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Bernie Sanders' Left Coast Tour Into Capitalist Country

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gestures during a recent interview in his office of Capitol Hill. AP Photo by Dennis Cook

Today's sighting comes from the Left Coast.

Every morning, Nate 'n Al, the venerable Jewish deli on Beverly Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills, 90210, is filled with Hollywood's finest -- agents (Baby, I'm gonna make you a star), entertainment lawyers, actors and -- always, without fail - Larry King.

But this morning there was an intruder, from Brooklyn, by way of Burlington (Vermont).

That would be Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Congress's only self-described Democratic Socialist, who sat about five feet away from the famous CNN talk-show host, though the two didn't seem to acknowledge each other.

Our informant, Ben Sheffner, an entertainment lawyer who writes the Copyrights and Campaigns blog and is decidedly not a Socialist, got a huge kick out of spotting Sanders in his deli, where Sheffner has been wolfing down lox, eggs and onions since he was a baby.

Sheffner is used to seeing movie stars all the time. So to him, a die-hard politico, spotting Bernie Sanders at Nate 'n Al's is his equivalent of seeing Britney Spears stumble out of Koi with a new boy toy.

"I don't blame Sanders for coming to Nate 'n Al's," the snarky Sheffner says. "There are plenty of limousine liberals there to write his campaign checks. And they don't make blintzes like that in either Vermont or DC."

If it isn't already apparent, Sheffner is a Republican. A former journalist for Roll Call newspaper turned entertainment lawyer, his most recent (paying) job was serving as a lawyer on Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. (Not exactly the prototype for Hollywood, which may explain why he's now blogging -- for free.)

But what's Bernie doing on the West Coast? He's been on a tour of California this week while Congress is in recess, from San Francisco to L.A., helping to raise money for Democratic candidates and rally progressive grassroots organizers. He was spotted having breakfast at Nate 'n Al's with actor and producer Mitch Kaplan and is scheduled to meet today with his friend Robert Greenwald, the lefty Brave New Films producer.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 19, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
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so mary ann i guess my comment about the republicansbeing the cause of this quamire really hurt. Good You Republican need to take you medicine. http:///

Posted by: need4trth | February 19, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Good to see Bernie travels. We here in Vermont, have been trying to get him to go Iraq. Oh well, California does have the occasional earthquake and mud slide. It is not without it's dangers, too! Any chance he may like it enough to stay there?

Posted by: roanns | February 20, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Bernie Sanders is "America's Senator." He is the only Senator who truly represents all the people of this country. If the USA applied the ideas of Bernie Sanders, we would be back to our traditional greatness, and all the misery that "Conservatives" have inflicted upon our nation over the past 8 years would be ancient history.

Please visit my Blog: "Conservatives Are America's Real Terrorists"

Posted by: cjprentiss | February 21, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

so, uhh... no word on the candidates he will be working on behalf of huh. Aw-ight, snarky is good, but we will have to assume he was just out West to speak on behalf of former Governor Moonbeam. They ARE friends.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | February 21, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

'But what's Bernie doing on the West Coast?'

Because in February, it's cold and snowy in Vermont, while it's warm and sunny in California.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | February 23, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

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