var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-16049511-2']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Former Ag Secretary John Block –

Hello everybody out there in farm country.

And now for today’s commentary—

Thank heavens the Iowa Caucus is over. I’m tired of the candidates arguing with each other. On TV all the time. However tiring, the Presidential campaign process is very important. That’s how we get to know the candidates. It’s crazy, embarrassing, and degrading as all the old dirty laundry is pulled up. But this needs to happen. It would happen eventually in the campaign against President Obama anyway. Better to get it over with. By the way – did you notice how little discussion there was about farm policy – even in Iowa? These are good times down on the farm; just don’t mess it up.

Mitt Romney wins Iowa – barely. The hit on Romney is whether he is Conservative enough. He has flip-flopped on some social issues. He has a strong resume of business experience and that would be valuable in running the country. He looks Presidential, is under control, and confident.
Newt Gingrich – at one time, I thought he would win. He is a real Conservative. The author of the Contract With America, he led the way for Republican take-over of the House in 1994. A super debater.

Rick Santorum is a solid Conservative. He and Newt worked closely together in the Congress. Coming out of nowhere, he finished second in Iowa, which gives him some hope.

Ron Paul – he is something else. An over-the-top Libertarian. Some of his views are very extreme. However, I like what he says on a lot of issues. Downsize the federal government – pull in our horns internationally – stop spending so much money.

We’re always in a war. We seem to think it is our job to fix everything in the world. Ron Paul’s brood support comes from the simple fact that a large segment of our voters have decided that they have had it with a government that wants to go down the road of European Socialism.
I predict that Romney will eventually win the Republican Presidential nomination. And, if he wants to beat President Obama next November, he will have to walk the Conservative Tea Party line and find a way to bring the Ron Paul supporters into his camp.

If Ron Paul decides to run in next fall’s Presidential election as an Independent, he would steal a lot of votes away from Mitt Romney.
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.