Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kathleen Parker: The Don vs. the Bern

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kathleen Parker: The Don vs. the Bern

Article excerpt

Stranger things have happened in American politics, but the sudden surge of Democratic/Populist Bernie Sanders and Republican/ Pompulist Donald Trump puts one in mind of alternate universes.

Both men are holding second place in some polls behind Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, respectively. And both are steadily ascending in the polls.

Sanders, a socialist running on a platform that should send shivers up the spines of most Americans, drew the largest crowd of the season -- nearly 10,000 -- in Madison, Wis., Wednesday. The anti- establishment candidate, who wants to break up big banks and redistribute wealth, makes President Obama (and Clinton) look like robber barons by comparison.

Although Madison is a liberal college town and Sanders' record crowd could be rationalized accordingly, poll after poll shows him closing the gap with Clinton. A Quinnipiac University poll put him within 19 points of Clinton among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa.

Meanwhile, a WMUR/CNN Granite State poll put Sanders just eight points below Clinton in New Hampshire.

While Sanders is on the zoom rail, mysterious things are happening around the candidacy of the Trumpster.

He is known for: the buildings he has named after himself; a couple of TV shows he has hosted, the names of which escape me now; his vast fortune -- and a proportionately small mouth for someone famous for having a big one.

To wit: His recent commentaries about Mexican immigrants as rapists, drug runners and criminals. And, he added, "some, I assume, are good people."

Why, there's a good one right over there -- mowing Trump's Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago estate lawn.

Trump's insulting tirade has had the dual effect of getting him fired from NBCUniversal, Univision and Macy's for comments unbecoming an icon and getting him feted as The Iconoclast that Republicans have been waiting for. …

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