by Kristin Marguerite Doidge
“Thanks for inviting me to your rally,” joked Los Angeles Times columnist and political cartoonist David Horsey to Senator Bernie Sanders at what was supposed to be a stop on the former presidential candidate’s book tour.
The event, it turned out, was more like a rock concert than a reading. The senator was welcomed with enthusiastic applause, cheers, and rally cries for “Bernie 2020!” from the sold-out crowd of 1,600 people at The Theatre at Ace Hotel downtown. People young and old, of all different ethnic backgrounds, packed into the theater for the event organized by the LA Times as part of its live journalism “Ideas Exchange” series in collaboration with local bookseller Skylight Books.
“As we saw during the presidential campaign, there’s a tremendous interest in Sen. Sanders and his progressive platform here in Los Angeles,” said Suzy Jack, vice president of public affairs and events for the LA Times. “His book is on the bestseller list and people are very interested in hearing his views.”
Interested, indeed. Even if you’re not familiar with Sanders’ politics—or you weren’t one of the 2.3 million people who voted for him during the election—his progressive agenda was widely welcomed, particularly at a time when there’s pervasive despair about how to move forward.