No-Show Wins

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Republican contenders for the presidency met in a debate in Des Moines, Iowa last night to make their last major televised pitch before Iowans go to caucus on Monday.

But it was not the seven on the stage who were the star of the show.

The one contender who won the debate was the one who was three miles down the road doing his own thing – Donald Trump. His name, however, did come up 13 times during last night’s main event.

The big loser may have been Ted Cruz, who could not seem to get it together. He tried his knack for telling jokes and cracking humor, but most were lame or fell on an unappreciative audience.

Time and again he was slapped down by both Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Cruz was not used to be the center of attention.

Paul and Jeb Bush had their appearances and debate night yet. Still there was no wow moment to move the needle. Rubio was in full command many times. He made a direct appeal to Evangelicals which was a slap to Cruz’s face.

However, Rubio got a bit of come-uppance from his former mentor, Bush, on the immigration issue.

John Kasich and Chris Christie appeared as themselves in last night’s ongoing GOP saga.

Unfortunately, Dr. Ben Carson seemed to be the wilting wall flower. Not that it was entirely his fault. The moderators gave him less than half the time allotted to Rubio and Cruz. Polls say that around 40% of Iowa voters have yet to make up their mind even though they must go and caucus in three days.

Last night, if they were able to stay awake and were not watching the Trump fund raiser for veterans, would have seen and heard a much more substantial debate on the issues from the seven on the stage.

But though deeper and meatier on policy than past debates, it is doubtful anyone of the seven or the four who debated earlier (Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore – yes, Gilmore) made much of an impact or swayed anyone closer to a decision.

From the Cornfield, on Monday we will find who truly won the debate.

Kids Revolt Against Fox, Media

cornfieldlogoThe undercard Republican debate among presidential contenders as only begun. Yet, already one thing is clear – “We’re not gonna take it!” – is the consensus among those at the kids’ table.

Immediately all of those competing in this first round event struck out at the moderators (read Fox) and the rest of the media of trying to influence and drive the discussion.

The candidates made clear they were not going to allow it and would only talk issues, not each other nor Donald Trump, the GOP front runner skipping the main debate at 9 p.m.

The moderators shut down quickly. Even Jim Gilmore was on stage with Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Gilmore has not been seen since the very first debate.

Gilmore admitted it was a strategic choice of us not to campaign in Iowa. Gilmore instead said he is focused on beginning his run in earnest in New Hampshire.

From the Cornfield, based just on the beginning of this first debate, I would say that in the Fox News/Donald Trump war, Trump has already won.

Audience reaction to the kids revolt against Fox and the media in general proved that. This election cycle is breaking all the rules and upsetting the balance of power.

Sorry Fox – you ain’t the Republican darling and powerhouse you once were.

Shameful Veterans’ Abuse

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Let’s call it what it is – veterans’ abuse.

While coming to the aid of veterans and wounded warriors is a commendable action, when it is done as a side thought or as a way to counter another event all in the name of political expediency, it is nothing short of abusing the service and the loss our military members have suffered. It is an assault to our former service warriors dignity and actions to protect our freedoms.

First it was Donald Trump in a row with Fox News who decided to hold a counter-event to the Republican presidential debate tonight. He said it would be fund raiser for veterans and wounded warriors.

The motivation and purpose, however, was not to benefit those who have put their lives on the line, but rather the purpose and motivation was to show the uppity news network, that he, Donald Trump, was more of a media star than Fox’s news anchors.

What crassness!

What despicable action to abuse our veterans for political gain and to prove who has the bigger set!

Now piling on is both Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. Both are playing the same gain for the purpose of scoring political points.

Cruz offering to donate $1 million to vets if Trump debates him one on one.

Fiorina offering $2 million to vets for Trump to show up tonight at the debate.

Just donate the money and forget the “what’s in it for me” attitude!

From the Cornfield, I deplore the motives of all three of these Republican presidential candidates. In my book, this selfish reaction should be a disqualifier.

Saying this, I am going to be even more in a quandary of whom to support if any of the three become the GOP nominee depending on who is the Democratic nominee.

Is America Ready?

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Americans are asked over and over, “Is America ready…” for the first black President, the first woman President, the first Catholic President, the first Mormon President. the first Socialist President?

The list goes on and on.

What seems not asked this election cycle is whether America is ready for its first Jewish President?

Also not being asked is America ready for someone who gives an answer to the God and faith question that is more like that of an agnostic?

With both questions it is the same person, who happens to be giving the Democratic front runner a race for the finish line.

That candidate is Bernie Sanders, who happens to also be an avowed Democratic Socialist.

When asked by The Washington Post about God and faith, Sanders responded, “I think everyone believes in God in their own ways To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”

Sanders, like so many of us today, does not participate or belong to a particular organized religious body. He was born and raised Jewish, but is not practicing.

When appearing with Jimmy Kimmel, Sanders responded this way when asked the God question, “I am what I am. And what I believe in, and what my spirituality is about, is that we’re all in this together.”

A very passionate man is rallying thousands of young people, who are also more ambiguous about God and faith. If he can do as Barack Obama did and turn the enthusiasm into actual voters, he very well could be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Sanders would, if elected, fill out the answer to three of those questions – first Jewish, first Socialist and possibly first agnostic President.

From the Cornfield, the questions remain.

Is America ready for the first Jewish President?

Is America ready for a non-traditional, perhaps agnostic, President?

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bernie-sanders-finally-answers-the-god-question/2016/01/26/83429390-bfb0-11e5-bcda-62a36b394160_story.html

Maintained, No Gains

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Less than one week now before Iowans brave the cold to caucus and select who they want to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

The state of the race remains unchanged today following a live, televised town hall where each of the three Democratic wannabes faced voters in Des Moines.

All three – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley – solidified the support of their supporters. All three proved strong and passionate. All three seemed comfortable in their own skins.

None of the three, however, said anything so pronounced to move the needle or persuade the many, many undecideds to move into the column of support for this candidate or that candidate.

Bernie and Hillary remain in a statistical tie. Martin keeps hanging on, hoping for a miracle.

A revolution was called for, yet again, by Bernie. Experience and deserving the nomination was the clarion call of Hillary.

For now, beyond the support already garnered, it remains unclear whether the people will rise up or whether people will answer the cry.

From the Cornfield, all three candidates did well last night. But, no candidate won the battle. That will not be settled until Monday.

But What About The Money?

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Four years ago, everyone and his or her neighbor were dumping on Mitt Romney. Republicans lambasted him in the primaries. Democrats were gleefully mocking him. Independents were aghast wondering how dare he run for President.

What was all the outrage about? Romney was worth $250 million!

He was too rich!

He was out of touch with ordinary Americans and could not understand having all that money. Skip ahead to now, four years later.

We have one billionaire businessman wowing stadiums full of Americans. A billionaire who is held on to the lead in the Republican race for the White House since last summer and looking like a winner.

Then on Sunday we hear another billionaire worth four times the billions of the other billionaire who is thinking of mounting an independent bid for the Oval Office.

The news and social media are salivating. Low income, blue collar workers and the middle class are ready to start dancing in the streets.

While on the other side we have a Democratic Socialist, who is an independent, giving the traditional Democrat shades of 2008 all over again. This man is in his 70s. This man proudly accepts the socialist moniker.

People born after the Wall fell and the Cold War ended are packing arenas for him. His followers have no memory or knowledge of the Red Scare. This candidate wants to spread social programs to the nth degree.

Conventional wisdom this election season has not only been tossed out the window with the baby and bath water, it is if it never existed.

We have the epitome of what Establishment embodies denying she knows what that means.

We other reliable, old-family candidates who are seeing the Establishment reluctantly resigning to back a reality television star.

What’s next – a resurrection of the Bullmoose Party?

Or maybe more appropriately the return of the Know Nothing Party?

I mean the Bullmoosers were progressives after all.

And the Know Nothings opposed immigration and Catholics.

Remember history does repeat itself.

From the Cornfield, what about the money?

What about the purity of American capitalism?

What about political correctness?

What about political dynasties?

In one week from today, we may start finding out the answers to all these questions.

Dems Debate: Obama’s 3rd Term

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Democrats Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley (yes, he is still running) met in Charleston, South Carolina Sunday night in a forum hosted by NBC, Facebook and the Congressional Black Caucus.

What became apparent almost immediately is that front runner Clinton was determined to preside over what Republicans have long-feared – a third term for President Barack Obama.

Over and over again, Clinton touted the successes and legacy of the President who must leave the White House next year. Time and again she spoke of expanding and building on what Obama has started.

Whether talking healthcare, gun control or the war on drugs and changing the legal system which seems weighted against African Americans, Clinton referred to the President.

Sanders got the most speaking time, but it was the President who clearly was the top subject of the night.

O’Malley tried to get a word in here and there, but was mostly a cricket chirping in the distance.

When Clinton was not singing Obama’s praises, she was doing her best to blast Sanders and his positions – especially on gun rights.

Sanders most of the time deftly swatted away the attacks returning to his main theme – the economy and reining in Wall Street. Sanders also scored points when hitting Clinton on her ties with Goldman-Sachs and other Wall Street bankers.

Nationwide polls may be saying that Americans are wanting change and think the country is headed the wrong direction, Clinton kept making the case for continuity and staying the course. Sanders kept calling for expanding and going even farther down the current path.

Are Democrats paying attention to the mood of the electorate? In this, the fourth and final debate before voters vote, Sanders clearly won.

Clinton lost.

O’Malley showed.

From the Cornfield, history may very well remain in tact if Democrats continue down this path.

That history is that the party in power almost always loses the White House after two terms.

The pendulum swings the opposite direction.

Dems Face-Off Tonight

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The three candidates seeking to be the Democratic presidential nominee will face-off in Charleston, South Carolina tonight on NBC at 9 p.m.

But will anyone be watching?

This is only the fourth debate compared to six for the Republicans. There will be no more meetings before Iowa and New Hampshire voters cast ballots.

Martin O’Malley barely made it onto the stage with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Why O’Malley keeps on is a mystery to almost everyone, but O’Malley.

Never a fan of Democratic Chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, I listened as she spoke today to CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter trying to defend the decision to limit the number of debates and when the debates occur.

Her reasoning did not match the reality as I see it. Both Sanders and O’Malley have been pushing more debates. Clinton has been tepid.

There have been accusations that the Democratic Central Committee has been staving off the requests to benefit Clinton getting the nomination.

Wasserman Schultz said today that she did not want to pull the candidates off the campaign trail even though the candidates, except Clinton, have been begging her to do just that so their message can get in front of more voters.

Tonight’s debate, on a Sunday, will go head-to-head with football – a ratings loser for sure. It also happens to be a three-day weekend with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday tomorrow – again dissipating the viewership.

I am wondering whether to tune in to the debate or stay to my normal Sunday viewing of Madame Secretary, The Good Wife and Cyber CSI. Stelter brought up these shows and football in asking why the committee chose tonight to debate.

Wasserman Schultz kept talking about the “record numbers” who have tuned in to watch the debates, which pale compared to the Republican viewer numbers.

Her argument does not ring true.

So will anyone be watching?

From the Cornfield, if the purpose is to get the message out before the voters, I believe, the Democratic National Committee is failing miserably.

Bare-Knuckles Brawl

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I chose Thursday night to watch my regular shows on NBC rather than tune in to the Republican prime time debate. I decided to wait and watch it later.

While the delay did mean that I missed out on what turned out to be the liveliest debate yet, I have no regrets on choosing to delay.

What the debate revealed was that it is an all-out free-for-all for the top spot between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Neither of these two fill me with excitement to cast my vote. Instead I have trepidation that one of these two will end up in the Oval Office.

Also revealed was that there is a genuine struggle for the establishment position between John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Chris Christie is trying, but outside of New Hampshire has little shot at the position.

As to Dr. Ben Carson, he has become an also-ran before any votes have been cast. Like I said about the bottom-tiered candidates – Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum – it is time to fold the tent and go home.

Cruz made the case that he is a “natural born” American. Trump showed New York pride invoking how New Yorkers and the nation came together following 9/11.

Rubio hit Cruz on his Senate record as well as Christie on his changing positions over the years.

Bush and Kasich kept touting their resumes. Not sure if in this election cycle anyone cares about yesterday, but more on tapping into the anger and anguish Joe and Jane Citizen are feeling.

The winners were clearly the top three: Trump, Cruz and Rubio.

Holding ground were: Bush and Kasich.

Losing ground was: Christie.

Wash out describes Carson. From the Cornfield, there is still one more Republican debate before Iowans caucus.

Will anyone face the facts and call it a day before January 28, three days before voting?

Probably not, unfortunately.

Sunday night, Democratic wannabes will face the music.

Facing Facts

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As I sat watching and listening to the undercard debate of the three out of four Republican candidates who chose to show up this evening, I was struck with one glaring reality:

Time for all three to drop out. While some of the sound bytes were nice with a certain ring to them, none of three can sanely say this is their time.

Perhaps Rand Paul had it right by not showing after being sent to the kids’ table.

Carly Fiorina who was back on the early debate stage since the first debate revealed that running as the female GOP alternative to Hillary Clinton was not enough. Fiorina has acquitted herself well in earlier debates and sounded strong again today.

But time to say, “adieu”. Neither Mike Huckabee, who won Iowa in 2008, nor Rick Santorum, who won Iowa in 2012, have been able to ignite more than a spark of interest. Both candidates are running on yesterday’s issues.

Time to haul it in, boys.

From the Cornfield, time face the facts, none of the three nor Paul, who refused to play the hand dealt, has a chance at the nomination this year.

While I agree with Paul no votes have yet been cast, some times the better part of politics, like with poker, is knowing when to throw in the hand.

Now is the time.

Look for my take on the main debate tomorrow. I do not plan to watch until after my shows tonight when I can watch it online.

Based on this early debate, I prefer to tune into Heroes Reborn, The Blacklist and Shades of Blue during prime time and the debate at 11 p.m. online.