Bernie Sanders' Left Coast Tour Into Capitalist Country
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.
Mary Ann Akers
February 19, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
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