeyman, Citizens United.

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