Less than a day after his fiery performance at the first Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his populist message to Hollywood.
Hundreds of supporters lined up outside the Avalon Hollywood nightclub Wednesday for a Sanders fundraiser and to hear the presidential hopeful talk income inequality, the high cost of prescription drugs and reducing the cost of college tuition.
“I’ve never been this passionate about any candidate in my life,” Angela Paul, a writer from Calabasas, California, told TheWrap. “There is no one like Bernie Sanders.”
Here are some of the things “Scene and Heard” at the Sanders fundraiser as witnessed by TheWrap:
1. The event was sold out. While official numbers were unavailable, organizers told TheWrap that the space can hold up to 2,000 people.
2. During his visit to Los Angeles, Sanders also hit the talk show circuit, taping appearances for “The
3. Just to make sure everyone felt the Bern, you could buy a spicy drink called, what else, “Feel the Bern.” The concoction is made of Stoli Hot, a Jalapeño infused vodka, Limoncello, orange juice and a dash of grenadine. The drink, which usually goes by the name “Avalon Heat” on non-Sanders nights, is being sold at $8 a pop, down from the usual $12… you know, so everyone, including the poor can enjoy. We tasted it – all in the name of investigative journalism of course — and it’s actually quite good. It seems of all the bartenders, Sarah makes the best one. We checked.
4. The “Heebs” were “in full force,” as some of Sanders’ Jewish supporters jokingly told TheWrap. “One third of one percent of the country are ready for a Jewish president to repair the world,” said Marcos Weinstein, a construction inspector from Long Beach, California.
Sanders would be the nation’s first Jewish president and first self described socialist, should he win the 2016 election.
5. A slew of reporters, live trucks and camera crews showed up to cover the event including CNN, several L.A. TV stations and about a gazillion paparazzi.
6. Eight big Jumbotrons hanging from the ceiling displayed the names of donors as well as the number to text donations, should anyone feel generous during the actual event, all under the hashtag #BernieinLA.
7. The event began with a Sanders promotional video which got loud cheers from the crowd. The audience seemed to be comprised of mostly young people in their early 20s. Dozens of supporters were on stage, serving as a backdrop and holding signs that read “Viva Bernie.”
8. At least one big Hollywood name was feeling the Bern. Comedy mogul Seth MacFarlane introduced Sanders, telling the crowd he realized the Vermont senator won Tuesday’s debate when all candidates were asked what was the greatest national security threat facing the world today.
“The other candidates gave answers like the crisis in the Middle East, nuclear Iran, ISIS, cyber warfare, offensive tweets,” joked MacFarlane. “Bernie Sanders was the only one on stage who gave the correct answer: climate change.”
9. Sanders came on stage to thunderous applause around 5:55 p.m. He thanked the crowd for their $25 – $50 contributions, saying his campaign saw a flood of donations totaling $2 million following Tuesday’s debate.
“We can run a people-oriented campaign funded by the people,” Sanders said.