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The Sanders campaign? It’s like a Rembrandt painting, Cornel West says

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Cornel West, longtime racial justice scholar and Bernie Sanders’ campaign co-chair, made an appearance at a Nashua, N.H.-area field office where volunteers were preparing to go knock on doors.
(Evan Halper / Los Angeles Times)

Cornel West didn’t bring a script. He never does.

The Bernie Sanders campaign co-chairman and longtime racial justice scholar and activist showed up at a Sanders field office in Nashua, N.H., where some 50 volunteers were preparing to go knock on doors as voters head to the polls for the first-in-the-nation primary. West launched into a riff that zagged from motivational to angry to defiant in the space of 12 minutes. It was the first of several such stops he would make Tuesday in support of the Vermont senator’s presidential bid.

West compared the Sanders campaign to a Rembrandt painting.

“It’s hard to find more humanity on the canvas than Rembrandt. ‘The Jewish Bride.’ You all know ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son.’ All those great paintings. It’s very much about what this campaign is about: the deep human connection and wanting to be a force for good.”

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West offered a bleak forecast for party harmony: “You know, we got the establishment of the Democratic Party that’s not treating my dear brother Bernie Sanders very well. We are going to have a serious battle along the way. And when we get to Milwaukee — whooo! The Holy Ghost is going to have to hold my reins. I might be a Christian, but I am not a pacifist.”

West lit into Michael R. Bloomberg. He mocked the former New York mayor’s apology for the city’s “stop and frisk” policy, recalling the time West himself was arrested and jailed for protesting it.

Bloomberg said at the time: “‘I defend our policy. These troublemakers ought to be treated accordingly,’” West said. “And as soon as he runs, he says, ‘I apologize. I always knew’” the policy was problematic. “Oh, brother Bloomberg.

“We were born at night. But not last night.”

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Michael Bloomberg apologized for resurfaced comments in which he says the way to bring down murder rates is to ‘put a lot of cops’ in minority neighborhoods.

And West had some colorful observations on New Hampshire’s demographics.

“You got a lot of beautiful vanilla brothers and sisters. I don’t see too many Jamals and Leticias out here. We love all of them. But America is a very heterogeneous and diverse place.”

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