With the South Carolina Democratic primary taking place later today, and Super Tuesday just around the corner, the need for wins is increasing in importance for Bernie Sanders.
A loss in South Carolina has the potential to put a damper on his campaign in the lead-up to one of the biggest days of the election year, and his supporters seem determined to not let that happen. Since the Nevada vote, a slew of new Bernie Sanders endorsements have made the news. So, who endorses Bernie? The answer is: nearly everyone.
One of the endorsements making the headlines today comes from, surprisingly, the Clinton camp. The Boston Globe reported yesterday that President Clinton’s labor secretary Robert Reich now endorses Bernie. While Reich claims to have “respect and admiration” for Hillary Clinton, he endorses Bernie because of his belief that the Vermont senator will be the “agent of change this nation so desperately needs.” This endorsement from a member of the Clinton cabinet could go a long way toward offering the Democratic establishment much-needed reassurance about the viability of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.
Other high-profile endorsements came in earlier in the week, and these came, not from Washington insiders, but from Hollywood. Respected actor and comedian Dick Van Dyke released a short video on Monday announcing that he endorses Bernie. In his statement, he urges Americans to pay attention to Bernie’s message, referring to it as “an alarm.” As the Sanders campaign has struggled to win the senior vote, Van Dyke’s endorsement could help inspire the country’s older voters to join younger Americans in supporting Bernie.
Spike Lee, one of Hollywood’s leading directors, also endorses Bernie. In a Tuesday radio spot, he vocalized his support, declaring that Bernie “will do the right thing” if he wins the bid for the White House. His announcement, which hit the airwaves only days before the South Carolina primary, was made in hopes of winning over the state’s black voters.
According to a Bloomberg report highlighting a recent poll, when it comes to the black vote in South Carolina, Clinton leads Sanders by more than 50 percent. In his appeal, quite obviously aimed African Americans, Lee cited Bernie’s presence at the 1963 March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as evidence of the candidate’s long-term support for the advancement of civil rights. Yesterday, the director continued his campaigning for Bernie on social media.
R.E.M.’s former front-man Michael Stipe also endorses Bernie. In the endorsement video he released to Rolling Stone, Stipe made a statement using words rarely uttered in connection with American politics.
“I’m backing Bernie Sanders for President of the United States. In politics, he is the person who is offering me the most honesty and the most realness.”
While Stipe’s endorsement may not seem very important to some Americans, his opinion may have the ability to sway the millions of Generation X voters who regard him as a member of the musical world’s intelligentsia. True to form, Stipe’s words were thoughtful, intelligent and reflected a global view that appeals to many voters, regardless of generation.
“It’s refreshing to have a candidate who speaks his mind, who makes sense.” -Michael Stipe on Bernie Sanders https://t.co/cuoFEVtt8M
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) February 26, 2016
It is not only politicians and Hollywood types who have declared their support for Bernie. Earlier in the year, Colorado artist Gamma showed his support by painting a large mural in Downtown Denver. In a Facebook post from late January, the artist declared a commitment to furthering Bernie’s cause through more murals.
Gamma’s belief in Bernie is not unique in the art world. Other artists have expressed their support for the candidate, including Shepard Fairey, whose fame resulted from the ‘Hope’ poster he designed for Obama in 2008. In an obvious show of support, Fairey created a Bernie t-shirt, which was released in mid-February.
Will the latest high-profile support from Washington, Hollywood and the art world be enough for Bernie to secure wins both in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday? Will the “endorses Bernie” list continue to grow and continue to influence voters? If you ask the millions of Americans who believe Bernie is the country’s last hope for real change, and his presidency the last opportunity to reunite a divided nation, the answer to both questions is: We sure hope so.
[Photo by John Minchillo/AP Images]