I can’t imagine anyone who is running for political office of any kind, but especially someone running to be the nominee for president for a political party, ever sits down and thinks, wow, that was a good week. Not only are you staving off attacks from the opposing party, but you’re also dealing with internal battles as you struggle to emerge as your party’s most viable candidate.
Well, if any of the candidates currently vying for the Democratic nomination were to allow themselves to feel good about the past week, I imagine that person would be Bernie Sanders, whose victory in the Nevada caucus has made him the front runner in this race. Of course his Nevada victory, which I’ll get to, is extremely notable, but personally I don’t think it’s the most important thing that’s happened to him this week.
While a caucus win as decisive as his in Nevada is certainly cause for celebration, this week while other candidates were busy getting endorsements from Clint Eastwood (Bloomberg), Isaac Mizrahi (Bloomberg), and Cher (Biden), Sanders received an endorsement video so damn wonderful it might have just thawed the slightest bit of permafrost that has enveloped my tiny cold little heart.
Dick Van Dyke (or as my brain has not stopped repeating for absolutely no reason since Friday, Dick Van THEE Dyke), probably most known for his turn as host of The Dick Van Dyke Show but most beloved by me (and also likely you) as Bert from Mary Poppins, joined fellow entertainers Ariana Grande and Cardi B in endorsing Bernie Sanders for president.
“Another four years of the current administration,” Van Dyke says in his endorsement video, “and we won’t have a democracy anymore.” He also talks about climate change and universal healthcare as primary factors that have brought him to endorse Sanders.
Van Dykes endorsement, heartwarming and also obviously strategic as all endorsements tend to be, sought to encourage older voters, a demographic of people Sanders has struggled to win over, to support the senator. “Why wouldn’t an older citizen vote for somebody with that kind of record,” he asks, “and with that kind of experience and honesty? It just doesn’t make sense to me that he’s not getting my generation. And I want to urge my generation to get out and vote for him, please.”
And, well, although it might not have been Van Dyke’s exact generation, older people certainly turned out in support of Sanders in Nevada. Not only did he win the caucus with votes from his core base, he also managed to win over voters 45-64, as well other key demographics he’s struggled with.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a week in American politics were to to have all be smooth sailing for the candidate. Following his Nevada win Sanders tweeted “I’ve got news for the Republican establishment. I’ve got news for the Democratic establishment. They can’t stop us.” which many immediately interpreted as an attack on the institution of democracy itself, as opposed to a message for an establishment which as, literally, attempted to stop him before.
And then there is MSNBC commenter Chris Matthew, who compared Sanders’ win in Nevada to the fall of France in Nazi Germany, which isn’t bad for Bernie considering everyone understands that comparison is absolutely horrific and wildly misguided, it’s just bad for the rest of us when we are confronted with what we’re going to have to sit through until November.
If all political news could just be Dick Van Dyke endorsements the world would probably be a happier healthier place, but because it’s not, the warm glow of Van Dyke’s endorsement has already begun to wane as Super Tuesday approaches. I will remember this good week for Bernie Sanders fondly, and I hope he does too, because if the internet has taught me anything, sometimes a good week is really just three not too horrible days when you actually think about it.