If you’re a fan of Portlandia, or if you happen to know anything about the history of Portland, Oregon, then you know why it’s such a big deal that a bird came out of the crowd and landed on the podium during the Bernie Sanders Rally on Friday. A viral video of the Portland Bernie Sanders rally popped up on YouTube that shows Bernie’s interaction with a small bird. Check it out below.
The moment was completely unscripted, and had it happened in any other city, it would have never been this memorable. As Bernie Sanders stood at his podium in the Moda Center on Friday, a small bird, possibly a sparrow or a finch, flew down and landed right on the stage in front of Bernie. The presidential hopeful stopped his speech to see what had taken the crowd’s attention from him. He looked over the podium and said: “What?” The crowd pointed to a bird on the ground at his feet.
Bernie threw his head back in laughter before addressing the stage crashing bird. “I see,” Sanders began. “This little bird doesn’t know it.” Then as if acting in to prove him wrong, the bird flew up from the stage floor and landed right on top of Bernie’s sign that says, “A Future To Believe In.” The crowd went insane, standing and cheering. Many Sanders supporters were on their feet with hands in the air.
That little bird completely stole the show during the Bernie Sanders rally in Portland and then, just as quickly as it came down to perch on Bernie Sanders’ podium, the little bird took right off again. Bernie waved the bird on, smiled and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the interaction as well as the reaction of the crowd. “I think there may be some symbolism here,” Sanders said. Yes, there is a whole lot of symbolism in this chance encounter with a bird, and we’re wondering if Bernie even knows just how much. “I know it doesn’t look like it, but that bird is really a dove asking us for world peace. No more wars,” Sanders said, and the crowd went wild again.
In any other city, the interference of a random bird might have been interesting, but in Portland, it has meaning. That’s why the crowd erupted, jumping up and down the way that they did. Even Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein showed that Portland is unique in their skit about a couple named Bryce Shivers and Lisa Eversman who owned a fictional store on the IFC hit Portlandia. The couple put birds on things. Maybe Bryce and Lisa were at the Bernie Sanders rally on Friday.
More than 20,000 people showed up to Moda Center on Friday to see Bernie speak. His connection with a small bird on the podium wasn’t the only time Bernie proved just how cool he is. The 2016 presidential hopeful entered with a Bruce Springsteen song and left to David Bowie. Sanders was introduced to the crowd by a transgender woman who called him the “next President of the United States.”
When Bernie took the stage, he said, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there’s a lot of people here.” And he was right. The Moda Center doesn’t even fill up like that unless the Portland Trailblazers are deep into the playoffs. Bernie is a rock star in Portland, and that chance encounter with a small bird on his stage may have just cemented Sanders in Portland culture.
[Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]