Dancing with Ellen Degeneres in order to humanize oneself has become a trope of the American political process. A younger Barack Obama famously busted a move with the talk show host in 2007. Eight years later, we find ourselves in the midst of an arms race between this cycle’s Democratic presidential hopefuls. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton performed the whip and the Nae Nae with Degeneres last month. Not to be outdone, fellow frontrunner U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders stopped by Ellen this week, and boy, it was something.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 15, 2015
There’s a lot to process here, so let’s take a blow-by-blow look at the Democratic socialist’s arsenal of moves.
The senator from Vermont begins with a subtle flick of his right wrist, as if striking a tiny gong to announce his arrival on the dance floor. He claps his hands, pulls an imaginary string taut across his midsection while placing his feet together, and strikes the gong once more. All of this is performed with suggestively bitten lip.
Sanders saunters toward a curly-haired producer, but quickly realizes the Bern is indeed too strong for mere mortals. It is berning her face off, a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. He retreats, smiling politely, clapping off-beat.
Sanders shows shades of David Byrne circa Stop Making Sense here. Get the man a 4XL sports coat and see what Tina Weymouth’s up to. His whole frame sways with the force of his disembodied hula. His disheveled, guffawing hype-man behind him simply cannot believe what he is witnessing.
Sanders closes with an en arrière running man—or so it would appear. Biting his lip again, Sanders musters the all remaining strength for a textbook Elaine Benesian kick. Ring the damn bell. Game over.
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