But now Mr. Sanders is no longer the solo socialist. He lost to Hillary Clinton but shifted the Democratic Party left. The Democratic field is full of women and minorities now running on his Medicare for All proposal, which would eliminate private health insurance, and the Green New Deal. Mr. Sanders may discover at 77 years old that it’s a disadvantage to be white and male among Democrats.
Mr. Sanders has already had to apologize to women who worked for his campaign in 2016 and say they were harassed by male staffers. He can also expect more scrutiny for the dealings of his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, who has been his congressional chief of staff and remains among his most trusted advisers. Her tenure as president of Burlington College in Vermont deserves more attention in particular.
Mrs. Sanders left the school in 2011 with a $200,795 severance. In 2016 the college closed because of what it called the “crushing weight of debt” incurred on Mrs. Sanders’s watch. The college had purchased 32 acres of property from the Roman Catholic diocese for $10 million in 2010, though it began the year with less than $1.8 million in net assets.
To finance the purchase, the college took out a $6.7 million tax-exempt loan from People’s United Bank and a $3.65 million subordinate loan from the diocese. It soon fell behind on repayments. The diocese eventually lost between $1.6 million and $2 million in principal and interest, according to a request for investigation sent to the U.S. Attorney from Catholic parishioners in 2016.