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For more evidence that American politics is engaged in the summer of Sanders and not the summer of Trump, witness the fun and fascinating events that unfolded on Wednesday.

Bernie Rattles Hillary

Bernie Rattles Hillary—and The Donald!—Brent Budowsky

Breakfast brought news of a stunning poll of New Hampshire voters from Franklin Pierce University and the Boston Herald showing that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has vaulted to a 44 percent to 37 percent lead over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This poll should be read with caution—it has a small sample and a large margin of error—but it is consistent with trends showing a surge of support for Sanders, who is drawing overflow crowds that are stunning to serious practitioners of politics.

By lunchtime Wednesday, political aficionados were greeted by the news that Donald Trump had launched into a scathing denunciation of Sanders, who as a young man had attended Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech, for showing respect for Black Lives Matter supporters, giving them time to address his well-attended rallies.
That will never happen at my rallies, bellowed Trump! Of course not. Donald Trump sharing his microphone with anyone is less likely than Napoleon Bonaparte sharing his brioche with the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo!

To dramatize the degree to which Trump is rattled by Sanders, notice his scathing charge that when Sanders offered his mic to voices of the Black Lives Matter movement, he gave that voice to “two women.”

Trump appears to have been bitten by the green monster of jealousy: While he pretended to attract 15,000 people at his Phoenix rally, where he offended Hispanics across the Americas, he actually attracted barely above 4,000, according to Phoenix Business Journal. Sanders, on the other hand, who does not have to imitate Pinocchio’s falsehoods or Aesop’s Fables when describing his crowds, has been greeted by cheering masses measure in tens of thousands of real voters.

To dramatize the degree to which Trump is rattled by Sanders, notice his scathing charge that when Sanders offered his mic to voices of the Black Lives Matter movement, he gave that voice to “two women.”

Would the man who was put to shame when Megyn Kelly of Fox News brilliantly and professionally asked about the litany of insulting comments he has made about various women feel better if Sanders had offered his mic to two men instead?

On the matter of half-truths, Trump described himself and Sanders as the two candidates who have been drawing huge crowds, when in truth the Trump crowds are nowhere near the size of the Sanders crowds, which is only beginning to be realized by political insiders.

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Trump is not the only candidate rattled by the Sanders surge.

Hillary Clinton began the week with a plan to unveil her program to make college more affordable. It is a good and worthy plan, not as far-reaching as the Sanders plan to offer free public college education paid for by a tax on Wall Street trades, but a strong and solid program.

At the very moment, almost literally, when Clinton was announcing her education plan she suddenly stepped on her own message, and drowned out the publicity her strong education proposals should have engendered, by veering into a belated attack against Trump, which she should have offered days earlier, and an attack against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that included the not particularly clever charge that the presidential hopeful is a “very young man.”

Clinton has good reason to worry about Sanders and Rubio. Regarding Rubio, she is on solid ground criticizing his refusal to allow abortion to women who have suffered rape and incest, but her insult of the senator for being a very young man plays to his strength as claiming to be a next-generation leader, dramatizes her vulnerable image as an old politics candidate, and only elevates Rubio with other Republicans—the opposite of what would serve her interest.

My hope is that Clinton finds her bearings, seizes her moment and defines her vision in clear and compelling terms. But until she does, she will have more reasons to be rattled.

As for Trump, after his campaign ends he has a brilliant future in real estate, but not real politics. While he pursues his candidacy in the style of reality television, it is Bernie Sanders who has the really large crowds and the really big ideas and the really large heart of a man on a mission, unlike the rattled real estate mogul who keeps praising his own wealth and running a perpetual commercial advertising the wonders of himself.

Brent Budowsky

It is the Bernie Sanders summer and his opponents on all sides are rattled!

Brent Budowsky
The Hill