There Is A “Bernie Bae” Music Video Now—& It’s Catchier Than You Might Guess

It's likely you're already familiar with the work of Leah Kauffman. The 29-year-old singer-songwriter was behind the 2007 viral video "I've Got A Crush...On Obama" (co-writing and singing the catchy tune) as well as previous gems like "My Box In A Box" and of course, "Still Got A Crush On Obama"
The original "Crush" has over 26 million views on YouTube, to date. President Obama responded to it during the campaign. And Julia Allison deemed it the number two meme of the last decade in Newsweek in 2010.
And this morning, Kauffman followed up with her thoughts on the 2016 race — in video form, of course — with the debut of "Bernie Bae." Yep, she's a fervent supporter of Bernie Sanders, and wants to further "the grassroots inertia that's pushing Senator Sanders' campaign forward" with the help of a team of Voguers, set designers, and more who all passionately #FeelTheBern. Featuring lyrical gems like "Talk Bernie to me" and "You're much more than a human Birkenstock," the song succinctly explains why Kauffman — and likely, many other voters in her cohort — feel inspired by the Vermont senator: "I was feeling so hopeless/ And so cynical/ Now you've got me focused/ Bernie you're a miracle."
Kauffman gave Refinery29 an exclusive look at the song (hit play above), as well as answered a few questions about how and why this video came to be — and whether or not she's concerned about furthering the misguided notion that female Bernie supporters might be making political decisions to command the attention of boys.
Photo: Courtesy of Leah Kauffman.
Why did you make this video?
"I’m genuinely excited about Bernie Sanders’ campaign. I’ve participated in every presidential election since 2008, and I wanted to express my support for Sanders through song and video. The practice of writing music and collaborating with friends on political videos is something that I’ll likely do forever."
What was it like to film it?
"I wrote “Bernie Bae” with my friend Jeffrey Fry during winter storm Jonas. I composed the lyrics and melody, while Jeff wrote the music and produced the track. Shortly after recording “Bernie Bae,” I reached out to some friends in the arts community who also support Bernie Sanders. Within two weeks, I had about 15 dancers, custom T-shirts and a backdrop for the video. "We shot “Bernie Bae” last weekend in Philadelphia. The wind chill was about three degrees and we filmed in the cold for over eight hours! The energy on set was simply magical, and we powered through the day despite the temperature."
Why Bernie Sanders?
"The grassroots inertia that’s pushing Senator Sanders' campaign forward is awe-inspiring. It shows that millennials do care about this election and that we are politically alive. "Bernie Sanders believes that every American deserves the opportunity to go to college. He has also unflinchingly supported gay rights, civil rights, workers rights, and women's rights. Now there’s a platform I can stand behind!"
What impact do you hope this video will have on getting out the vote?
"We know that art is capable of catalyzing political change, and with more people connected to social platforms than ever before, the opportunity to make an impact is exponentially greater."
What do you think about Gloria Steinem's remarks last week about younger women who are Bernie supporters (which she did apologize for, after the fact)?
"Let me say that Gloria Steinem is one of my heroes because of her outspokenness. So, it's not fair for me to turn around and criticize her for voicing her opinion. We can’t ignore that gender politics are central to this race. Steinem realized very quickly the absurdity of her remarks and apologized for demeaning women who do not plan to vote for Hillary Clinton. Because ultimately, if there's something we can all agree on during this election year, it’s that Donald Trump is the worst."
Did any part of you hesitate to make a song like "Bernie Bae" out of fear of being painted as "boy crazy" about him?
"After nearly 10 years of making political videos, I’m no longer afraid of how others will paint me. I create art that I believe in. Politics are a polarizing topic, and my output is never going to make everyone happy. My goal is to entertain and educate on the issues."
How would you vote given a choice between Obama and Sanders today?
"Obama was the right choice for me in 2008 and 2012. If Obama were running against Sanders today, I would vote Sanders. America is ready to think big again."

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