The Buzz

TheChat: Bernie Sanders gets love from the public, but not his Senate colleagues

Sanders AP

Good morning.

▪ “I love Bernie, and I love the way he is out there shining a giant spotlight on the big interests trying to seize even more for themselves by controlling our politics.” — Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, speaking about his colleague, Bernie Sanders.

Sanders may be surging in the polls, but he has yet to win the backing of a single Democratic U.S. senator, House member or governor. Meantime, Hillary Clinton has racked up endorsements from 30 senators, seven governors and more than 100 House members. That includes the top politicians from Sanders' home state of Vermont: Sen. Pat Leahy and Gov. Peter Shumlin.

▪ ▪ “Don’t go.” — Allan Louden, a debate coach and professor at Wake Forest University, on how to win the “losers” undercard debate Wednesday night.

But the four presidential longshots showed up anyway, despite Louden’s advice. Did anyone emerge the way Carly Fiorina did during the first debate? At first blush, it didn’t appear so.

▪ “I like job creation and always have.” — new Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, a Joplin Republican, on his priorities following his nomination by his GOP colleagues to lead the chamber.

Richard succeeds Tom Dempsey who stepped down to enter the private sector. In doing so, Richard achieved a singular feat: He becomes the first person in state history to lead both the state House as speaker and the state Senate. He also is a former Joplin mayor. Richard was formally elected by the full chamber on Wednesday. (link via

▪ “We’re really counting on neighbors to influence neighbors.” — Jackie McClaskey, secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, on how to work toward water conservation, especially in western Kansas.

The state failed to register a single individual or group willing to enter a voluntary conservation program since it was established in April. Brownback had said the program’s formation was a key component of his administration’s commitment to more efficient water use.