Bernie Sanders, one of the more clear-headed politicians currently campaigning for the American presidency, must have a hard time being interviewed by his mirror image. And yet, despite the psychological turmoil that must surely accompany sitting a few feet away from someone refusing to break character as they impersonate you, Sanders acquits himself very well in a surreal chat with the alternate reality version of him played by comedian James Adomian.
The two Bernies, dressed in matching outfits, enjoy a conversation that ranges from Sanders’ views on economic inequality, universal health care, and climate change to the intricacies of acting and looking like the Vermont senator. The real Sanders provides excellent advice for anyone hoping to walk around cosplaying the politician. “Oh, good. Long socks,” he notes at the beginning, monitoring his mirror image. “Very good.”
Adomian-Bernie asks if ordering a suit in “a size rumpled” is appropriate, and original-Bernie explains the importance of sitting down in the suit to get it properly wrinkled. We also receive notes on how to gesture like Sanders, extending and waving the arms around in order not just to underscore a message, but to get a little extra exercise in, too.
At times the clone Bernies talk over one another, identical voices blending until the line between subject and artist blurs into an indistinguishable whole. Throughout this strange scene, Sanders laughs along and basically just shows how game he is to do whatever he needs to do in order to reach voters. If, as in the past, that means that a 78-year-old man needs to start a podcast or get a Twitch channel off the ground, so be it. If it now requires him to risk annihilating the boundaries between his inner self and the surrounding world by staring into the face of his doppelgänger, well, apparently he’ll do that, too.
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