— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) April 15, 2016
Probably too recent for SNL to cover this tonight, and the nuns taught me it was wrong to provoke arguments on a Sunday, so here you are: Bernie did, indeed, meet with Pope Francis. The NYTimes reports:
… Immediately after his campaign announced that he would leave the United States for a “high-level meeting” at the Vatican, questions arose about the wisdom of the trip. The critical New York primary was just days away. One official of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which hosted the conference Mr. Sanders would attend, even suggested he had fished for the invitation.
Most critically, there seemed to be little chance that Mr. Sanders would meet the Vatican resident whose name he frequently invokes. Pope Francis, it turned out, would not be visiting the conference of the academy, an in-house think tank of the Vatican…
So early Saturday morning, Mr. Sanders stood in the marble foyer, which looks out onto a large cobblestone drive just inside the Vatican walls. Joining him were his wife, Mr. Sachs and his wife and Bishop Sánchez Sorondo, the senator’s de facto Vatican fixer.
The pope, speaking to reporters on his plane later in the day, described the meeting. “This morning when I was leaving, Senator Sanders was there,” he said, adding, “He knew I was leaving at that time, and he had the courtesy to greet me.”
No photos of the encounter were permitted, but Mr. Sachs said the senator was delighted all the same. He was beaming as he left the guesthouse, and celebrated the informal audience with a victory lap of sorts in St. Peter’s Basilica along with Mr. Sachs and the bishop, passing Bernini’s Baldacchino, a monumental bronze canopy over the papal altar, and Michelangelo’s Pietà.
Aware that his every statement is parsed for deeper meaning, Francis said he was simply being polite, not political.
“I shook his hand and nothing more,” he said. “If someone thinks that greeting someone means getting involved in politics,” he added, laughing, “I recommend that he find a psychiatrist!”…
— SuzanneNMore (@SuzanneNMore) April 16, 2016
— Dane Venable (@iamthedane) April 16, 2016
Well, Americans kind of are. https://t.co/qAofkzmaLM
— AlGiordano (@AlGiordano) April 16, 2016
No idea whether it’s related, but Al Sharpton cancelled his scheduled appearance at a Sanders rally Saturday evening just a few hours in advance. Say what you will about the Rev. Sharpton, his political instincts (especially as related to NY) are universally recognized.
With five big primaries on the 26th, rumor is that @SenSanders may be headed next to Tibet to commune with the Dalai Lama.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) April 16, 2016
— Gnu Bangs (@GopSux2) April 16, 2016