Becoming a trending Twitter hashtag and meme wasn’t the only thing propelling Bernie Sanders’ political star into the stratosphere Tuesday night. Following news of his projected win in the New Hampshire primary, the longtime Vermont senator-turned-Democratic presidential candidate joined his adult sons and a few of his grandchildren on a nearby basketball court to shoot some hoops. And you know what? Sanders is pretty damn good at the age of 74.
While his on-court performance came as a surprise to Fox News anchors Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier, it shouldn’t be news to anyone who’s been following the intensifying campaign coverage. During Sanders’ sit-down interview with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo at the network’s Democratic Town hall in January, the Brooklyn native talked about helping his elementary school win the borough championship.
— CNN (@CNN) January 26, 2016
“I was a very good athlete,” Sanders told Cuomo. “I was pretty good basketball player. My elementary school in Brooklyn won the borough championship — hardly worth mentioning, but we did.”
Considering the constant, relentless coverage generated by the 24-hour cable news cycle, and how overwhelming it can be for viewers and participants alike, we shouldn’t be too quick to shun Kelly and Baier for their surprise. Or at least that was how I felt before Donald Trump’s most-feared newswoman questioned the validity of Sanders’ shots: “Is this, like, some kind of a joke? He’s making every single one!”
Think about it, Kelly. Sanders is a Brooklyn Borough Basketball Champion. That kind of distinction doesn’t wear off… not even after almost 70 years.