First there was "Low-Energy Jeb" Bush. Then there was "Crooked Hillary" Clinton. Now, at long last, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has landed on a nickname for Vermont's junior senator: "Crazy Bernie" Sanders.
Trump, who has made it a mission to generate reductive, insulting monikers for each of his foes, first employed "Crazy Bernie" Wednesday morning on Twitter after he — and Sanders — prevailed in Tuesday's West Virginia primaries:
Big wins in West Virginia and Nebraska. Get ready for November - Crooked Hillary, who is looking very bad against Crazy Bernie, will lose!
In a recent interview with the New York Times' — otherwise known as "the failing New York Times" — Mark Leibovich, Trump explained that he comes up with his nicknames on his own.
“I feel it," he said. "It's an instinct."
He does not seek suggestions or spitball ideas with his staff, though sometimes he’ll test-drive a name at a campaign rally and see how it goes over. If he mentions say, the name Ted Cruz, and a “Lyin’ Ted” chant erupts, he smells victory. “The whole place would be going ‘Lyin’ Ted, Lyin’ Ted,’ ” Trump says, “thousands of people, 25,000 people.”
"Crazy Bernie" is hardly the first nickname Sanders has earned. For years, the late Seven Days columnist Peter Freyne referred to the senator in print as "Ol' Bernardo." And long before there were "Bernie Bros," his acolytes were known in these parts as "Sanderistas."
A Sanders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But when he does, we imagine he'll thank us for focusing on the substantive issues of our time.