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

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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.

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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?

The Not-So-Sweet 16

cornfieldlogoThe field of major contenders for the Republican presidential nomination next summer has rounded out at 16. But this is not your Sweet 16, fans follow so devotedly during March Madness.

This group of contenders are best described as Not-So-Sweet 16.

We can divide the wannabes into four sets of four based on polling data which of late has been rather consistent. The top 10 in the polls will be on stage for the first debate on August 6, hosted by Fox News.

TOP TIER (Real Clear Politics composite):

1. Donald Trump – 18.2%

2. Jeb Bush – 13.7%

3. Scott Walker – 11. 7%

4. Marco Rubio – 6.8%

SECOND TIER:

5/6. Mike Huckabee – 6.0%

5/6. Dr. Ben Carson  – 6.0%

7/8. Ted Cruz – 5.7%

7/8. Rand Paul – 5.7%

THIRD TIER:

9. Chris Christie – 3.0%

10. John Kasich – 2.2%

11. Rick Perry – 2.0%

12. Rick Santorum – 1.5%

BOTTOM TIER:

13/14. Bobby Jindal – 1.3%

13/14. Carly Fiorina – 1.3%

15. Lindsey Graham – 0.2%

16. George Pataki – Does not register

Unless some movement in the polls by a week from Thursday, we will not be seeing another Perry/Santorum show. Having just jumped into the race, the debate host state governor, Kasich, has made it onto the stage in Cleveland, Ohio.

What has everyone questioning is whether the debate will be of any substance or will it be a free-for-all with nine jumping on the man who is number one in the polls – Trump.

Will Trump provide answers to his policies, details and plans or will he be too busy to say anything meaningful countering the attacks from his opponents?

Will the moderator be able to keep the candidates on topic and answering the question posed or be more a referee in an anything goes cage match?

Forget Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment. That has already been thrown out the window. Look for the baby to be thrown out next.

Who will display decorum and statesmanship?

Who will actually enunciate clear plans to fix the economy, reform immigration, deal and defeat terror?

Will we hear lofty platitudes with nothing to prop up the pronouncements?

Or will we be so busy watching an episode of Jerry Springer to realize these 10 want to lead the country?

From the Cornfield, while the nation is buttering the popcorn, stocking up on beer as if sitting ring side at a title match, the Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves.

Desert Presidential Preference

cornfieldlogoThought it would be interesting to poll residents of the Tri-State and Laughlin Buzzers to see who they would elect as president if the election were held today.

Individuals who will be at least 18 years of age by the 2016 presidential election and reside in the Tri-State area of Arizona, Nevada and California are eligible to participate.

Members of Facebook groups: Laughlin Buzz, Tri-State Buzz, Laughlin, NV and other such groups are eligible to participate.

Also any of these may participate:

Residents of Mohave County, Arizona: Bullhead City, Fort Mohave, Oatman, Kingman, Golden Valley (and others I may have left out being a Hoosier and new to the area)

Residents of Needles, California and surrounding area

Residents of Laughlin, Nevada and Clark County

The poll will run from now until Sunday, August 2, 2015 and close at 6 p.m. (PT). Results will be tabulated and revealed on Monday, August 3, 2015.

To make your voice heard, please go to:

http://fromthecornfield.com/polls

Trumping Trump

cornfieldlogoIs there any way to halt the juggernaut, Donald Trump, in his quest for the presidency?

Is there a Thing or Incredible Hulk out there who can match The Donald and impede his march on Washington DC?

Can a Man of Steel or a Caped Crusader put a stop to the steamroller rolling across the land?

This time around Mighty Mouse is not on the way. This time Speedy Gonzalez has dashed to the border. This time Yosemite Sam is lost in the redwoods mumbling, “Tarnation!”

The Republican National Committee with backup singers, the rest of the GOP presidential wannabe field, can be heard singing, “Holding out for a hero.”

Is there no one who can trump Trump?

Wait, what’s that I hear?

There is someone who can trump Trump – it is The Donald himself!

What no one else can seem to do, Trump may soon be a victim of his own brashness and blunt talk. Trump is on the verge of implosion.

There is an easy explanation for what seems the popularity of Trump with the core of the GOP base. There is an easy explanation for why independents and others are flocking to The Donald’s events.

Savvy businessman and television entertainer he is, Trump is tapping into the frustration and anger the people out in the heathers are feeling toward politicians and the elected officials in Washington. Trump knows full well the more lambastic he is and more often he shoots from the hip, the people eat it up.

But therein lies the problem.

Trump knows the buzz words. Trump knows how to read the crowd. Trump knows how to get attention.

Where Trump will trump himself and implode will be on policy specifics.

When he has to actually start answering the questions he now avoids or which he deflects to sound byte mode, then is when, as the saying goes, the rubber will meet the road.

Trump has to lay out a plan – a plan to fix what he is complaining about.

Trump is going to have to lay out specifics on how he will deal with the 11 to 12 million people who are in the US of A illegally, whom most have been here for 10 years or more.

Trump is going to have to spell out what he will do with Iran, the Islamic State, Al Qaeda – and just saying, “Bombs away!” – is not a strategy nor an answer.

Trump is going to have to, in graphic format, explain how he will get the national deficit under control and a budget which will ensure the viability of safety nets, the highways, other infrastructure and the defense of the nation.

Words, accusations without foundation, throwing jabs – first right then left – may draw crowds and keep Trump’s name in the press, but when it comes down to the voting booth, there must be policies and plans which Americans may read and understand – and hear enunciated from the candidate’s mouth.

From the Cornfield, who can trump Trump?

Trump.

The implosion may very well be seen on television nationwide come August 6 – IF the other GOP candidates pin Trump on issues and demand him answer.

Then again, The Donald will survive and look stronger, IF the wannabes do nothing, but attack him, rather than debating the issues.

Presidential Preference Poll Results

cornfieldlogoThis past week I conducted an unscientific survey of readers preference for president in 2016 if the election were held today. I also asked readers which party’s nominee they would cast a ballot for next year.

The results are in!

The participants were overwhelmingly Republican supporters. There were votes cast for both the Democratic and Libertarian Parties in addition to the GOP. There were no votes for the Constitution, Green or Reform Parties.

Party Preference:

Democratic Party 7.14%

Other 21.43%

Republican Party 71.43%

Democratic Party Preference:

Hillary Clinton 50%

Other 50%

When adding in those who did not answer, both Clinton and Other received 7.14% which extrapolated is 50% each.

None of the other candidates received a vote.

Libertarian Party Preference:

Marc Feldman 33.33%

Other 66.67%

When adding in those who did not answer, Feldman received 7.14% and Other 14.29%, which extrapolated is 33.33% for Feldman and 66.67% for other.

None of the other candidates received a vote.

Republican Party Preference:

Donald Trump 21.43%

Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, John Kasich, Other and No Answer all had 14.29%

Scott Walker 7.14%

None of the other candidates received a vote.

From the Cornfield, so there you have the first Cornfield to Desert Poll for the 2016 presidential race.

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Let Your Voice Be Heard

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Though not scientific, I thought it would be interesting to poll readers to see who they would select if the presidential election were held today.

Also, I thought it would be interesting to see which way people are leaning toward the parties expected to place a nominee up for election in 2016.

The poll runs through Sunday, July 26, at 6 p.m. (PT). Results will be tabulated and released on Monday, July 27.

To vote go to: Cornfield to Desert Polls (http://fromthecornfield.com/polls)

From the Cornfield, while the results have no bearing on what will occur in November, 2016, this is just a fun exercise and will be intriguing to learn how people are thinking at this early stage.

The State of Our Union

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As President Gerald Ford told Congress and the American people in 1975, “The State of our Union is not good.”

The same can be said as I sit here in the Desert and look out across our land from sea to shining sea in July of 2015, 40 years, a generation, later.

The country is at its most divisive since the mid 1960s. The country is nearly as torn as it was in the mid 1860s. But so far, insurrection, taking up arms, has not occurred.

For the past few years there have been calls by some quarters to secede once more from the Union. There was a movement, including an online campaign with thousands of signatures, for Texas, which once was a republic in its own right, to pull out of the national association of states and return to the time of Sam Houston.

At times over this last year, where many of us had thought the racial divide was giving into the melting pot, we have learned that there is a segment out there where we have a white America and a black America. There is an abyss between suburban, small town and rural areas of the country and the inner cities and areas of urban concentration.

Even between suburbia and rural, small town communities there is a divide.  The more liberal occupy urban America and much of suburbia, while conservatives claim rural and small town America.

Each day we turn on the television and go online with trepidation wondering if we will be dismayed, our hearts torn, by yet another mass killing or disaster. Each day we wonder if a rogue country will launch the bomb.

Radicalism is growing and not just with those pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. Some threats are homegrown. Some threats are white supremacists, black power enthusiasts, free nationalist anarchists and so on.

Crime may be down over all, but police are backing off from serving and protecting. In many parts of the country – urban areas predominantly – police are under fire, afraid doing their job will lead to being arrested.

Politicians are playing to our baser nature, garnering large crowds. Politicians are playing on our fears to keep us in an uproar. Politicians have forgotten their duty to do best for the nation and not for their personal careers.

Then there are the millions going about life, ignoring it all. If it does not knock on their door, these millions stay in blissful ignorance, dashing toward the cliff and destruction.

These millions will wake up, but will it be too late?

While the annual budget deficit may continue to track downward, not a word about the national debt of $18 trillion plus and growing. Not a word about the generations to come already buried in red ink. We run merrily along from bubble to bubble, from crash to crash.

Yes, my friends, the State of our Union is not good.

From the Cornfield, should the national anthem be changed to “God Bless America, Again”?

Or have we traveled to far down the road of perdition where even the Almighty cannot intervene?