Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders shook his groove thing by performing a little dance while taping an episode of The Ellen Degeneres Show on Wednesday, according to ABC News. Sanders seemed to impress Degeneres, who is known for dancing her way through the audience during the show’s intro.
“You’re dancing Bernie! That’s fantastic!” Ellen said as she cheered on Bernie’s moves. Degeneres’ show posted a short video on Twitter of Sanders continuing to clap his hands and get down with the music as Bernie prepared to make his grand entrance, showing Sanders is quite agile for a seventy-four-year old.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 15, 2015
According to The Washington Post, Sanders busted out the dance moves as Ellen’s DJ Twitch played the classic groove tune of “Disco Inferno.” Degeneres, whose show is more known for entertainment than hard hitting journalism, also convinced Sanders to participate in an honesty game that had Bernie winning $1000 per question that he was willing to answer honestly. The money was to be donated to Bernie’s favorite charity, and reportedly Sanders admitted to wearing briefs rather than boxers among other things.
The wave of presidential candidates appearing on variety talk shows began to gain popularity when future President Bill Clinton performed a saxophone solo on the Arsenio Hall Show back in 1992. The hope, of course, is to present a more relatable image to the common person and bring out the youth vote, and several people are speculating that Bernie Sanders’ dance moves are no different.
Many political analysts suggest that Sanders’ booming popularity has resulted in some campaign strategy changes as Bernie continues to battle Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. According to CNN, Sanders’ campaign had relied on the large audience at rallies for support until this point. In an effort to appeal to other voter demographics, Sanders will be ditching the large audiences for more intimate settings. Bernie’s taping of Ellen was most likely to keep up Sanders’ appeal to a broad audience while his in-person appearances shrink in venue.
Sanders and Clinton squared off in the first Democratic public debate earlier this week, and many analysts felt Bernie was able to hold his own against party front-runner. Perhaps Bernie’s appearance on Ellen was another means of meeting Clinton on her own terms, since Hillary appeared recently on Degeneres’ show and she too was said to have busted out the dance moves.
While Hillary and Ellen discussed the topic of Kanye West’s announcement that he would run for president in 2020, it’s unknown if Bernie Sanders weighed in on that subject. The Sanders episode of Ellen has yet to air, but recently on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Bernie showed that he was more focused on his policies than being a source of entertainment. Sanders, who frequently identifies as a democratic socialist, took the opportunity to explain the phrase which has turned some heads.
“What that means is that you have countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway…other European countries which have had social democratic governments,” Sanders continued, “The result of that is, in those countries, healthcare is a right of all people…” to the cheers of the audience.
“I don’t see that as a problem,” Bernie explained, “At a time when so many of our young people can’t afford to go to college, tuition is free in those countries.” The audience again gave Sanders resounding applause.
“They have excellent childcare, strong retirement benefits. They are often very strongly pro-environment…so I think what people are understanding in those countries–governments are working for the middle class and not the millionaires.”
While the Meyers audience seemed to like the message of Sanders, current polls still show Clinton with a significant lead. But, clearly, if the Democratic nomination were decided in a dance off, Sanders appears to have embraced his disco side better than Clinton was able to perform the Nae Nae. But, if you’re still undecided which candidate should get the nomination and want to hear more from Bernie before casting your vote, tune into The Ellen Degeneres Show on Thursday for Sanders’ complete dance performance and interview.
[Bernie Sanders cover image courtesy of Adam Bettcher/Getty Images.]