The Democratic National Committee (DNC) was in San Francisco last week for its summer meeting and roughly half of the field of Democratic 2020 presidential candidates showed up to deliver speeches and gain support for their respective campaigns.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was one of those candidates attempting to lure more voters to his cause, but reports indicate that, at least in terms of the owner of a famous local restaurant, Sanders failed miserably in that task by being “rude” and “cranky” while dining in the establishment.
Politico first reported that John’s Grill, a 111-year-old eatery well-known among local and visiting politicians, played host to several groups attending the DNC meeting over the course of several days, including Sanders, his wife and about 15 members of his campaign team.
However, despite Sanders’ portrayal of himself as a Marxist hero of the working class proletariat, the owner of the restaurant, John Konstin, told Politico that Sanders “didn’t want to shake hands, he didn’t want a picture” with any of the restaurant staff.
“He wasn’t nice to any of the staff,” Konstin said, and described the candidate as “rude and cranky.” In the end, Konstin concluded, “He lost my vote.”
SFGATE followed up on that initial report and managed to both confirm the assessment of what occurred and obtain additional information about the visit to the restaurant by Sanders and his team.
Konstin confirmed that Sanders had declined the opportunity to meet and greet the restaurant staff, and said, “He was just rude, not friendly… I think he was just hungry and didn’t want to be a politician.”
A spokesperson for John’s Grill, Lee Houskeeper, surmised that Sanders’ attitude must have been particularly bad given how highly unusual it was for Konstin to ever speak negatively about guests to his establishment.
“Bernie had to be in a terrible mood,” the spokesperson said. “Anyone in the public eye needs to understand when it’s time to order room service.”
It was noted, however, that Sanders did leave a decent tip, and his wife, Jane, apologized to staff for his behavior after the meal concluded.
Actions speak louder than words
As noted, Sanders likes to portray himself as a champion of the common worker, including those who toil away as cook and wait staff in the food service industry, but in this instance, it seems he either ignored or was rude to the very same sort of people from whom his campaign is seeking votes.
It has been said that you can tell a lot about the true nature of a person by how they treat the workers serving them in a restaurant. If that is the case, Sanders just revealed a side of himself that is not particularly endearing and could potentially hurt his electoral chances going forward.