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Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Bernie Sanders: A Vermont Senator With A National Constituency

John Locker
The politician that Vermonters know by one name became as recognizable nationally during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has a packed two-day schedule Thursday and Friday as he travels around his home state to meet-and-greet with Vermonters and hold two town hall sessions. This kind of face-time with citizens in Vermont has become rarer in the last two years since Sanders ramped up a run for president and rose to prominence in national politics.

Sanders may not have won the Democratic presidential primary in 2016, but he did emerge as an influential and powerful force in the Democratic Party, an impressive feat for a politician who is actually an independent, not a Democrat.

Now, with an official leadership position in the Senate Democratic caucus and a travel schedule that has him visiting communities around the country, Sanders' national profile is unquestionably high. We look at how Sanders is wielding his new influence, and whether that squares with the expectations that Vermonters have of their senator.

Our guests are Gabriel Debenedetti, national political reporter with Politico, NPR congressional reporter Scott Detrow, and longtime former Vermont AP reporter Dave Gram.

What do you think of Bernie Sanders now? Is he fighting for the causes you support on a bigger stage? Or losing touch with his home-town base? Post your comments below or on Facebook.

Also on the program, what's the worst possible use of maple syrup? The first brief run of sap had people sharing recipes and traditions. But we asked one intrepid food writer to buck convention and go in search of truly terrible maple recipes. Marialisa Calta shares her not-so-sweet results.

Broadcast live on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
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