When Bernie Sanders made his now infamous trip to Seattle in early August I was fortunate enough to be granted photo credentials for his speaking engagement downtown at the Social Security Birthday Celebration. I was astounded at the relaxed atmosphere that surrounded him as he walked into the press area. Missing was the entourage I expected a super-popular presidential candidate to have. Instead, he mostly walked around greeting people, hugging everyone, and taking time to talk to them. I followed him around with my camera and listened in on many of the conversations. He stopped and posed for me many times and brightened up a lot of people’s lives. I’m sure that’s a day that Marcelas Owens(pictured above) won’t soon forget.
Now, I admit I had already completely contracted Bernie fever long before this day but what I witnessed August 8, 2015 did nothing but further my respect for this man. I found him to be extremely down-to-earth and he has a great deal of positive energy that surrounds him. The people that were there felt it too. He gets accused too much of being an ornery old man but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. He laughed and joked almost constantly in the press tent. He seems ornery on camera because this is a man full of passion and he doesn’t mind ruffling the feathers of the establishment, so let them think he is ornery.
I was just a few feet from Bernie when the disruption took over the stage and he handled it the best way he could. He knew he would get no where by trying to shout over anyone. He is a pro at debates and getting his point across and he knows that when emotions are running high like they were that day, it was best to walk away. Again even more respect for him. As you can see by the above photo I was standing right under him and his wife Jane and I could see the look on his face. The look was one of “hey I understand why they are on this stage doing this”, he probably wished for a different outcome but I got the sense as he looked down at me that he knew why it was happening this way. Respect!
And finally – Happy Birthday Bernie Sanders!!!
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