10/14/2005 09:14 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

In Politics, Sometimes a Name Tag Says It All

Rich Tarrant, the Republican corporate executive who has said he is willing to try to buy Vermont's 2006 U.S. Senate race, got caught in a hilarious photo today. Click here for the picture of Tarrant in today"s Rutland Herald - and notice that Tarrant's name tag says everything you need to know about what he thinks should be the reason people elect him.

By contrast, Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders (I), who will face either Tarrant or another Republican in the general election, has been a champion for Vermont and progressives all over the country for years. Thanks to small donations from people like you, he is raising money from hundreds of small donors at a healthy clip, and is not going to let the national Republican Party buy the race. As the Associated Press reports:

"Campaign finance filings show that Sanders has received donations this year from more than 100 times as many Vermonters as sent money to Tarrant...Sanders gets lots of relatively small, individual donations. Tarrant so far has gotten far fewer donations, but they've been much larger...Sanders' individual donations for the three-month period averaged a bit less than $55. Tarrant's -- from donors other than himself -- averaged $1,890."

This race is shaping up to be one that shows us whether America's political system is going to be the exclusive property of the rich, or whether populist heroes who really represent ordinary people can still have some say in our government. The contrast could not be more clear. Sanders, a longtime progressive folk hero, is running a true grassroots campaign. His opponent, who drives around Vermont in a Bentley, is openly running on his wealth. What is going to prevail - Big Money or the people?