Still has a way to go though…..

In the 25 years they have known each other, US Senator Bernie Sanders has met with Ben Cohen, one of the founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, numerous times to talk about causes they support.

But Mr Cohen cannot recall a time when they had dinner just to hang out, even though he is one of the wealthiest people in the senator’s home state of Vermont, and has endorsed his presidential run.

Socialising with prominent supporters is virtually a requirement for politicians, but Mr Sanders, who has held public office for more than 30 years, has won elections by being the anti-politician politician.

“I sometimes run into him at the airport, but Bernie’s not a schmoozer. It’s an oxymoron for Bernie to have an image consultant,” said Mr Cohen, who laughed heartily at the idea of Mr Sanders changing his unruly white hair to appeal to voters. “What you see is what you get. And he has a history of confounding the pundits for it.”

He is doing just that in his bid to unseat Hillary Clinton as the Democrat’s nominee to be the next US president, leading in primary polls in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire. The support marks a stunning turn of events for a candidate who was written off a few months ago as a fringe politician.

Analysts have compared the unexpected rise of Mr Sanders in the US with Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise victory in Britain as Labour party leader — as both men upset the conventional wisdom by riding on a growing wave of anti-capitalist sentiment.

Asked by the Financial Times whether he saw himself as the Jeremy Corbyn of American politics, Mr Sanders demurred. Speaking after he had just introduced a bill to bar the government from allowing private companies to run prisons, he said: “I see myself as somebody who is taking on the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations and fighting for justice for American workers.”