Bernie Bits: The New Yorker Publishes a Deep Dive on Sanders | Off Message

Bernie Bits: The New Yorker Publishes a Deep Dive on Sanders

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This week's issue of the New Yorker includes a lengthy profile of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by staff writer Margaret Talbot that features several voices familiar to Vermont readers.

 The story, posted online Monday morning, breaks little new ground but is among the most comprehensive profiles of Sanders written to date. Talbot focuses heavily on Sanders' style and his discomfort with glad-handing and dispensing personal anecdotes to voters or reporters.

Talbot got the presidential candidate to open up more than he usually does about his childhood in Brooklyn, where he attended public schools, and he discussed how his family, while not poor, struggled to get by:

“There was tension about money,” Sanders said of his family. They lived in a three-and-a-half-room rent-controlled apartment, and his mother pined for a house. “It wasn’t a question of putting food on the table. It was a question of arguing about whether you buy this or whether you buy that. You know, families do this. I remember a great argument about drapes—whether we could afford them. And I remember going with my mother when we had to buy a jacket. We went to literally fifteen different stores to buy the damned cheapest—I mean, the best deal.” He went on, “I do know what it’s like when the electric company shuts off the electricity and the phone company shuts off the phone—all that stuff. So, for me, to talk to working-class people is not very hard."
The profile includes excerpts of interviews with Sanders on the campaign trail and features lots of familiar names, including Rep. Jim Condon (D-Colchester), University of Vermont professors Garrison Nelson, Richard Sugarman and Huck Gutman, and, ahem, Seven Days publisher Paula Routly.

“Bernie’s the last person you’d want to be stuck on a desert island with," Nelson told Talbot. "Two weeks of lectures about health care, and you’d look for a shark and dive in.”


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