Birdie Sanders Wins Hearts of Millions on the Campaign Trail

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Published April 1, 2016
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The Montclarion

The following article is from an April Fools’ Day edition of The Montclarion.
All of the articles in this edition, though relating to real people or events, are not factual.

Photo Courtesy: DonkeyHotey (Flickr)

Photo Courtesy: DonkeyHotey (Flickr)

Several millenials have affectionately referred to presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders as their grandpa, but some may now call the Democratic senator an actual Disney princess, as animals seem to be flocking to the sound of his voice.

Okay, maybe not animals, but one animal in particular has garnered the attention of the media and the hearts of Bernie supporters everywhere by making his presence known at a recent Sanders rally.

On March 25, during Sanders’ speech in Portland, a sparrow hopped near the Democratic primary candidate before leaping onto his podium, causing the audience at the rally to erupt into applause.

After this clip debuted on the Internet, it was quickly added to Bernie Sanders’ “dank meme stash” and the sparrow became known as “Birdie Sanders,” adding a much needed levity to the intense presidential campaigns and a soft touch to Sanders’ image.

But could Birdie Sanders make Sanders appear too soft? Since Birdie flocked to Sanders on Friday, the two have developed a special bond. The pair was photographed at Applebee’s after the event on Friday night, sharing half-apps and talking politics over mudslides. Yet, the bird’s special connection to the candidate does not end there.

Since Friday, Birdie has been perched on the presidential candidate’s shoulder during all his public appearances, tweeting campaign advice into the 74-year-old’s ear.

It’s clear that Birdie has joined the thousands who have felt the Bern, now acting as a de facto campaign manager and speech-writer for Sanders, telling him what to say and how to act.This will be especially advantageous to the Vermont senator, as his main opposition, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has declared that she will not attend any more debates with Sanders until he adjusts his “tone.”

Birdie holding such a heavy influence with Sanders has definitely improved his campaign efforts. The candidate’s attention to the tiny creature has brought out his softer side and has won him more votes with the millennial crowd by adding another meme opportunity to the pre-existing meme stash. Sanders is even banking on this happenchance by promising supporters a Birdie Sanders bumper sticker if they make a donation of any size to his campaign, a promise which will surely compensate for Sanders’ lack of Super PAC contributions and light a fire under his underfunded campaign.

However, it’s hard not to wonder if the animal’s influence may one day become overbearing for Sanders, should he succeed in obtaining the nomination or even the presidency. Will Sanders, with his image now softened by his connection to adorable fauna, be able to cast off Birdie — whose involvement in his campaign definitely helped secure many votes — if the bird suddenly develops ulterior motives and falls victim to Washington corruption? What if this bird is a plant from Clinton or one of the Republican candidates in order to sabotage Sanders?

With the senator’s recent wins on the West Coast and non-continental states, Sanders may have a chance at redemption, and I don’t think he should rule out the possiblity that Birdie may be an undercover agent introduced to Sanders at an opportune moment. Birdie may gain influence with Sanders only for an adversary to dig up the bird’s shady past at a later date or convince the avian to switch sides at the moment when Sanders needs him most, damning his reach for the nomination once and for all.

Sanders ought to be hyper-vigilant of Birdie’s motives and consider whether the bird is truly in it for the long run or simply using Sanders’ success to jumpstart his own political career.

The best move at this point may be to announce officially that Birdie will be Sanders’ proposed running mate. This gives Birdie the political promotion that he craves and leaves the animal in a relatively stable position so that he cannot simply fly the coop when things get tough.

Still, it’s best not to count one’s eggs before they hatch, and for now, Birdie is an ally to Sanders. If he can profit from the bird’s involvement, then the sparrow may end up doing more good than harm in the long run of this underdog’s race to the presidency.

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