From Portside <[email protected]>
Subject Cardi B and Bernie Sanders’s Video, and her Longstanding Interest in Politics, Explained
Date August 17, 2019 2:50 AM
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[The 77-year-old Vermont senator and 26-year-old Bronx rapper met
in a Detroit nail salon to talk police brutality, the economy, and
health care] [[link removed]]

[[link removed]]


Tara Golshan and Emily Stewart
August 15, 2019
[[link removed]]

[[link removed]]
[[link removed]]
* [[link removed]]

_ The 77-year-old Vermont senator and 26-year-old Bronx rapper met in
a Detroit nail salon to talk police brutality, the economy, and health
care _

Sen. Bernie Sanders sat down with Cardi B at Detroit’s TEN nail
salon to discuss politics, Screenshot via Bernie Sanders campaign


Bernie Sanders
[[link removed]] wants
to be Cardi B
[[link removed]]’s
favorite president.

Last month, we learned that the 77-year-old Vermont senator met with
the 26-year-old Bronx rapper in a Detroit, Michigan nail salon to talk
about the issues central to his 2020 presidential campaign. The video
of their exchange is finally here.

Sanders at a nail salon with Cardi B is inherently funny. The pair
were clearly in on the joke, as seen in a behind-the-scenes clip
[[link removed]] the
Sanders campaign posted on Instagram. But the two talked through
serious issues like police brutality, student debt, wages, taxes, and
jobs. They admired Cardi’s nails and gabbed about her favorite
president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whom Sanders incidentally cites
as an inspirational figure in his campaign for the White House.

“Well, I want to be your favorite after I’m elected,” Sanders
also told her.

[[link removed]]

He’s well on his way in her book.

In April, Cardi said, “I’ma always go with Bernie,” in a video
with Teen Vogue
[[link removed]].
Sitting across from Sanders in Detroit, she made the pitch for him
once again.

“Let’s feel the Bern,” she said.

Cardi B and Sanders make the case for young people to get involved in

Cardi, who has a long history of being political — and of being a
Sanders supporter — has been pushing for her fans to pay attention
to the coming election, calling on people to get “educated” on the
issues and to understand what the Democratic candidates are proposing.

She worked to facilitate that understanding while promoting
Sanders’s ideas in a wide-ranging conversation in which the
candidate reiterated his support for student debt cancellation,
explained how taxes would change with single-payer health care, and
called President Trump a racist. The two also addressed police
brutality right off the bat.

“If a police officer kills somebody, that killing must be
investigated by the United States Department of Justice,” Sanders
said, repeating a position he took in 2016 calling for automatic
federal investigations into police-involved shootings
[[link removed]].

“I don’t want people thinking that we’re trying to attack the
police. Because let me tell you something, there was this one time
that I started to feel like I hate the police, they’re pigs. But
there’s a lot of cops that go in their jobs and they want to protect
their people,” Cardi B said.

“So we need police departments that look like the communities that
they serve — we get rid of a lot of this militarization of the
police department, which is a form of intimidating people,” Sanders

While the conversation inarguably gave Sanders a unique platform, in
the end, the whole exchange was about getting young people involved in
politics. Sanders’s campaign has always had an advantage with
younger voters, and energizing them is core to his electoral strategy.

“I will say this to you: The future of American politics depends on
whether we can significantly activate this younger generation,”
Sanders told Vox in an interview last week. “We have a generation of
very decent young people who want a change. There are a lot of young
people out there that are very distressed. But living in despair is
not an option.”

Sanders made that point again with Cardi B by his side in his closing
message to viewers:

Cardi, can I just say one thing before we get off? A lot of people
moan and groan, right? They don’t like Donald Trump, they don’t
like the low wages, they don’t like spending 50 percent of their
income on housing, they don’t like student debt, they don’t like
the fact they can’t go to college. But all of that moaning and
groaning and complaining doesn’t mean anything unless we change the
system, okay.

Young people have got to get involved in the political process.
Register to vote. It is not hard. It takes you five minutes. Register
to vote. Trump does not want people of color to be participating in
the political process. Participate in the political process. And then
think about who the candidate is that is speaking the issues that are
important to you, and then vote. If we have young people voting in
large numbers, you know what, I have zero doubt that Donald Trump
would be defeated.

In the past 30 years, voter turnout among 18- to 29-year-olds has only
surmounted 20 percent three times, in 1986, 1994, and 2018. In 2018,
nearly 36 percent of 18- to 29-year-old citizens reported voting, a 16
percentage point jump from 2014, according to the US census — thanks
in part to a midterm cycle that served as a referendum on Trump. And a
lot of these young voters support Sanders
[[link removed]].

“Vote Daddy Bernie, bitch”: Cardi B’s political history,

Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, has been into Bernie
Sanders for a while now.

In 2016, she said she wanted to vote for the democratic socialist in
an interview
[[link removed]] with
the New York City radio station Power 105.1, though she was skeptical
he could actually accomplish all he set out to do. “Like, for
example, he wants to stop racism. It’s like, that’s not going to
happen! There’s certain things you just can’t do. What are you
going to do? Go burn a bunch of Confederate flags in Virginia Beach
and goddamn Mississippi?” she said.

She also made a video in which she encouraged supporters to “vote
for Daddy Bernie, bitch.”

Who remembers when @iamcardib
[[link removed]] endorsed Bernie
Sanders for president?#DaddyBernie
[[link removed]] [[link removed]]

— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) April 18, 2018
[[link removed]]

In 2016, Cardi B said she liked Hillary Clinton because she was a
“strong woman” but did feel like Clinton was a “little fake.”
Still, she was hypercritical of Trump and ultimately backed Clinton in
the general election, telling her social media followers to do the
same ahead of Election Day.

Lol yes!! what she said! @iamcardib
[[link removed]] [[link removed]]

— Alicia 🇲🇽 (@Aliciaxo93) November 8, 2016
[[link removed]]

After 2016, Cardi B has remained engaged — and the affinity between
her and Sanders has continued. In 2018, Sanders retweeted Cardi B’s
comments on FDR and Social Security. “Cardi B is right,” he wrote.

Cardi B is right. If we are really going to make America great we need
to strengthen Social Security so that seniors are able to retire with
the dignity they deserve. [link removed]
[[link removed]]

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 18, 2018
[[link removed]]

Now that Sanders is in the 2020 race, Cardi is firmly in his corner.

She told Teen Vogue
[[link removed]] in
April that she likes Sanders because he doesn’t say things to “be
cool,” but because he means them. “Like, there’s pictures of him
being an activist from a very, very long time [ago],” she said.

She tweeted in mid-July that she is “really sad how we let [Sanders]
down” in 2016. “Seeing this country become a better place been
really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign,”
she wrote.

I been reading about Bernie Sanders and I’m really sad how we let
him down in 2016 This man been fighting for equal rights,HUMAN rights
for such along time.Seeing this country become a better place been
really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign.

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) July 16, 2019
[[link removed]]

Sanders has publicly welcomed her support. In an interview with MSNBC
[[link removed]] following
her tweet, he thanked her for her backing and said he had spoken with
her and found her “very sharp,” with a good understanding of
politics and history. In a subsequent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, he
reiterated his appreciation for her support, and said she is “deeply
concerned” about what’s happening in the country. Cardi B
published the clip on Instagram
[[link removed]] and
said she was sure her high school history teacher was happy.

And if Sanders wins the White House, Cardi B might expect an
invitation. In an interview on _Pod Save America_
[[link removed]], host Jon Favreau asked
Sanders whether she would perform at the inauguration. “We’re
putting together a committee to take a look at that,” Sanders

It’s worth noting that Cardi B isn’t the only rapper in
Sanders’s corner. Atlanta rapper Killer Mike was a vocal supporter
of the Vermont senator in 2016 and still believes he’s the one
candidate who can beat Trump
[[link removed]].

“The Keep It Real Party”

Sanders is not wrong in his assessment that Cardi B is well versed in
politics and history. She’s been weighing in on political issues for
a while, and she’s made no secret of her disdain for President

In January, Cardi B posted a video addressing the government shutdown
and blasting the president for his antics. “This shit is crazy,”
she said. “Like, our country is a hellhole right now, all for a
fucking wall. And we really need to take this serious.”

The video quickly went viral, with some Democratic lawmakers even
weighing in.

[Senators reacting to Cardi B’s video about Trump.]

It was hardly the first instance in which Cardi B had made her
thoughts known in the political realm — she’s weighed in on
various issues, including the United Nations’ role in Libya
[[link removed]], US
gun laws
[[link removed]],
and tax policy
[[link removed]].

“I love political science. I love government. I’m obsessed with
presidents. I’m obsessed to know how the system works,” she said
in a 2018 interview with GQ
[[link removed]].

In the same interview, she said she was constantly in tune with the
news. “I’m always looking at it on my phone,” she said. “I
hate when you talk about something that’s going on in the community,
people think because you’re famous, you doing it for clout. But you
concerned about it because you are a citizen of America; you are a
citizen of the world. If I want to get cool points, I could take a
picture with a thong and my ass and y’all gonna give me the same
amount of likes. I’m gonna trend even bigger.”

Cardi B has said her favorite president was Roosevelt because of his
work to get the United States out of the Great Depression. It’s an
affinity she shares with Sanders, whose vision of democratic
socialism is a callback to FDR and a revival of New Deal politics
[[link removed]].

She is not a fan of Trump. She has attacked the president over
his inaction on Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
[[link removed]], his
criticism of kneeling football players
[[link removed]],
and his family separation
[[link removed]]policies.
She was one of multiple stars tapped
[[link removed]] to read parts of
Michael Wolff’s Trump exposé _Fire & Fury _for the 2018 Grammys.

Cardi B’s political activism even led to a Twitter spat with
conservative commentator Tomi Lahren in January, in which the former
at one point legendarily replied, “Leave me alone I will dog walk
you.” (Lahren may have wanted to look into Cardi B’s feud with
Nicki Minaj before wading into that one
[[link removed]].)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) even got in on the action.

I’m sure you would. Still doesn’t make your political rambling any
less moronic. #BuildthatWall
[[link removed]]
[link removed] [[link removed]]

— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) January 20, 2019
[[link removed]]

Aren’t you the same girl who whines about Trump inciting violence?
Now you applaud it because it’s against a female conservative you
disagree with politically? Convenient. P.S. I do fully acknowledge
@iamcardib [[link removed]] is
smarter than YOU. [link removed] [[link removed]]

— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) January 20, 2019
[[link removed]]

The same month, Stephen Colbert launched a petition-by-tweet
[[link removed]] for
Democrats to let Cardi B give the rebuttal to Trump’s State of the

More recently, she responded to conservative pundit Candace Owens, who
apparently did not learn the Tomi Lahren lesson about fighting with
Cardi and challenged her to a debate. Cardi B’s response: She is
uninterested in arguing and only wants to get young people to pay
attention to politics while advocating for whoever they choose to
support. She took the high road.

My actual goal is to educate the Youth on our [link removed]
[[link removed]] advocate and spread the message on ANY
candidate they chose to support .The same way you do for your
favorite.That is all. [link removed]
[[link removed]]

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) July 30, 2019
[[link removed]]

And Cardi’s interest doesn’t stop at federal politics; she knows
what’s up in her home state of New York. She endorsed Cynthia Nixon
in her Democratic primary bid against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and encouraged
New Yorkers to vote.

She’s even joked about running for office herself. She told Kimmel
in 2018 that she recognizes if she were New York City mayor, there
would be “so many things that I’m responsible for, and so many
things to do,” including getting rid of rats and raccoons. And in
2016, while part of the cast of _Love & Hip Hop_, she made a video
declaring her fake bid for the White House under the “Keep It Real

For now, however, it appears Cardi remains more interested in
empowering voters than running for office herself.

Cardi’s no Oprah, in terms of endorsements — or is she?

Most of the time, celebrity endorsements of political candidates
don’t matter
[[link removed]].
But there is one exception: Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah endorsed Barack Obama in 2007 during the Democratic Party
primary against Hillary Clinton, made campaign appearances with him,
and donated to his campaign. And, as Vox explained last year
[[link removed]],
it appears to have made a difference:

University of Maryland researchers Craig Garthwaite and Tim Moore
estimated in a 2008 paper
[[link removed]] that
Winfrey’s endorsement of Obama was responsible for 1 million
additional votes for him in the primaries. They also found that
Winfrey’s endorsement increased the overall voter participation rate
and the number of contributions Obama received.

They found the so-called “Oprah effect” — the same thing that
boosts the sales of books she recommends or products she endorses —
also translated into support for Obama, and in a significant way.

Though she does have nearly 50 million Instagram followers and 6
million followers on Twitter, Cardi B doesn’t have the amount of
media prowess and celebrity power that Oprah had at the time. It’s
not clear whether her endorsement will make much of a difference for
Sanders; Nixon, for instance, did not win her race against Cuomo. But
it’s not a bad thing for her to make her opinions known — and,
more broadly, to encourage people to get involved in the political

_Tara Golshan [[link removed]]covers
Congress, elections, and just about anything in politics that needs
explaining. RSS. [[link removed]]_

_Emily Stewart [[link removed]]is a Vox
reporter. RSS. [[link removed]]_

_Sign up to receive more of Vox.
[[link removed]]_

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