Bernie Sanders' appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast was a gamble; the show has dabbled with some pretty reactionary politics in the past, but it has a vast audience (the Sanders episode has had nearly 5m views), and Rogan gave Sanders the space to expound both on policy specifics and wider "vision" questions, and Sanders nailed it.
Presidential elections are largely a game of mobilizing stay-at-home voters to come out and vote for you, and discouraging your opponents' voters into refusing to hold their nose to vote for the other guy, convincing them to stay at home.
The vast dark matter of the electorate is at the core of any political campaign, and that's who Sanders is speaking to in this hour-long interview, and judging from the comments, he's reaching them. As Luke Savage writes in Jacobin, those comments are full of undecided and even GOP-leaning voters who found Sanders' message compelling.
I would still like to see more wonkiness from Sanders, a little more of Elizabeth Warren's detailed policy proposals, but that said, I was seriously impressed by this interview.
Disclosure: I am a donor to both Sanders' and Warren's campaigns.
“This was pretty great. Learned more about Bernie from this than any other source in the past 5+ years . . .”
“I consider myself a Republican, but I actually agree with a lot of what Bernie said here.”
“I have changed my mind on this man. Really great interview. This man needs to be heard.”
“I’ve watched media tell me this guy was a nut for years. After this interview I feel like he might be onto something.”
“I consider myself the exact opposite of a socialist, but Bernie is onto something taxing Wall Street 0.5% for every trade. It would create a more stable stock market as well as creating more revenue for this country . . . Plus, we already bailed them out sooooooo . . .”
“I was on the fence about which Dem I was voting for till I watched this video. Thanks Joe for asking great questions and giving Bernie time to answer thoroughly.”
“Bernie is only labeled as radical by a hostile media bought by the same special interests he wants to remove from power.”
When Bernie Sanders Did the Joe Rogan Show [Luke Savage/Jacobin]