Sanders and his friends go for the big momentum in Oakland

In contrast to the foundering Hillary Clinton campaign, Bernie Sanders was living it up yesterday in California. He began the day courting the black left:

Sanders began his day in Oakland at Allen Temple, an influential black church where he held an invite-only discussion with Danny Glover

Then he held a massive rally (crowd estimates vary from 11,000 to 20,000) at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall, where animal rights activists stormed the stage and briefly disrupted his talk. 



Capitalizing on the basketball playoffs fever accompanying the record-setting year of the Golden State Warriors, he resumed his rapport with Glover and went to see some basketball. The pool reports written by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Joe Garofoli offer a sense of the flavor:

Motorcade left Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, where Sanders spoke, at 6:50 pm and headed to the Oracle Arena…. Motorcade arrived in 10 minutes largely because every other potential motorist was home watching. 

The actor and activist Danny Glover - a longtime Bay Area resident and Warrior fan is sitting with Sanders. They arrived at halftime and Glover pulled on a warriors "strength in numbers" t-shirt before entering the stands. Accompanied by Secret service agents they walked to their seats - section 108 row 15 behind the Thunder basket. Good Seats but not the ones  frequented  by millionaires and billionaires. Nearby crowd chanted "Bernie! Bernie!" lots of photos and selfies when he arrived.

Glover is a hard left activist, and was an enthusiastic supporter of Venezuelan socialist dictator Hugo Chavez.  So great was the mutual admiration that Chavez gave Glover $18 million 8 years ago to make a film about Toussaint Louverture, the slave who led the rebellion against French colonists that established Haiti as an independent country. There are no reports of the film ever being made, and Venezuela, where people are starving and raiding supermarkets and food trucks to survive, could certainly use the money. As far as I know, Glover has said nothing about returning the money to the Venezuelan treasury, where it could be used to purchase medicine or food, both of which are in critically short supply.

I wonder of Sanders and Glover discussed the crash and burn of socialism in Venezuela? Sanders has refused to talk about it, but should be asked about the special moments he shared Glover, one of those millionaires Sanders likes to denounce, who took millions from the starving Venezuelan people and gave back nothing in return.

Following the game, in which Golden State came from behind to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder and advance to the NBA finals, Sanders jokingly tried to claim credit. From the pool report by Joe Garofoli:

 We came in the second half and the Warriors turned it around," Sanders said. "The Warriors were down 3-1 and they turned it around and I think that that’s what we’re going to do, too. A very good omen for our campaign."

So was it because of him? "Absolutely. No question about it," Sanders said and smiled knowingly. "What other explanation is there?"

Unlike Hillary Clinton, Sanders has a sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye, so I can’t begrudge him this attempt to hijack the momentum of a sports victory. But a final detail from Garofoli’s pool report really got my attention:

After the game Sanders dined with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

Reich, it should be remembered, is one of the oldest friends and allies of the Clinton Machine. He met Bill Clinton at Oxford University during the Rhodes Scholar interlude, and has remained a steadfast member of the clique through the Clinton presidency, where he was Secretary of Labor, and beyond.  For him to pal around with the man who is humiliating Hillary says quite a lot.