One All-Star in Top 10

cornfieldlogoTonight the American voters got their first chance to see and hear the top 10 polling candidates for the Republican nomination to be president.

Many viewers may have been left underwhelmed. Many viewers may say that a couple of the bottom seven should have replaced one or two of those 10.

Earlier in the day, two on the bottom rung did much better and looked more suited to be on the top rung. Those two were Carly Fiorina, the only GOP female in the race, and Jim Gilmore, who just joined the race this week.

For me there was only one among the 10 who could be labeled an all-star – Ohio Governor John Kasich. Kasich, who joined the competition last week and whose state hosted the debate, acquitted himself quite well.

His best response came to a question from Megyn Kelly about if one of his children came to him and said he/she were gay and wanted to marry his/her partner what he would do.

But that is not why I believe he was the only all-star. It was his over all demeanor and responses to the questions.

What Kasich said on the issue of same-gender marriage was that he would love his daughters no matter what they did. Love is what matters in Kasich opinion.

The big kahuna, Donald Trump, did not help himself when he refused right out of the starting gate to refuse to pledge not to run as an independent and would not pledge to support the nominee if it was not himself.

Throughout the debate, Trump came across as condescending and did not answer questions directly. Almost immediately Rand Paul jumped on Trump – but he was the only one to go after The Donald.

Paul accused Trump of buying politicians, hedging his bets with the Clintons (Hillary and Bill).

The rest of the candidates stood there looking sheepish.

Bush seemed to stay above the fray, but boring. He answered questions succinctly, but did not strike a spark.

Paul also went after Chris Christie, who did not back down, over the issue of bulk collection of data. Christie inferred Paul lived in a fantasy land while Paul said Christie, a former US Attorney, did not understand the 4th Amendment.

Dr. Ben Carson gave his best line toward the end of the debate when he said that it was time to move on from defining people by race. Carson came across as knowledgeable, but there was no fire in his bones, for me.

Marco Rubio did seem smart and up on his answers. He did not have a water moment. He came across as more vice presidential to me.

Scott Walker was a disappointment. I had expected him to be more of a firebrand. Instead what I saw was more of another politician talking to the people and answering the questions. He did not stumble, but he did not inspire.

Then we have Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz. Both came across as rebels who seemed out of touch with the majority of America.

The least likeable to me was Trump. He seemed to purse his lips and look smug through most of the debate. He bragged about giving money to politicians, including Hillary Clinton.

This is not a man, I believe, we want in the White House, answering the 3 a.m. call or talking to world leaders such as Vladimir Putin.

From the Desert with my feet planted firmly in the Cornfield, it is going to be a long slog until the first caucus and primary.

We didn’t get a lot substance.

We didn’t get a lot of assurance.

We didn’t get a lot to rebut the Clinton locomotive or even the Sanders train.

What we did get was to see that at least two of the bottom tier need to move to the top tier.

In my opinion, Trump needs to leave. Huckabee, Paul and Cruz need to rethink if this is the best competition for them this time around.

And before I close, who got the most talk time?

Here is the breakdown according to NPR:

FINAL Talk Times:
1 Trump 10:30
2 Bush 8:33
3 Huckabee 6:32
4 Carson/Cruz 6:28
6 Kasch 6:25
7 Rubio 6:22
8 Christie 6:03
9 Walker 5:43
10 Paul 4:51

Not-So Magnificent 7 Forum

cornfieldlogoTechnically it was not a debate, but a forum. But the seven Republican candidates who did not poll well enough to make the cut for the top 10 debate later this evening at 9 p.m. (ET) and 6 p.m. in the Desert, did square off to present themselves to the public.

With their opening remarks where each was given a minute to speak, none of the seven reached out and grabbed me. None presented anything that would have me wanting to no any more.

When both Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina were given the opportunity to strike and strike hard at GOP front runner Donald Trump, neither took the bait. Instead both tried to present a policy position.

For Perry, it was his position that he is the type of leader who has the fortitude to close the leaking US/Mexican border.

For Fiorina it was a light left hook at Trump talking with former President Bill Clinton before getting into the presidential race.

As the first commercial break came, none of the seven looked or sounded that presidential. Keeping my fingers crossed that the rest of this hour will have more life.

In the second portion, both Fiorina and Jim Gilmore came out in favor of breaking down barriers with such companies as Google in allowing law enforcement greater latitude in tracking suspected terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. Gilmore noted that the inside attacks will continue and get worse unless something is done.

George Pataki chimed in that it is a necessity that the Islamic State be destroyed utterly in both Iraq and Syria, but without engaging in a protracted war or boots on the ground for any period of time. Destroy the caliphate and come home, Pataki said.

On immigration, neither Rick Santorum nor Perry would answer what they would say to the families of the 11 million or so illegal immigrants in the nation. Perry did say the number one priority was closing the border – then he would deal with the 11 million.

Then came the second commercial break.

Lindsey Graham started off blasting both the policies of President Barack Obama and taking on Hillary Clinton. Graham said unlike Clinton, he would change the policies of the President which have kept the American economy down.

Santorum said he would put limits on benefits and work requirements. This he said would jump start the economy.

Gilmore put problems with the economy were over-burdensome taxes, environmental rules and regulations and the Affordable Care Act. Gilmore said all three were “drags” on the economy.

Jindal took odds with the President on our relationship with China, which is hobbled by our debt with the Asian powerhouse and need for its money to keep government operating. He also took on the ACA.

Pataki said there was no need for a cultural change. He went on to note that low income Americans were trapped by government programs that kept them down. Pataki called for changing from “dependence to opportunity”.

The third commercial break summoned the third round of questioning.

Halfway through the forum. I am still waiting to be swept off my feet. Love at first sight flew out the window and is not coming back.

Will second chance to find a loving partner show in the second half?

I doubt it.

A viewer question starts off the last half on what to do with Iran.

Perry was asked which side to be on in the debate over the Iran deal. Perry responded on the side which prevents Iran getting the bomb.

It was pointed out by the moderators that some of our allies in the Mideast have groups that support terrorism. The question became which do with side with – our allies or Iran?

Fiorina said our allies are not perfect, but that Iran is at the heart of terrorism in the Middle East. She stated that the President is putting out a false choice of either the Iran deal or war.

Supreme Court ruled same-gender marriage law of land. Santorum was asked if this was settled law. Santorum answered not at all, but like Dred Scott decision, an ongoing debate, which will be changed. The culture warrior is not backing down.

Gilmore was asked about a litmus test for Supreme Court Justices. He was asked if there should be one on abortion. Gilmore said he did not believe in such tests, but that justices would follow law.

The final commercial of the hour-long forum brings to the closing segment.

Unless there is a miracle, it is understandable why none of the seven have reached out and grabbed the public. All seven are personable. All seven are firm on their individual positions. All four can speak without stumbling.

But – none have that quality that says, “I am the best person to lead this country.”

None has that oomph that compels you to go out and volunteer to see him or her win in the coming months.

Did the polls get it right?

Will any of the 10 in prime time fare any better?

Round four coming up and I wait, but bored.

On Planned Parenthood, the only pro-choice candidate, Pataki, said he would defund the organization. He called for a permanent ban on taxpayer funding of abortions. He said that at 20-weeks doctors say the fetus is viable and this is the science. Thus it should be banned from 20-weeks onward.

Jindal said he would thoroughly investigate PP, which his state banned from Medicaid. He also said PP better hope Clinton becomes president.

Graham was asked if voting to defund PP is a war on women and be held against the GOP. Graham said no war on women, but take the money and use for other women’s health issues.

He went on to add that he would send troops back to Iraq and to Syria to protect us at home.

Asked what will be first executive order:

Gilmore – repeal EOs that should not be

Graham – ban funds for abortion

Jindal – sanctuary cities targeted

Perry – tear up Iran deal, secure border

Santorum – repeal EOs costing jobs, protect religious freedom

Fiorina – repeal EOs of Obama, undo whole set of things

Pataki – revoke every EO, hard hiring freeze except defense

Candidates were then asked if they could inspire the nation. None inspired me.

None had anything good to say about Clinton before being given chance to make a final statement.

From the Desert with my feet planted firmly in the Cornfield, this group lived up to the name I have given them of the Not-So Magnificent Seven. None of the seven gave me a reason to say, “This is my man” or “This is my woman”.

Here is hoping one of the 10 tonight will be inspirational.

Not-So Magnificent Seven

cornfieldlogoOne got into the race last week and is already presumed dead. The other six have struggled to get a sliver of spotlight and have fallen short.

These are the not-so magnificent seven who had dreams of being president. Now, their obituaries are being written.

But – could it be it is premature to write them off?

For most of the seven, it probably is correct to presume political death. But for a couple of the seven, it may be just the beginning as there is vice presidential consideration and maybe, just maybe, for one or two, there is still a chance of aspirational fulfillment.

I am, of course, talking about the seven Republicans who were shut out of this Thursday’s first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by Fox News.

Has Fox now become the deciding voice on who may contend and who may not for the nomination of the GOP to attempt to win 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2016?

The answer in short is, “Yes.”

Not being on the stage is for the majority a death knell. But there is a mere glimmer of hope for a couple of the candidates.

The seven who did not make the cut are:

1. Carly Fiorina 

2. Jim Gilmore

3. Lindsey Graham

4. Bobby Jindal

5. George Pataki

6. Rick Perry

7. Rick Santorum

One of the seven, Carly Fiorina, has a strong case for filling the vice presidential slot, thus meaning her political life is not over. To secure the #2 spot, Carly simply needs to do no harm.

Graham will live on in the US Senate. A favorite of news media, Graham never stood a serious chance to move upward. Graham is too hawkish and too closely associated with John McCain, the 2008 nominee who was swept away by the Barack Obama tidal wave.

Gilmore and Pataki never stood a chance.Outside of Virginia and New York, few Americans have a clue who they are. Their governorships were not that remarkable to grasp the attention of the voting public.

For Perry and Santorum, if one of the other two major, far right conservatives stumble, there may be a second wind, though doubtful.

The two for whom the debate is live or die are: Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.

While the extreme right will have Dr. Ben Carson and Scott Walker to rally around, a flub by Huckabee or Cruz opens the door ever so slightly for Perry and even less so for Santorum.

Perry will not have the opportunity to redeem his miserable showing in 2012. Santorum, who ran a strong second place against Mitt Romney, is mostly a memory which the base would rather forget.

The seven will, however, get a chance to present themselves to the nation with a televised forum – not debate – at 5 p.m. (ET) Thursday. The forum will run for an hour on Fox News.

From the Desert with my feet planted firmly in the Cornfield, there you have a preview of things to come tomorrow when the not-so magnificent seven will have to twiddle their thumbs and hope someone leaves the door ajar.

Desert Poll Results

cornfieldlogo

This past week I conducted another unscientific, presidential preference survey. This time it was of residents in the Desert Tri-State area of Arizona, California and Nevada.

Not surprising, the results mirrored the results in the survey the week before of readers of From The Cornfield, Kernels From The Cornfield and CNN’s iReport.  In both surveys, participants overwhelmingly leaned Republican.

Here in the Desert, the median age is 55 years old. Older Americans tend to be more conservative and to vote. This area also holds as a bedrock of American society the Second Amendment.

Here are the results:

Party Preference –

79% Republican 7% Democratic

Democratic Nominee –

Hillary Clinton 50% Other 50% (Extrapolated)

Libertarian Nominee –

Marc Feldman 33% (Need more info) Other 67% (Extrapolated)

Republican Nominee –

1/2 tie Donald Trump 21%, John Kasich 21%

3/4/5 tie Jeb Bush 14%, Dr. Ben Carson 14%, Other 14%

6/7 Scott Walker 7%, Other 7%

One of the others had a write-in candidate of Ronald Reagan – Stan did you vote in the Desert Poll?

LOL

From the Desert with feet planted in the Cornfield, there you have the latest survey from Cornfield to Desert Polls.

This weekend following Thursday’s first presidential debate among Republican candidates, I plan to survey who you thought were winners and losers in both the debate and the earlier forum among the seven who don’t make it on to the debate stage.

partypreference demchoice libchoice repchoice

Take Back The Vote

cornfieldlogoIn 15 short months from now, those of us who vote will hold our noses and enter a booth to cast our chose between the people offered to us to become the next President of the United States of America.

Leading up to that day, following the party conventions, you will hear, wherever you go, people bemoaning the nominees.

You will hear people asking if this is the best the parties could offer to the American people.

You will hear people asking why the most qualified person never seeks office.

You will hear the lame excuse that the good ones do not want to have the media spotlight shown on their lives. They do not want their families subjected to the public sticking their noses into their private business.

That is a cop out excuse and has little to no weight nor value.

The truth is: The reason we do not have better candidates running for office, and better choices when we cast our ballot on Election Day, is because the vast majority of us have abdicated our responsibility to selecting a nominee to the fringes – the extremes on both right and left.

In every political opinion or news story about the candidates and the upcoming primaries and caucuses you can read or hear of how the candidates must play to the base. And it is the base – which is really not the base – who are either conservative zealots or liberal fanatics.

The vast majority of the American voting public resides not to the far left nor in the far right. The vast majority of American voters are more centrist or moderate.

But, the vast majority of Americans do not vote in the primaries and the caucuses.

While the vast majority of Americans – not just voters – sometimes move to the right on some issues and sometimes move left on other issues, where they live is in the eye of the political hurricane.

Americans do not take the time to learn about the candidates, their positions, their policies, about what the issues and concerns are.

It is so much easier to stay in the serene eye as the storm rages around them than to muster the will  and energy to vet the people who would govern us.

Why don’t we have better nominees to choose from?

Because we, the people, are letting the extremes determine who the nominees will be.

It is time to put up or shut up.

From the Desert with my roots firmly planted in the Cornfield, I believe it is time to #TakeBackTheVote.

It is time for those of us who live to right of center or left of center or dead center to get out and vote in the primaries and caucuses and make our voices heard.

It is time to #TakeBackTheVote.

It is time to say, “Enough is enough. This is my America. It is not conservative. It is not liberal. It is not moderate. It is America.”

Who will join me this election season and #TakeBackTheVote?