Since announcing his candidacy in May 2015, Bernie Sanders meteoric rise from fairly anonymous senator from Vermont to a leading Democratic candidate has been nothing short of captivating to watch. From his countless passionate supporters who have never been shy about feeling the Bern to some seriously holy-sh*t moments that have branded him the ultimate comeback kid, Sanders has proven himself a force to be reckoned with. And though we couldn’t be more excited to take a big ol’ Hill-pill come November, it’s only fair we pay tribute to the incomparable Bernie Sanders with a tip of the hat to his top 10 truly magic moments.
1. Tuesdays with Bernie
Let’s just get right into it… If you were to sum up the entire Bernie Sanders campaign in 14 minutes, it would be this grand slam of a Super Tuesday speech. Touching on everything from climate change, health care, and public education, to the economy and criminal justice system, Sanders’ call to “transform America” had us all chanting “BERNIE! BERNIE!” from at home in our living rooms.
2. Miracle in Michigan
Who doesn’t love a Cinderella story? In 1980 Herb Brooks led his misfit team of US hockey players to victory over the Soviets, in 1990 Buster Douglas landed a devastating uppercut to KO Mike Tyson and become the new Heavyweight Champion of the World, and in 2016, despite all polling to the contrary, Sanders delivered an unprecedented upset victory over Clinton in the great state of Michigan.
3. Bernie’s Yearning
Besides nabbing the cover of Rolling Stone or being named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things (btw, I’m still convinced she was trolling us all with last year’s faux fur coat for pets), few things scream “I’ve arrived!” quite like having an ice cream flavor named after you. Earlier this year, Sanders joined the likes of Jerry Garcia’s Cherry Garcia, John Lennon’s Imagine Whirled Peace, and Barack Obama’s Yes Pecan with Bernie’s Yearning—mint ice cream topped with a solid disc of chocolate, because what’s more delicious than a pint of social criticism?
4. Simon and Bern-funkel
NO! I’m not crying… it’s just my allergies, OKAY!?!!! …..But seriously, in a political climate where campaign ads tend to reach pique cheese levels, Sanders spot-on use of Simon and Garfunkel’s America peppered with authentic shots of bonafide Bernie supporters was enough to make even the Grinch-iest heart grow 3 sizes.
5. Holy Sanders, Batman!
What do the leader of the Catholic Church and a Jewish Senator from Vermont have in common? A hell of a lot, actually. At a time when both Vatican City and Washington are primed for political, economic, and even religious revolutions, Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders have found themselves to be two of the most vocal proponents for change. Visiting the Vatican may have been an unexpected move for a US Presidential candidate but it united their call for economic equality and social justice and put Sanders’ message on a global stage.
6. One in a million
Bernie 2016: Breaking records not hearts. Last fall, the Sanders team became the fastest Presidential Campaign to reach 1,000,000 individual donations, outpacing even Obama’s prolific 2008 run. What’s more is that these donations had an average of about $25, cementing Sanders’ reputation as a true candidate of the people.
7. Bern Your Enthusiasm
For a show that’s bread and butter is political satire, Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm meets spot on Bernie impression combo was one of the best Saturday Night Live sketches in recent years. Like Tina Fey’s “I can see Russia from my house!”, I have no doubt that this is one I’ll be quoting for years to come. Unlike the Palin impression, however, this sketch only seemed to make Bernie even more likeable.
In another record-breaking turn of events, the massive turnout for Sander’s Portland rally set the crowd bar way high by not only packing the 19,000 capacity Moda Center but tacking on an additional 9,000 supporters just waiting to get in. I can personally attest to this legendary turn out as I had the privilege of sitting in Bernie-related traffic for an hour while trying to drive the 2 miles home from Wildfang HQ that day.
9 Birdie Sanders
Speaking of our beautiful home town—in a moment pulled straight from the script of Portlandia, mid-speech a bird just straight up lands on Bernie’s podium and starts chillin’. He, quite literally, PUT A BIRD ON IT. Seriously. You can’t make this sh*t up. But, in reality, it was an oddly poetic moment and definitely one of the most memorable of his campaign.
10. Berntown, USA, Population: YOU
Of all the record setting, unexpected, inspiring moments from Bernie Sanders’ extraordinary run, it is far and away the people supporting him that made it a truly special campaign. Sanders has undoubtedly left his mark on American politics and we look forward to seeing what he does next.