Bernie Sanders is starting his 2020 presidential bid right: Fresh off his candidacy announcement, he’s already picked up an all-star progressive operative to head his campaign. The Daily Beast reports that Sanders has tapped Faiz Shakir to manage his second run at the White House.
An alum of Harvard and Georgetown Law, Shakir started off his political career with a seven-year stint as Vice President of the Center for American Progress, where he made a name for himself as editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress. Shakir saw CAP grow into a central liberal policy institution, and established himself as a top progressive mind at ThinkProgress before moving on to more direct political endeavors.
Shakir handled policy and communications work for Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and served as Senior Adviser and Director of Digital Media for Nancy Pelosi before cementing himself as the National Political Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. Needless to say, his reputation precedes him as a top civil rights advocate and liberal mind in Washington. He’s renowned for his abilities as a grassroots organizer, known as a shrewd political operative who’s memorized the modern political advocacy playbook, and—cherry-on-top—was once called a “fucker” by centrist Clintonite and CAP coworker Neera Tanden.
Shakir has proven he knows how to get things done. His hiring is perhaps the first pivotal move for any 2020 Dem. campaign. And, at only 39 years old, he will be the first Muslim-American manager of a major presidential campaign.
Bernie’s 2016 campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, will likely return to his side to serve as a senior adviser.