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August 14, 2015
Win McNamee/Getty Images

When Bernie Sanders needs some help dealing with the media, he turns to the "Excalibur" sword hanging on his office wall. Or at least, that's what the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate jokingly offers as the reason Texas billionaire and former independent presidential candidate Ross Perot gave him a massive sword. "That is from Ross Perot," Sanders told The New York Times. "He said: 'When media gives you a problem, take it out! Threaten them!" (The Times helpfully notes that actually the sword was a gift for Sanders' work on a veterans bill.)

Still, Sanders' joke sheds some light on the outsider's difficulties dealing with the Beltway media, a disconnect that also extends to Sanders' relationships with his Senate colleagues. While Sanders may be drawing massive crowds on the campaign trail, The New York Times reports that he's "still regarded by his Senate colleagues as a peripheral figure whose surging presidential campaign is more of an endearing curio than a cause for reassessment." His "Excalibur" sword might not help. Becca Stanek