Home Daily Blitz Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Kiss Babies. That a Problem?

Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Kiss Babies. That a Problem?


nytimes articleThe following is an excerpt from PATRICK HEALY | October 31, 2015 | Nytimes.com |

Spotted: Bernie Sanders, walking down Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. Swinging hands with his wife, Jane. Pointing to buildings. Looking at the sidewalk.

And talking as little as possible to people. Not asking for a single vote.

He did consent to the occasional selfie — “Sure,” “O.K.” — but his chattiest interaction came with a man who stopped short at the sight of the Democratic presidential contender and blurted out his name.

“How are you?” Mr. Sanders asked.

“I’m good, but I’m voting for Trump,” the man said.

Mr. Sanders walked on a few steps, turned back and opened his mouth as if to reply — but not a word came out.

For a candidate who has inspired the most impassioned followers since Barack Obama in 2008, Mr. Sanders is surprisingly impersonal, even uninterested, in one-on-one exchanges — the sort of momentary encounters in which a candidate can show warmth and humility by gripping every open palm.

He rarely drops by diners or coffee shops with news cameras in tow, unlike most politicians. He hardly ever kisses babies, aides say, and does not mingle much at fund-raisers. To Mr. Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, political schmoozing is a phony business, and anathema to his total focus on weighty issues.

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