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.