As a mathematician he would teach the incumbent a thing or two about "simple math."
Let us assume that the field bidding to be the Republican standard bearer in 2012 will not expand. Let us assume also that neither New Jersey Governor Chris Christie nor Sarah Palin will throw their hat into the ring. Let us further assume that neither Mike Huckabee nor Paul Ryan is having second thoughts. In which case, Mitt Romney is still the frontrunner. Yet conservatives appear no more prepared to embrace him now than they were in 2008. Rick Perry hasn't proved a viable alternative and Michele Bachmann's fifteen minutes is up. Over the past week or so, with straw poll triumphs in Florida and Illinois, Herman Cain has begun to strike the right chord with Republican voters and has seen his poll numbers rise. So here are nine reasons why Republicans should nominate Herman Cain for President.
1. He Has No Sense of Entitlement
Cain wasn't born into a life of privilege. Yet he bore no resentment because of it. He believed in the American Dream yet understood he had to work hard for it. Cain set goals for himself and made sure he had the education necessary to attain them. He found opportunities and seized them. Cain grew up with the knowledge that the world doesn't owe one a living. He has earned his place in the world.
2. He Worked at Burger King
Cain was assigned to manage some of the least successful Burger King restaurants in the country and turned them into the most profitable. To do this he improved service and kept customers satisfied. It would be a remarkable if Cain could do for the federal government what he did for Burger King.
3. He Has Never Held Elected Office
I am not suggesting there isn't any honor in public service. Unfortunately, many elected officials (Democrats and Republicans alike) use their office in service of themselves rather than the people who elect them. Public officials are preoccupied with re-election and such a preoccupation doesn't lend itself towards innovation because innovation is risky and risk can alienate a public official's donors.
In the food service industry, Cain had to take risk and innovate or go out of business. At the risk of sounding clichéd, Cain thinks outside the box. He isn't constrained by conventional political wisdom and will do what it takes to ensure this country doesn't go out of business.
4. He Is a Mathematician
President Obama tells us that passing his jobs bill is "simple math." Well, Cain majored in math at Morehouse University. He is in the rare position of being able to tell President Obama, "I am a trained mathematician. I have looked at your numbers and can tell you that they don't add up."
5. He Was a CEO
Hollywood often casts businessmen as villains and President Obama has spent a great deal of his Presidency vilifying CEOs (unless, of course, you happen to be the CEO of a company that got $500 million plus to manufacture expensive solar panels nobody wanted.) Cain was a successful CEO. But he wasn't plucked from central casting. He earned his way to the top. Cain could tell President Obama a thing or two about what CEOs really do.
6. He Is The Adult in the Room
Cain is actually only fifteen years older than President Obama. But he strikes such a mature image that standing next to Obama he could be mistaken for his father. In an Obama-Cain debate, President Obama would come off like a petulant son who thinks he knows everything while Cain would tell Obama that he has a lot of growing up to do. Frankly, as a black man, Cain could speak to Obama with a candor the other candidates could not get away with without being called racist.
7. He Would Make Liberal Charges of Racism Look Really, Really Stupid
Actress Janeane Garofalo infamously said that the Tea Party was "about hating a black man in the White House" and was "racism straight up." Yet Cain would end up as one of the most popular figures in the Tea Party movement. So what does Garofalo have to say about Cain? Here is what she recently told Keith Olbermann:
Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party. Conservative movement and tea party movement, one in the same. People like Karl Rove liked to keep the racism very covert. And so Herman Cain provides this great opportunity say you can say "Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look we have a black man."So in other words, Republicans are so racist they would nominate a black man in the hope he will be elected President of the United States. Gee, it doesn't get more racist than that. Left-wing loons like Garofalo might actually believe this but they are going to have an awfully tough time convincing people the Republican Party is racist if they nominate Cain. If Republicans do nominate Cain it will be because of the content of his character, not the color of his skin.
8. The Content of His Character
Herman Cain has demonstrated that he is a man who carries himself with a sense of humor, dignity, modesty, responsibility and gratitude towards the country that allowed him an opportunity to succeed.
Does he know everything he needs to know to be President? No. But Cain is a quick study. He possesses the diligence necessary to turn whatever weaknesses he might possess into strengths.
Now you didn't think I was going to leave this out, did you?
If implemented, 9-9-9 would represent the most significant change to our tax system since the income tax was introduced in 1913. It would also represent a significant first step in reducing the size of the federal government.
I leave the rest up to you.
About the AuthorAaron Goldstein writes from Boston, Massachusetts.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL POLITICAL DIARY ONLINE
13 October 2011
Iowa Warms to Cain
Herman Cain hasn't visited Iowa since the Ames Straw Poll in mid-August, but voters there are apparently in a forgiving mood. Two new polls show the businessman surging.
According to an NBC/Marist survey, Mr. Cain is now in second, trailing Mitt Romney 23%-20% in the state. Public Policy Polling is even more optimistic, showing the pizza magnate with a 30%-22% lead over his Massachusetts rival, while Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul hover around 10% in both polls.
Perhaps more interesting is Mr. Cain's potential for growth. According to PPP, not only were Mr. Cain's backers the firmest in their support, but voters overall were more likely to name Mr. Cain as their second choice than any other candidate. Furthermore, the pollsters noted, "[Mr.] Cain is notably the next choice for both Bachmann and Santorum supporters, perhaps the candidates most likely to not actually still be in the race by the time Iowa voting comes around."
The race is far from won, however. Mr. Cain still badly lags in terms of money and organization-building -- in Iowa and elsewhere. And his recent surge in the polls will surely invite further scrutiny by the media, which, depending on how he responds, could soften up his support.
Mr. Perry provides a cautionary tale. He surged in the state not long ago, but a wave of bad press and poor debate performances has buried him in the standings. Mr. Cain doesn't even need to experience a drop of that magnitude to find himself in trouble. Given that all the viable candidates in Iowa are congregated on Mr. Romney's right, it's conceivable that conservatives will split their votes too many ways. That gives Mr. Cain little room for error. At the moment, though, the Georgian is trending in the right direction.
-- Carl J. Kelm
Perry in Peril
Perry in Peril
The scuttlebutt going into Tuesday's debate was that Rick Perry could revitalize his campaign with a win or kill it with a loss. Most observers expected some fresh policy and a polished delivery. Mr. Perry instead
disappeared into the background. He neither defended his positions on immigration, vaccinations, or Social Security, nor made more than half-hearted efforts to dislodge Mitt Romney. He went silent for long stretches of time.
So why defy the conventional wisdom? It's clear that Mr. Perry is in trouble. He's dropped to third place (or worse) in Iowa, fallen to the low single-digits in New Hampshire polls, and, according to Public Policy Polling, has seen his favorables sink to 23%-57% nationally (Sarah Palin was at 32%-62% in August). Mitt Romney, meanwhile, is racking up big-name endorsements and debate wins.
The question is whether he could successfully wait it out. "Debates are not my strong suit," he told to Politico -- and he may have enough money to claw his way back to contention via a different route. If he could restore his brand through bottom-up campaigning, he might wait for Herman Cain to immolate, and then reemerge as the anti-Romney.
It would be risky. The political calendar is still in flux and comeback timing could be difficult with states jockeying to push up their primaries. Waiting for voters to become desperate usually isn't the best way to win their forgiveness. If Mr. Perry still intends to dazzle on the big stage, next week's debate in Nevada is most likely his last chance.
--Carl J. Kelm