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Bernie Sanders Is Streaming His Presidential Announcement On Periscope

Angela Evancie
VPR File
Senator Bernie Sanders is expected to announce his run for the presidency at a news conference Thursday, which his office will stream online using a new social media platform.

At 73, it’s easy to write Bernie Sanders off – as many already have – as too old to connect with the millennial voters who were so instrumental in President Barack Obama’s two victories.

But it’s the millennials’ parents who might be confused when they hear the senator is announcing his White House run with Periscope.

No, Sanders is not announcing from a submarine. His office is streaming his formal announcement event on the latest service in high-tech social media. Periscope allows users to stream live video and audio over the Internet using their smartphones, thus allowing anyone with the app to broadcast live to the world.

Instead of using a fancy new campaign website or an interview with a major network, Sanders is getting his message out using the very latest social media service. He’s also using his Senate staff to stream the announcement, which his office says is not an official campaign event.

Sanders isn’t the only senator to use Periscope to connect with constituents. Two Republican senators were recently featured by the Washington Post for using Periscope (and the similar service Meerkat) for spreading their views on things like net neutrality and the federal budget.

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush also uses Meerkat, and for the first time in a while, Sanders may have something in common with Republican Mitt Romney. The former GOP presidential nominee joined Meerkat late last month.

“I’m just another old guy trying to keep up with the stuff the kids are doing,” Romney reportedly told Mashable.