It's not very often that politics makes someone seem relatable — yet that appears to be exactly what running for president has done for Sen. Bernie Sanders. It's obvious in the rapport that he has built up among young people and in the breakdown of the small but mighty donations his campaign has received. It's also obvious in one very relatable fact about Sanders himself, revealed by The New York Times' profile of his wife, Jane.
When Sanders began his campaign, he was a little-known senator from Vermont with an affinity for the word "socialist." If that weren't enough, he was one of the very few people who chose to run against the widely favored Democratic powerhouse that is Hillary Clinton. These things certainly don't seem like the makings of a relatable man. (Let's face it, the word "socialism" doesn't usually get you very far in this completely capitalist country.)
On Monday, though, the Times published a profile of Jane Sanders that not only introduced readers to the woman behind the candidate, but also shed some new light on the candidate himself. In particular, the story gave us a peek into what the Sanders family is like at home, in their everyday lives. The image that the Times described probably isn't all that far off from what you'd expect — and that's what is making Sanders seem completely relatable.
In describing a tour of Sanders' home in Burlington, Vermont, the Times reported:
In the living room, where Mr. Sanders likes to sing along to the Supremes while feeding logs into a wood-burning stove...
Can't you just picture it? Candidate Sanders singing "Stop! In the Name of Love" — perhaps even dancing a little — while tending a fire in the middle of a dark and cold Vermont winter. Writer Jason Horowitz (who penned the piece for the Times) certainly has a way with words, but that image is something you can't just type up from thin air. It totally fits with Sanders' wispy persona (and hair).
It's an image that also fits with Sanders' campaign platform. He has made it a point to emphasize his passion for women and his dedication to all things involving female empowerment. For one thing, he always speaks highly of his wife. For another, he's big on economic justice — and he seems to recognize that equal pay for women is a big part of that. So of course Sanders would be singing a song by the Supremes — he has said before that he loves Motown music, and it shouldn't be surprising that he'd choose an iconic all-female group to lead his fireside singing.
The profile published on Monday definitely focused on — and flattered — Sanders' wife. But the tidbits that it revealed about Sanders himself along the way don't hurt his case, either. Now the next question is, where is Sanders' campaign karaoke event?