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Bernie & Howard

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Originally published January 14, 1998.

It never made any of the top-10 lists for 1997, but Ol’ Bernardo’s emergence on Capitol Hill as an effective and outspoken coalition builder was the biggest unheralded political story of ’97. On Sunday, Bernie Sanders sat at the right hand of Jesse Jackson on CNN’s “Both Sides.” Monday evening he was the special guest on “Crossfire.” Finally! The topic — the controversial Asian bailout. Ol’ Bernardo is in the eye of the storm on this one.

“What we’re seeing now,” said Sanders, “is the growth of an international financial house of cards which is extremely fragile. I have real doubts whether a handful of people operating mostly in secrecy are going to be able to run the world’s economy when we can’t even solve the problems of a small state.”

Bernie’s been getting a lot of national and international press lately. He did an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, and he’s due to appear on “Frontline” next week on PBS. And how could we ignore his appearance Sunday on WCAX’s “You Can Quote Me.” Not only did Marselis Parsons fail to lay glove on Sanders, the veteran news director hardly threw a punch. Parsons’ best shot came at the very end when he charged that David Hale, noted economist and Vermont native, had called Bernie “dangerous.”

“I’m glad Mr. Hale thinks I’m dangerous,” replied Sanders. “Mr. Hale gets paid a lot of money to protect large corporations and some of the wealthiest people in the world. So if Mr. Hale thinks I’m dangerous, I must be doing something right.”

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