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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It Doesn't Look Like Bernie Sanders Fell Asleep Yesterday At All

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2016 at 1:44 PM

  • Steve Rhodes/SF Weekly
Anyone with a camera will tell you how easy it is to take a terrible photo of someone. Blink at the wrong 1/60th of a second, and — presto! — you're a drunk or a zombie with skin the texture of wax. And there's no denying it — we got pics, brah. 

Keep this in mind when digesting the accusation that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders fell asleep during yesterday's annual Memorial Day ceremony at the military cemetery in the Presidio.

Started by a Facebook post from Zoe Dunning — a local LGBT activist and former Navy officer who came out as a lesbian in 1993, risking her military career in the process — the notion that Bern caught some Z's while politicians and veterans went through their annual ritual of blessing dead soldiers (while the Department of Veterans Affairs, tasked with the welfare of the living, continues to be a shambles) has irked red-blooded patriots on all sides of the political spectrum.

The post from Dunning — a Hillary Clinton supporter as well as a candidate for the local DCCC — ended up on conservative news site and reliable San Francisco foil Breitbart.

Bernie supporters defended the alleged snooze, noting the septuagenarian has been really busy of late. (And indeed, the impromptu appearance in the Presidio was at the beginning of a long day that included rallies and hanging out with Danny Glover at the Warriors game.) But did he really fall asleep? More photos, shot by Marin-based photographer Ed Caspersen, suggest maybe not.

Here is Dunning's original post, sent to Facebook at around 11 a.m. yesterday, when the ceremony was still underway.
Doesn't really look good for the Bern. But Caspersen appears to have caught the moments both before and after Dunning made her Facebook post.

It's hard to tell exactly when Dunning took her photo, but there are two sequences in which Bernie glances down, ostensibly to peek at his program in his lap.
click image Snoozing or no? - IMGUR/ED CASPERSEN
  • IMGUR/Ed Caspersen
  • Snoozing or no?

click to enlarge wxhr2pdg.jpg

click to enlarge ltpvo4s.jpg

click to enlarge fn1cocog.jpg

Sleeping or glancing down briefly? You be the judge, but logic would suggest that there would have been more frames of Bernie nodding off — drooling, jerking awake; you know, old man stuff — had he taken a sleep while on veterans duties.

Dunning — who deserves serious credit for her work toward the repeal of the Clinton-era's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, Bill Clinton's decidedly second-class compromise after his campaign promise of repealing the ban of gays in the military proved politically untenable — did not reply to an email sent to her website seeking comment, and the Sanders campaign did not reply to us, either.

But as usual, the politicizing of veterans — and people showing up at veterans' ceremonies — will continue. 
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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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