Susan Sarandon’s case for Bernie Sanders

Susan Sarandon waved to the crowd at a rally for Bernie Sanders on Feb. 19 in Reno, Nev.
Susan Sarandon waved to the crowd at a rally for Bernie Sanders on Feb. 19 in Reno, Nev. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Actress Susan Sarandon is yet another Bernie Sanders supporter who doesn’t vote, as she recently tweeted, “with my vagina.”

But, as Sarandon explains why she’s with Sanders and not with Hillary Clinton, you can’t help but think that gender does give her a certain perspective — one that’s tough on female candidates.

When Clinton first ran for office, “Of course I was behind a woman,” the actress said during an interview Thursday at the Thinking Cup on Tremont Street. Then, came the vote to authorize war with Iraq. When Clinton voted for it , “I broke up with her,” said Sarandon. “I expected so much more of her as a woman.” By the way, a war vote did not stop Sarandon from backing John Edwards in 2008, maybe because he apologized for it more quickly than Clinton.


But never mind that, these Vagina Monologues are getting tiresome, aren’t they?

Sarandon’s tweet follows remarks from rapper Killer Mike, another Sanders supporter, who quoted feminist Jane Elliott as saying “a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States.” The gender wars have also come into play on the Clinton side, with iconic feminist Gloria Steinem suggesting young women who support Sanders just want to be where the boys are. Then, using an old line that used to get applause, former secretary of State Madeleine Albright, ran into flak for saying there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.

Arguing over Sanders and Clinton that way is such as waste of estrogen.

Sarandon, for example, makes an eloquent case for Sanders when the longtime liberal activist and Academy Award winner just keeps it on policy.

The Vermont senator, she said, is an “odd little pocket of purity” who is pushing for change at a time when the country is experiencing “a crisis of imagination.” As for those who question how he can bring about the revolution he promises, Sarandon said, “I always wonder …what if somebody went to Martin Luther King and said, “I don’t know, it’s going to be awful hard”… Any major overhaul has been difficult and it takes a groundswell of people to do that.”


Like others, she sees similarities between Sanders and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. “People that look to them have identified a need for something new… They sense in these two guys they are not of the system that has given you everyone else.” But while Trump appeals to the “darker, meaner, separatist, scapegoating schools of changing things” and is focused on “building walls and kicking people out,” Sanders is “all about tearing down walls and getting people together.”

As passionate as she is for Sanders, Sarandon said, “I don’t ever remember in my lifetime not voting for the lesser of two evils.” So, what if this election comes down to Clinton versus Trump? Knowing Sanders as she does, “I’m sure he would tell people to vote for her,” said Sarandon.

Issues, not vaginas, explain that answer.

On another subject: Sarandon said “Spotlight” has a good chance at winning “Best Picture,” especially over “The Big Short” because “people would rather vote to end molestation than attack Wall Street.”

Joan Vennochi can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Joan_Vennochi.