The big news this week from the bloated field of Republican candidates as they begin landing in “Sin-City” for tonight’s debate is “who was relegated” to the kiddy pond and who made the big stage? The second big question is, “who can make a move” on Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz the two front-runners?

Image of Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee’s time has passed.

It is now pretty obvious that former Governor Mike Huckabee’s long-running affiliation with Fox News has cost him any chance at all of becoming President. His stint at earning the big bucks cost him largely because it took him out of the political arena for too long. If he was going to make a serious run at the White House, his time passed back in 2012, when he was commentating for the Fox Network.

Of course, there is precious little former Governor Pataki of New York can do. Stick a fork in him, he is done (not that he ever got started). As with Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is also finished (again, not that he too ever got started). His attendance in Iowa is abysmal at best and like Huckabee, his time has passed. If he is positioning for a cabinet position, that might be something that could be plausible. Due to the fact that the GOP must convert Pennsylvania and Ohio from blue to red this round, it is not out of the question that he could be on the table for a VP slot for whoever wins the nomination. He actually would not be a bad choice for that position the more I think about it. He brings experience, he brings the big tamales of PA and OH and he brings much of the evangelical vote as well. All in all, certainly a discussion worth having if you’re one of the front-runners. Plus he is unemployed and needs the paycheck.

Image of John Kasich

Can’t this guy ever smile?

Now for the big boy’s or so called big boy’s. John Kasich? Kasich reminds me of the textbook example of someone who desperately needs to attend anger management classes. Does this guy ever smile? Does he have it within his DNA to be warm and fuzzy at any time to at least give a voter some semblance of a reason to vote for him? Forget about the fact that Kasich thinks we need to embrace “these poor starving Syrian refugees” (who happen to all be of military age and male) into our land of plenty, this still is not the reason Kasich goes down in flames. He goes down in flames because he is ill-tempered, grouchy and just flat out unlikeable.

Carly Fiorina also has the same playbook as Kasich. She is off-putting and dare I say it, “the B” word. I honestly don’t know what her problem is. Is she trying to compensate for the fact she is a woman and has tried to hard to be tough? I don’t know, but I have yet to see her be warm and act as though she has anything in her mouth except barracuda teeth. She is nothing short of venomous. Her other problem, she has virtually no ground game in Iowa and she acts as though she is allergic to the state. ¬†Yes, you can also stick a fork in her as well.

Image of Carly Fiorina

Question; Would her face break if she dared to smile?

Poor Jeb! Yes, I did give him his exclamation point at the end of his name to be respectful. Jeb from day one has had the wrong message for this election cycle. America is angry at the invasion from the South and he has tried incessantly¬†to tell us “We the People” that we are wrong for wanting to shut this nation down until we can get our arms around this issue. His message has not resonated and Donald Trump was correct, Jeb has virtually zero enthusiasm for this campaign. I went to one of his events recently, and it was like attending a political wake of sorts. Jeb droned on and the best the crowd (which was very small for a presidential candidate who is supposed to be of front-runner status) could muster was “golf-claps” for the very boring presentation of his positions. I suspect that Jeb will drop out either just before the Iowa caucuses or just after. Marco Rubio has almost the same exact message as Jeb, but delivers it with much more enthusiasm than poor old Jeb!

Rand Paul is also done. I think this might be his final debate or appearance. I attended a Paul event last week in Iowa and there were probably 80 people (of which 20 were reporters) at this event. Paul spoke for about 15 minutes, took 3 questions and exited the facility as fast as he came in. No interaction with the voters, no smiles, the few he put up were rehearsed. He shook maybe 10 people’s hands, took a couple of selfie’s and that was it. The entire presentation from start to finish was less than 30 minutes and the first 5 was watching a film about his wife telling us “how hot” she thought Rand was. Rand Paul is certainly not his father’s son for creating excitement or anything remotely resembling someone who wants to be President.

Image of Chris Christie

Christie is fun to listen too, but he is just too far behind.

Our rotund friend from Jouisey is also in the same shape except for different reasons. Chris Christie unlike some of the other candidates is amiable and actually funny at times. He is like the guy you would love to sit down and have a beer with. Personally speaking, I love his demeanor and caustic sense of humor. The biggest thing Christie has going for him though is the fact that he is “tough”, but alas, it won’t be enough to salvage his struggling campaign. Christie got in a bit a too late and his fundraising has been lackluster at best. His message reminds of that beautiful blue dress shirt you have hanging in your closet. From a distance it is blue, but when you get really close and inspect you realize, it has an occasional pink thread in it. Christie’s campaign is much the same way, it sounds tough, but when you look at his foreign policy closely, you hear “we need to be the melting pot and accept these gorilla ISIS fighters anyway because this is America“. His economics is pretty good, his tax message isn’t too bad, but it is his “fear of offending” immigration message that will doom him. Say good-night Chris, your campaign is done as well.

Doctor Ben Carson is the shocker in all of this. Well, on second thought, maybe not. He is brilliant, on that, we can all agree. His ad campaigns with the double entendre’s of being a brain surgeon and running Washington are cute. His demeanor is soothing and that is his problem. Again, when will these guys realize that America is searching for John Wayne. America wants their next president to pack a Colt revolver on their hip and be able to shoot like Wyatt Earp. We want the guy that is willing to hit somebody over the head with a beer bottle and say “don’t bring that crap over here Pilgrim“! Dr. Carson unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) has managed to put his constituency to sleep with a good dose of morphine. Night, night Doctor, you too are feta-compleat.

Let the party begin! Tonight’s cage match will be between Marco Rubio who will be sparring with Donald Trump and tossing out more stat’s than Joe Buck does when announcing the World Series. Ted will jump into the mix and attack Marco for being too soft on immigration and he might even use the dreaded “R” word (RINO). Tonight will also be the two chasers (Cruz and Rubio) going after Mr. T but they will do so politely for fear of having him return fire. The candidate who lobs a shell in that direction had better be prepared to absorb a couple of thermo-nuclear warheads lobbed back.

Grab the Cheeto’s, a cold Dr. Pepper and enjoy, this is going to be good as some of these candidates are now officially in desperation mode.

Join me on Twitter; @kwrcrow