Living in Iowa, the state that starts things off with a presidential caucus, there is opportunity to greet all the candidates personally if one wishes to do so.
As previously noted, I saw the Donald in Urbandale, as part of my granddaughter’s homecoming festivities.
My wife and I heard what Carly Fiorina had to say at the fairgrounds in Spencer.
She reminds me of Margret Thatcher, a tough, strong, opinionated woman that can take on any man, including Vladamir Putin or Donald Trump.
I had the opportunity several years ago to be lectured by Margret Thatcher when she participated in the Buena Vista University lecture series.
There was a banquet and then a formal lecture from the former British Prime Minister.
She was amazing. Hillary Clinton is no Thatcher. Fiorina comes across as much more comparable to the “Iron Lady.”
Fiorina didn’t take the bait during questions from a Muslim-hater in the crowd at Spencer, who wanted to deport all Muslims.
She gave a great answer that she focuses on individuals, refusing to condemn Muslims as a group.
Fiorina said that as chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard she has met with far more foreign leaders than any other candidate except Hillary.
She directed significant overseas business. She understands trade, geo-politics, and why the Trans-Pacific Partnership is so important. She understands the importance of trade, how trade benefits the U.S. and why protectionism would damage both the U.S. and global economies.
She understands that protectionists are losers. She wants to change the accounting process for how the federal bureaucracy justifies budgets.
The government could be managed to be much more efficient and cost effective than what it is because it has not evolved as private industry has to improve productivity.
It has to be reformed. It is amazing how something so obviously necessary is so hard to do.
Gun rights are an issue with me and Fiorina is no threat to gun rights. She may be a little short of what could be done to better gun safety, but I would rather have that than a Clinton who thinks the Second Amendment is about hunting rights.
That is a liberal interpretation. The Second Amendment does more than protect shotguns and .22 squirrel rifles. I believe that gun ownership is a tenant of protecting our freedom from enemies both domestic and foreign and that it protects citizen access to the gun technology of the day.
When a gun rights opponent says that they support hunters or promote that their daddy was a duck hunter, so what? I am not a duck hunter and my gun rights are protected by the Second Amendment, too.
The only issue with Fiorina that still gives me pause concerns the Renewable Fuels Standard. When a POET employee asked her position on the RFS, she gave what I would describe as the standard conservative line about not wanting government to pick winners and losers, but would let the RFS expire in 2022 as well as end oil subsidies.
The timeline would let industries prepare. Fiorina does not understand the RFS. She appears to think that it is some kind of subsidy, when it is not.
All ethanol subsidies ended in 2011. It is oil subsidies that continue to be baked into the tax code, so that they do not expire. They will go on and on until the tax code is overhauled.
What the RFS does is require that a level of ethanol be included in the motor fuel supply. To date the level has not been forced as ethanol adds needed octane and oxygenate qualities to fuel that are required, offering the low-cost additive to achieve that while also reducing dependence on foreign oil.
Big Oil is worried about the cellulosic component of the RFS, but I don’t think that they have much to worry about.
Cellulosic ethanol development is struggling to struggle.
The RFS allows the market and consumers to make the choice to use ethanol that left up to Big Oil, is a choice they otherwise would not have. Big Oil controls fuel distribution so that consumers get whatever fuel that Big Oil wants to sell them that meets government octane rules.
Were it left up to Big Oil absent an RFS, ethanol could sell for a nickel/gallon and cure cancer and they would not sell it to consumers. They would sell them higher octane petroleum at a cost of 80 cents/gallon more than ethanol blends.
The RFS protects a free market so that it can make fair choices rather than the one forced on consumers by Big Oil. Ethanol does not usurp the marketplace; it thrives in the marketplace when consumers can overcome the lies told about it by Big Oil.
Theodore Roosevelt would understand this and Carly Fiorina would too if well informed. Her way lets Big Oil pick the losers and winners.
If Congress sent her a bill that ended the RFS I believe that she would sign it. I would challenge Bill Horan, of Truth on Trade, and state Senator David Johnson, both of which are strong ag sector proponents, as well as Carly Fiorina supporters, for not properly educating the candidate on the nuances of the RFS.
They need to sit her down and explain it to her. If she gets beyond Iowa, past the caucuses, the RFS is no longer going to be a topic she will get questioned on, so the opportunity to educate her is here and now or it will be lost.
If asked the question do I think that Fiorina could do the job of President? Yes, there is plenty of Margaret Thatcher there and I would like to see her debate Hillary Clinton.
David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.
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