For the first time, five Democrats wanting to be the party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2016 will square off to debate in Las Vegas, Nevada at 8:30 p.m. (Eastern Time), hosted by CNN.
What will be is a short race between three geldings, who have yet to be able to produce much support, and the two stallions racing across the nation spawning fans wherever they go.
The question becomes if any of the three – Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb or Lincoln Chafee – can reverse fortunes and breakout from the back pack as some of their Republican rivals did in the previous GOP debates.
This morning shortly before noon that seems doubtful. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive front runner, and Bernie Sanders, challenging the lead, are both galloping so far ahead that it is hard to see how any of the three will be able to come with a withers of the pair of steeds.
The dark horse in the race remains Joe Biden, who has yet to give a definitive decision on whether he is staying in the stall or will step up to the gate. His entry could change the dynamics of what currently is a Clinton-Sanders runaway.
O’Malley seems to have the best chance to gain a bit of momentum. But there are hurdles in his legacy as mayor of Baltimore he will need to clear.
Webb appears to be trapped in a web of his own making. His non-campaign campaign has no get-up-and-go. He is the jockey kicking and whipping his mount, which refuses to move out of the gate.
A former Republican who served as Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy, Webb later served as a Democratic Senator from Virginia. Prior to his civil service, he was a decorated Marine.
Webb has the executive experience, the legislative know-how, the chops for leading the troops, but he is coming across more as General George McClellan, intent on setting up defenses and standing put rather than engaging the enemy.
Chafee, former Republican Governor of Rhode Island, left the GOP to be an independent. Now, he is trying to revive his political fate as a Democrat. Chafee is surely chafing from riding his horse bareback as he chases the mustangs out-distancing him in the cross-country trek.
Will tonight’s debate produce any surprises?
Will Clinton or Sanders pull a muscle, come up short, falter along the way?
Can O’Malley put Webb and Chafee away from the slimmest of contention?
Will either Webb or Chafee pull out all the stops and flank the front runners?
How much substance will we hear?
Will anyone try and dismount Clinton?
Will all go unscathed or will anyone feel the Bern?
From the Cornfield, looking through the stalks beginning to shrivel, it looks as if tonight’s derby may be more splash than place.