Sanders battles for upset of the century
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Make no mistake about it: If Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE (I-Vt.) wins the Iowa caucuses, it will be the upset of the century, and if he wins the Democratic nomination and the presidency, it would be exactly what he says: a political revolution. The establishment members of the Democratic Party, almost without exception, support former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE, whom they consider to be one of them, and oppose Sanders, whom they consider a threat to their bastions of power.

Make no mistake about this, either: Most recent polling on the subject shows that Sanders defeats Trump by huge landslide margins, and Sanders runs stronger than Clinton against Trump. These facts are true no matter how many commentators refuse to acknowledge this in what they call the "news," and no matter how many times establishment insiders keep repeating that Clinton is more electable without even trying to acknowledge or consider why most recent polling suggests the opposite of what they claim to be true.

The reason a Sanders victory would be the upset of the century if it happens is that the Democratic establishment in politics, the corporate media establishment that owns most of television news, and the Wall Street establishment that dominates finance are all united in force against him.

By contrast to Sanders, when then-presidential candida Barack Obama ran in 2008, there were many powerful names in Democratic politics with names such as Kennedy, Daschle and Kerry who supported him. There were many Wall Street players who supported Obama and were awarded with their favored choice for Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, after attending many Obama fundraisers. And the most of the major media loved Obama.

In contrast to Obama in 2008 — and to Clinton today — Sanders is a true, authentic and passionate populist reformer who would bring powerful and dramatic change to Washington. Sanders would never name Geithner or anyone like him to be secretary of the Treasury, attend Wall Street fundraisers and benefit from super-PACs financed by substantial and often undisclosed Wall Street money, or give paid speeches to big banks.

Regardless of whom you support for president, I hope you are inspired by the young people whose hearts Sanders has touched, as I am. I have warned Team Clinton publicly and privately, in very strong terms, that the worst thing she could do is run negative attacks against Sanders because he supports many of the things that a majority of real Democrats outside of Washington believe in.

When Sanders talks about making big banks smaller, creating a Medicare-for-all healthcare system, raising Social Security benefits, taking strong action to create more income equality, and providing a free public college education to young people paid for by a transaction tax on Wall Street, he is acting in the tradition of presidents named Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy and civil rights leaders with names such as King.

Clinton is capable of running a much better campaign than attacking Sanders because his programs are too progressive or his dreams are too daring. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) was right when he roused a Democratic convention to its feet by saying "the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."

In the days when Democrats were led by presidents proposing New Frontiers and Great Societies, there was a saying: "power to the people." My guess is that Sanders has a slight edge in Iowa, and I could be wrong, but one thing is clear: If those who support Bernie Sanders leave their homes to vote for him in the Iowa caucus, the power to the people will win, the insider establishment will lose, the pundits will be proven wrong and it will indeed be the upset of the century tonight.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at