I found that picture on Facebook last night and loved it! (I similarly loved this Halloween pic of a very young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but I digress.)
I bypassed probably dozens of Bernie memes on Facebook before seeing the adorable Bern Baby, and thought that it must just be my feed populated with politically like-minded friends. But the NY Daily News today reports that it’s actually a thing — Bernie Sanders is smoking hot on social media.
Facebook data obtained by the Daily News shows that more than twice as many people were talking about Sanders last week on the social media platform than in the week before, and that the overall conversation about him nearly tripled in the same time, from 5.5 million unique interactions the week ending Aug. 5 to 14.4 million in the week ending Aug. 12.
That final figure comes close to the 15.3 million unique interactions (likes, posts comments and shares) Clinton got in the same period, the latest sign of growing buzz around the Vermont lefty — and the work of a solid digital operation.
Regarding Bernie Sanders’ surging popularity, Chuck Todd even reported actual news, albeit by accident, while introducing Bernie Sanders on Meet the Press yesterday when he said,
“From my three days in Iowa, it’s clear to me the Bernie Sanders phenomenon is very real with the Vermont Independent senator attracting huge crowds … I have to say I was both in Clear Lake, watched you there, watched you in the Soap Box yesterday where you had so many people the fair stopped! Forget Trump, forget Hillary Clinton. I think YOU might have had the biggest crowd yesterday.”
Of course, rather than any news organizations following up on that bit of news, they instead focused on a non story. A staffer whose job it is to do outreach to the African American community sent an email to Black Lives Matter activists in which he apologized for not reaching out directly to them sooner. Read it for yourself.
My name is Marcus Ferrell, I am a senior staffer for Senator Bernie Sanders presidential bid in 2016.
I am reaching out to you on behalf of our campaign because you are the folks doing the work for Black Lives Matter. I apologize it took our campaign so long to officially reach out. We are hoping to establish a REAL space for REAL dialog between the folks on this email and our campaign. If you guys know of anyone that should be on this email chain and is not, please feel free to forward them this message and my contact information.
As you may or may not know, our campaign and your movement has run across each other on 2 different occasions. We would like to have a more formal interaction with the movement. We wanted to let you know that we hear you, we want to do a better job speaking out on the issues, and as a sitting U.S. Senator, possibly introducing legislation and making a constitutional change. We would like to know what YOU would like to see happen. Would you be willing to have a preliminary conference call to set up a face to face meeting with the Senator in DC? I’d like to get feed back from you to see if that could even be an option.We would like to meet with you within the next month.
We have introduced a Racial Justice platform on our website. Please feel free to take a look at it and tell us where we can improve and strengthen our platform. https://berniesanders.com/issues/racial-justice/.
My contact information is below. Feel free to call, email, direct message me at any time. Thank you for the diligent work for our community. Onward and Upward.
Southeastern Political Director/African American Outreach Director
His contact info followed.
When Chuck Todd asked about the Buzzfeed article, Bernie replied honestly, as he always does.
Joel Silberman joined me in the first hour of today’s show, as he does each Monday morning, and his take on it was that Bernie is coming across as tone deaf on the matter. Perhaps the Sanders campaign will get wise and hire Joel for a bit of media coaching – though for someone who’s been doing this as long as Bernie Sanders, I’m guessing he doesn’t think he needs any help in that department.
Of course, Donald Trump shined during his Meet the Press appearance — channeling both Sarah Palin and Chauncey Gardner at once.
And that doesn’t disqualify him as a serious candidate? I call this Opposite World.
In hour two of the show, I spoke with Ari Berman about his new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, which tells the stories of the battles to save and strengthen the Voting Rights Act during the 50 years between when President Johnson signed the bill into law and today.
Sadly, one of the most instrumental figures in the fight for the Voting Rights Act in the first place, civil rights leader Julian Bond died this weekend. I went looking for the perfect clip to play on today’s show in his honor, and I think I found it.
I’ll be back tomorrow for more, radio or not…