The Cain scrutiny

posted at 9:17 pm on September 29, 2011 by Karl

Although Rick Perry currently remains in the lead in the RCP average for the GOP nomination, Nate Silver* is far from the only person noting that the prime beneficiary of Perry’s current slump is Herman Cain, not Mitt Romney. It appears the political discussion will continue to move back to a Romney vs Not Romney theme, although Silver adds the appropriate caveats:

Mr. Romney has emerged — or re-emerged — as the favorite; I’d give him roughly even odds of winning the nomination. But it’s unlikely to be a smooth and linear path, and the alternate hypothesis that Republican voters are determined to pick someone more conservative than him has some support in this data.

That’s not to paper over the problems of Mr. Perry, who entered the race in a strong strategic position and has failed to make much of it. It’s possible, moreover, that the fallout of the Sept. 22 debate is not yet fully realized in the surveys; Mr. Perry performed somewhat worse in the Fox News and YouGov polls than in the CNN poll, which postdated it by a couple of days.

In general, however, I’d caution against using terms like “momentum” when discussing the nomination race (or polling results under most other circumstances). We’ll be publishing a separate article on this shortly, but there’s not much evidence of serial correlation in polling data: candidates who decline from one period to the next are just as likely to rebound as to see their numbers continue falling.

That finding does not surprise me. As I noted previously, if Romney re-emerges as front-runner, there will be a renewed focus by his rivals and the media on Romney’s weaknesses as a candidate. Moreover, if Cain competes seriously with Perry in the Not Romney category, Cain also will get more scrutiny.

Herman Cain certainly has assets as a candidate. For starters, he’s well-liked (including by me, fwiw), although Gallup has a caveat:

Herman Cain’s image among Republicans familiar with him is more intensely positive than any other Republican presidential candidate’s, but his 51% name recognition continues to rank near the bottom of the field. Among the better-known candidates, Rick Perry has the strongest positive image.

The WSJ’s Daniel Henninger recounts Cain’s success in the business world and long-standing opposition to a government takeover of the healthcare system — noting Cain’s record in both respects compares favorably with that of Mitt Romney. However, Henninger goes further, musing:

Does a résumé like Herman Cain’s add up to an American presidency? I used to think not. But after watching the American Idol system we’ve fallen into for discovering a president—with opinion polls, tongue slips and media caprice deciding front-runners and even presidents—I’m rewriting my presidential-selection software.

However, the question is whether Cain can convince the electorate to do the same. Henninger’s reasoning seems flawed, even by its own standards. Having noted the lack of serial correlation in public opinion polling, theorizing that polls drive candidate selection is like arguing that thermometers cause fevers. As for slips of the tongue, Henninger seems to have missed that Cain has made his share, notably in foreign policy. Cain first tried to punt on foreign policy in general; since then, he’s given bad answers or made gaffes on Israeli/Palestinian negotiations, Iran’s nuclear program, and Taiwan, for starters. Although the 2012 election is unlikely to turn on foreign policy, voters probably would like more reassurance on that front — and the establishment media would undoubtedly play up this weakness in a matchup with Obama. Cain has also apologized to Muslims for comments about their faith. Muslims are a small voting bloc and likely not influential in the GOP primary process, but here again the media would play this sort of material big (much as some elements of the media have been doing with Perry).

Cain also tends to make comments that do not really rise to the level of a gaffe, but raise questions about his strength as a candidate. For example, Cain’s comment that he could not support Perry as the nominee may suggest that he does not understand the Romney vs Not Romney dynamic. If you are Not Romney, you should be trying to consolidate that bloc by going after Romney, not attacking other Not Romneys, whose supporters you want to attract. Tim Pawlenty decided to spend his time attacking Michelle Bachmann instead of Romney; it did not end well for him. Similarly, while many on the right like to point to Cain’s popularity as a rebuttal to the left’s tired resort to the race card, Cain’s comment that “African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view” (and others like this) may ultimately be counter-productive. First, some African-Americans may bristle at that sort of comment and harden their positions, undermining Cain’s appeal. Second, any minute spent in 2012 discussing race is a minute not spent our sluggish economic growth, high unemployment, exploding debt, rising health insurance costs and lost insurance coverage under Obamacare, and so on.

One major reason why parties tend to nominate people who have been governors or senators, as opposed to House members or people who have not held elective office, is that they have demonstrated at minimum a history of not imploding under the pressure of a large-scale campaign. Recent examples of pure businessmen running for president — Perot, Trump — underscore this point. Herman Cain has undeniable assets, but also undeniable liabilities. He may get his chance to unify the Not Romney bloc in the GOP caucuses and primaries; whether he can capitalize on that chance remains to be seen.

*Although Silver is keying off the Sept. 22 debate in Orlando, I’ll continue to be the contrarian here. Perry takes a much bigger hit in Florida polls from PPP and Survey USA, which is in line with what “Perry’s eggheads” would say about the importance of local coverage; Perry’s smaller fall outside Florida suggests that his problem is larger than the debates themselves.

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I’m not sure I agree with the Perot and Trump comparisons. But Henninger is spot on: traditional campaign/media metrics simply do not cut it this time.

Oh, and btw, most African Americans are brainwashed.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2011 at 9:24 PM

The 999 plan bothers me. Do we really want the US federal government access to income tax and sales tax? Because they’ll never raise them, right? *nudgenudgewinkwink*

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 9:25 PM

One major reason why parties tend to nominate people who have been governors or senators, as opposed to House members or people who have not held elective office, is that they have demonstrated at minimum a history of not imploding under the pressure of a large-scale campaign.

This is one of Cain’s biggest weaknesses and something that has a lot of his supporters worried. The other point to be considered is the difference between what a politician says and what they do in office can’t be demonstrated unless they have actually held office.

sharrukin on September 29, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Imagine Herman Cain using the bully pulpit … Dems and Rinos would cave just to keep him away from it. BTW, he needs a push in donations for end of Sept, to help him look even better.

Karmi on September 29, 2011 at 9:27 PM

I wonder who Perry would like to mate Cain with now.

Godzilla on September 29, 2011 at 9:28 PM

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2011 at 9:24 PM

And the LameStreamMedia, including all the talking heads on Fox are twisting themselves in pretzels trying to tell us that Cain can’t be elected and that we should ignore him.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Because they’ll never raise them, right? *nudgenudgewinkwink*

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 9:25 PM

My biggest problem, too. I don’t think Republicans in Congress will support it. But if he can go a long way to flatten and lower the tax code, it is a great instinct to have.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2011 at 9:30 PM

including all the talking heads on Fox are twisting themselves in pretzels trying to tell us that Cain can’t be elected and that we should ignore him.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Laura Ingraham called O’Reilly out on it tonight.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Palin couldn’t beat Cain, that’s for sure.

*Why, because HA appreciates the business.*

Bishop on September 29, 2011 at 9:32 PM

And the LameStreamMedia, including all the talking heads on Fox are twisting themselves in pretzels trying to tell us that Cain can’t be elected and that we should ignore him.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Welcome to Palin’s world…LOL

idesign on September 29, 2011 at 9:32 PM

idesign on September 29, 2011 at 9:32 PM

I don’t see how Cain’s criticism has been warranted.

abobo on September 29, 2011 at 9:35 PM

“Herman Cain has undeniable assets, but also undeniable liabilities….”

“He’s a racist!” – Janeane Garofalo

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I would rather see Cain in a Cabinet position or as an economic advisor to a president.

onlineanalyst on September 29, 2011 at 9:40 PM

999

That was the number of Henry Ford’s first race car.

Built by a small but daring company it found much success.

It ran around ovals in the snow.

It got no government funding or design help for seat belts or airbags.

Men were men.

I vaguely remember 125 in a blizzard but my witness may be dead.

I would like a booklet with footnotes on all Romney’s Flip-flops. Some say it would dwarf War and Peace.

IlikedAUH2O on September 29, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Although Rick Perry currently remains in the lead in the RCP average for the GOP nomination

I think the deciding factor will be more his standing, such as it is, in his RCP average against Obama.

whatcat on September 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Laura Ingraham called O’Reilly out on it tonight.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2011 at 9:31 PM

I didn’t see it, will watch later. I was outside talking to my Libtard neighbor who’s working for the Obama campaign.

They are scared to death of Herman Cain right now. So let’s send him some cash, shall we LOL

$$$ Herb Cain Needs Cash $$$

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

I wonder who Perry would like to mate Cain with now.

Godzilla on September 29, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Hilarious!

sheryl on September 29, 2011 at 9:42 PM

The 125 wasn’t Henry’s car.

The ghost of it is probably happy that the company got no bailouts.

IlikedAUH2O on September 29, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Cain is savvier than the media gives him credit for.

He wasn’t gaining traction in the polls, and he was only getting 30 second soundbites in the debates. So he retooled and refined his rather detailed economic plan into some basic bullet points and the 9-9-9 plan that’s simple and easy to remember.

He is adapting to the soundbite culture and the American Idol nature of the race so far.

My guess is he will be invited on Leno soon where his personal appeal and life story will shine through.

commodore on September 29, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Laura Ingraham called O’Reilly out on it tonight.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2011 at 9:31 PM

I didn’t see it, will watch later. I was outside talking to my Libtard neighbor who’s working for the Obama campaign.

They are scared to death of Herman Cain right now. So let’s send him some cash, shall we LOL

$$$ Herb Cain Needs Cash $$$

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

I can get behind the “Cain Mutiny” against the entrenched beltway GOP. If nothing else, it keeps things interesting.
:)

whatcat on September 29, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Palin couldn’t beat Cain, that’s for sure.

*Why, because HA appreciates the business.*

Bishop on September 29, 2011 at 9:32 PM

With many months to go, shudders……

bluemarlin on September 29, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Barack FArks up The Oath of Office

Not on purpose.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2011 at 9:45 PM

At the end of all the debate and conversation, it’s going to come down to a question of trust. All of the elegantly poised media savvy and astutely executed image engineering are going to be worthless in the face of the still small voice in the back of voters’ consciousness that says “I just don’t trust this guy.”.
I trust Herman Cain more than anybody else up there, to do what he says needs to be done. I don’t trust any of the rest of them out of my sight, and for me that’s what really matters.

Lew on September 29, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Fascinating that with such low name recognition that Cain can get such high poll numbers.

Still my first impression post-debate was that FL Republicans are coming to realize that ‘electability’ isn’t what its cracked up to be in this cycle. Obama will smear, slander, and attempt to villianize any opponent… be it a ‘moderate’ or a ‘conservative’… and with the way Obama’s poll numbers are dropping not just generally but a point a week for a number of weeks in the black community, then no matter WHAT Obama does he will be seen as trying to deflect analysis of what he has and hasn’t done over 3+ years. And if unemployment is over 8% by JUN ’12, he is toast.

At that point it isn’t so much foreign policy as CINC capability. Obama has been treading water with the Bush security policy and that is now coming to its end in a world where Europe is about to implode, China will be faced with major problems feeding its people, and the Middle East looks to be heading either towards some sort of Caliphate or a rampant multi-lateral set of civil wars.

Foreign policy when the entire 20th century is getting wiped out?

How about someone who can think on their feet and be prepared to safeguard the Nation as the world descends into chaos? I’m not seeing much CINC timber in the R party scrap heap so far. Not a single one of them I would trust in that… if you are voting for a CINC that will be facing a world war with an economic downturn and a lack of allies just about anywhere, then who is it you choose as ALL OF THEM don’t have this experience. You need a George Washington sort to deal with this mess Obama is leaving, if not a Lincoln who will make horrific choices and know that there are sometimes no good options, just less poor ones.

Gots one of those around?

I’m not seeing it so far.

ajacksonian on September 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

He never said he would. He had to be corrected.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

It appears the political discussion will continue to move back to a Romney vs Not Romney
============================

Glad when it finally slips into NO Romney Over drive!
(sarc).

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

I don’t see how Cain’s criticism has been warranted.

abobo on September 29, 2011 at 9:35 PM

It’s not surprising when it’s coming form the mfm.

I like Herman Cain and may very well end up supporting him if someone else doesn’t run.

But, don’t think he hasn’t looked weak on occasion and I’m not sold on his 999 plan. Herman is coming along just fine. He’s just not my first choice, all things considered.

CTSherman on September 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

It appears the political discussion will continue to move back to a Romney vs Not Romney
============================

Glad when it finally slips into NO Romney Over drive!
(sarc).

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

+ 100

bluemarlin on September 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Gots one of those around?

I’m not seeing it so far.

ajacksonian on September 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Awesome post.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

My guess is he will be invited on Leno soon where his personal appeal and life story will shine through.

commodore on September 29, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Herman Cain will be on Leno tomorrow/Friday.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Oh, and btw, most African Americans are brainwashed.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Yes they are, but he should not be saying that as it will cause a distraction. He should instead focus on the fact that black Americans are hurting in this economy and are frustrated with Obama like everyone else, and he is offering up solutions for America as a whole.

He should avoid race similar to how Obama did in 2008.

Also, I too don’t care for the 999 plan because of the National Sales tax inclusion.

Daemonocracy on September 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

First, some African-Americans may bristle at that sort of comment and harden their positions, undermining Cain’s appeal.

Good grief, who cares! So what? Were they going to vote for him anyway? I don’t think he alienates anyone here, except the very few AA who might actually be dissatisfied w/Dems and maybe, just maybe have acquired some self-awareness. He’s got nothing to lose by saying this.

JAM on September 29, 2011 at 9:52 PM

ScrutenCainTeers,in a Grand Cain Srutiny,of a
Scrutenizational peek at!!

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Barack Hussein Obama never took the Oath of Office.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

The 999 plan bothers me. Do we really want the US federal government access to income tax and sales tax? Because they’ll never raise them, right? *nudgenudgewinkwink*

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 9:25 PM

999 is transitional to a simple Fair Tax. The plan has a phase one and phase 2. It is not going to have a sales tax AND an income tax at the same time in the future, just for a short time in the interim.

The plan sounds good to me. We can’t continue with what we have now.

Cain’s plan ends the death tax, capital gains taxes and taxes on repatriated profits.

The man is a math genius. He knows his stuff. If there are any changes in the details that will need to be made, he will change them. And he can sell it to the general public that is open to voting for him. And the liberals and hard Dems who would never vote against Obama don’t matter anyway.

Here is a good overview of the plan:

http://www.hermancain.com/images/economicgrowth.pdf

Elisa on September 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Gots one of those around?

I’m not seeing it so far.

ajacksonian on September 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

We’ll never know who would make a food leader in a near Doomsday scenario, sometimes good leaders are forced to rise to the occasion and outperform everyone’s expectations. Most importantly, a good leader surrounds himself with competent men as was the case with Washington, Lincoln and Reagan. Grading one’s judgement, or what we know of it, is the best screening process we can do as the voter.

Daemonocracy on September 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

“If You Order it,Pizza Will Come”!
===================================

For those miseed the Pizza Cain Florida Debate,the F’kn
SNL #@@#$%^&*()_)(*&^%$#%^&*()_ …..skit!

Cain No Rodney Dangerfield, but Waiting for Respect After Florida Straw Poll Victory
******************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkAvZJ0ww6A

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

We’ll never know who would make a food leader

OK, that was supposed to be GOOD leader, not food leader.

Cain was a good food leader though

Daemonocracy on September 29, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Barack Hussein Obama never took the Oath of Office.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Key West Reader:Had to do it twice!:)

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Cain was a good food leader though

Daemonocracy on September 29, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Daemonocracy:That will work,with the SNL skit!:)

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Barack Hussein Obama never took the Oath of Office.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Well would it matter as every promise / oath comes with an expiration date, right? If his lips are moving he is lying! The petulant problem child needs to be kicked out of the WH.

bluemarlin on September 29, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Grading one’s judgement, or what we know of it, is the best screening process we can do as the voter.

Daemonocracy on September 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

I’m seeing a lot of 20th century thinking in the group. One or two have a glimmer of ‘hey! this isn’t going to work any more!’ which I think may be a major problem amongst all of them. The MFM keeps on trying to push trivia, while what people are hungering for is character.

There is a difference between having character and being a character… America chose the latter in 2008. Now we need the former.

ajacksonian on September 29, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Frank Zappa – Central Scrutinizer
**********************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJH5Pzi8spg

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Oh. I just love this man

He is our Reagan.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Palin couldn’t beat Cain, that’s for sure.

*Why, because HA appreciates the business.*

Bishop on September 29, 2011 at 9:32 PM

You seem happier since I let you off the hook.

csdeven on September 29, 2011 at 10:14 PM

http://www.hermancain.com/images/economicgrowth.pdf

Elisa on September 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Thank you for the detailed response.

My concerns go in line with Jim Tomasik’s at Redstate.

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Gots one of those around?

I’m not seeing it so far.

ajacksonian on September 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Is this the point when we recruit Bolton as Prez and put a strong business-chops/economic-chops leader into the VP position?

onlineanalyst on September 29, 2011 at 10:17 PM

I can’t vote for Perry cuz he’s to libtard on illegals. Romney’s Obama lite. Paul is a whacko. Cain makes sense, is a true conservative and has decent biz experience, unless someone else comes along he’s got my vote right now.

Alden Pyle on September 29, 2011 at 10:20 PM

I’ll leave Rick for “Herb”, he is very electable and I don’t care if he says the president of Iran is Obama Ahdinnerjacket. he can get foreign policy experts by the dozen.

cartooner on September 29, 2011 at 10:25 PM

OT-I uploaded Gov. Palin’s interview on Judge Napolitano’s show. Click my nick.

She loves Cain, she’s a fan of his. Likes his message, and picked up on the positives of several of the rest.

ProudPalinFan on September 29, 2011 at 10:29 PM

You seem happier since I let you off the hook.
csdeven on September 29, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Your obsession over me is concerning.

Bishop on September 29, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Herman Cain will be on Leno tomorrow/Friday.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Does he know how to play the sax?

ProudPalinFan on September 29, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Your obsession over me is concerning.

Bishop on September 29, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Careful now….don’t make it too easy.

csdeven on September 29, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Does he know how to play the sax?

ProudPalinFan on September 29, 2011 at 10:31 PM

No! But he can sing! Herman Cain sings the gospel!

TheQuestion on September 29, 2011 at 10:46 PM

http://www.hermancain.com/images/economicgrowth.pdf

Elisa on September 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Thank you for the detailed response.

My concerns go in line with Jim Tomasik’s at Redstate.

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 10:15 PM

thanks for the interesting link.

Elisa on September 29, 2011 at 11:01 PM

Kinda cool That Herman Cain.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2011 at 11:07 PM

I like Cain more and more, and the more I see Romney fans trash him, the more I know he’s the real deal.

flyfishingdad on September 29, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Great headline, Karl.

Purple Fury on September 29, 2011 at 11:18 PM

Today on the Ben Ferguson show, an AA caller said he was greatly offended by the “brainwashed” comment. The caller said that the reason that AA’s don’t vote for GOP is because they never come into their neighborhoods and ask for their vote. Ben then asked the caller if he knew of 2 local GOP candidates. The caller said he had no idea who they were. They were AA GOP candidates who lived in the “neighborhood” and campaigned hard during the election. He made Herman’s point +1… The second caller who also took offense at the “brainwashed” comment could not name a single thing that Cain stood for even being asked repeatedly.. Again making Cain’s point.

While the word “brainwashed” may not have been very PC. It is the truth. Sometimes the truth isn’t nice. But his principle was right on the money. The one thing I can say about Cain’s gaffes is that while the gaffe is a gaffe, the principle is usually right. I want the truth (even if it isn’t nice). I want a candidate who is right on the principle, even if he is wrong on the words..

I stand with Herman Cain. Tomorrow is $5.00 Friday, I’m gonna send $5.99.

kringeesmom on September 29, 2011 at 11:44 PM

The way I see it… we’ll just have to deal with that ‘name recognition’ issue. >>> Go Herman Cain…

Sumbich has my vote.

deedtrader on September 30, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Elisa on September 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

You just admitted yourself that there would be both a National Sales Tax and Federal Income Tax at the same time. You excuse it as temporary and transitional, and I have read what Cain has posted on the 999 plan, but the fact remains that politics are unpredictable and things move very fast. I don’t care if it’s transitional, if there is not a constitutional amendment requiring 2/3 of both houses of Congress to pass any tax hike as Reagan wanted, then I will not risk having a National Sales Tax with an Income Tax at any time.

Cain is showing his lack of familiarity with Washington here.

Daemonocracy on September 30, 2011 at 1:35 AM

He is not a dolt. He hit the Obamacare question out of the park. We could do worse.

pat on September 30, 2011 at 2:51 AM

I like Cain, not so much his 999 or Fair Tax plans. First I question the math on all such plans, it never adds up in a practical fashion without assuming things which will never happen, like a consumption tax on new homes.

Secondly no one has ever satisfactorily addressed the possibility that even after a transition to a consumption tax the income tax could come back, introduced as a small percentage tax on only the wealthiest earners – sort of like it was originally. So if the 16th Amendment isn’t repealed, that danger is only kept at bay by a vigilant Congress and President.

But if we could trust Congress and the President not to raise the income tax, we wouldn’t be in the position we are today, would we?

Adjoran on September 30, 2011 at 4:21 AM

Karl, the dynamic may be Romney vs Not Romney; but, Cain does not seem to be playing the game. He is pretty much playing Obama and Not Obama with short clear answers, a positive outlook, and relentless drive.

I for one have liked that for a long time. I’ve never considered him as a contender because of his back of the pack status and potential lack of foreign policy experience. (He also waffles on the Muslim issues. But, he has a long history of being quite plain about that one.)

Now that he is looking like a very serious contender with growing solid support, I’m happy to support him, too. I think he’d do well enough to dispel the racial animus towards blacks that Obama and his minions have been fostering. At the moment Obama looks like the typical “equal opportunity” employee, over his head so far he can’t find the surface. Cain won’t be there very long if he ever even gets close.

And above all, he is not negative. He is positive and constructive. Doesn’t that count for anything anymore?

{^_^}

herself on September 30, 2011 at 4:34 AM

I like Cain more and more, and the more I see Romney fans trash him, the more I know he’s the real deal.
flyfishingdad on September 29, 2011 at 11:13 PM

I wonder if team Romney has brains enough not to launch attacks on Cain? We shall see.

whatcat on September 30, 2011 at 5:18 AM

Is this the point when we recruit Bolton as Prez and put a strong business-chops/economic-chops leader into the VP position?

onlineanalyst on September 29, 2011 at 10:17 PM

At this point you let the old 20th century process die a natural death by not vesting much into it. The only thing it is good for is trying to weed out those who can’t think on their feet: it is of limited value because if you are doing that for four years you will screw up.

Our 21st century needs to start applying other standards, like those in Article 2 of the Constitution:

- Is this a person who has an idea of how to outline a decent foreign policy or, barring that, has the chops and humility to bring in trustworthy people to help him craft it? Washington didn’t act alone and admitted to his lacks and did just that.

- Is this a person who has any idea of what the size, scope and power of the federal government actually IS and will uphold their Oath to ensure that it does not go beyond what is allowed by the Constitution? You don’t need a historian for that, just someone able to read sentences for what is in them, not what they wish is in them. We’ve had some awful ‘manager’ types in the POTUS seat and others who saw the US government as a tool to achieve their aims. Yet that is not the purpose of the US government which is clearly stated in the words, sentence construction and textual ties within the document itself. Beyond that the individual needs to faithfully carry out the will of Congress and must be willing to challenge any law that goes beyond what they see as the confined area the federal government gets to play in: they must both faithfully execute and oppose such laws at the same time. Also he or she must veto any law, no matter how good or well intentioned, that goes beyond the scope of power of the federal government. This is part of upholding due process via the process itself, and is one of the hardest things for a President to do as all of the processes are run in his or her name and authority: no matter what goes on it is pinned to the President.

- Is this person ready to wield the power of being Commander of the Armies and the Navies? Jefferson had to get a specialist in to help him understand the Law of Nations so he could understand just what the scope of the executive power is in this realm. It is no shame for not knowing its scope, and it is a crying shame that we haven’t had a President that understands just what this power is for over 130 years. This is far beyond the CINC role, but goes to the head of the Admiralty and how to address and deal with threats that are from those who are waging war on their lonesome or in non-sanctioned groups. Got any of those around? Jefferson knew how to deal with them, as did Washington… after Lincoln comes a dearth of knowledge in this realm.

- The pardon power. The most overlooked and the most critical power on tap for a President as it deals with the very heart of the system of law and justice in America, and that we understand that even the best run system can come up with bad results. It can be put to very bad ends (like the pardon of Marc Rich who was a fugitive from justice and central to the formation of the criminal buy-in during the Russian transition circa 1992) or used to reward political favorites or donors, or excuse misdeeds carried out in the name of Presidential policy. If a person cannot understand that this power is granted for a reason and used with extreme deliberation, then do you want this person as President?

Those are the Four Hats of the President: Head of State, Chief of Government, Commander of the Armies and the Navies, and the last resort for a Pardon.

If you are seeing the 21st century needs hitting those of the 18th century document and melding with them, it is because the Framers got it right when they made the Constitution and we have strayed badly from it. To get a better candidate we must hold them to that standard, not a 20th century Progressive one that seeks good ‘managers’ of a state slowly going authoritarian. I am not voting for that no matter WHICH party they are in as that is a horrific concept beyond all others. Being ‘better than the other guy’ is now meaningless with Obama. Being any good at all is now the litmus test. Someone amongst those currently running might have a clue… and one or two might be able to accpet a clue but only if you batter them around the head and shoulders with a cluebat.

You, as an individual, are responsible for who gets in: saying ‘He isn’t who I WANTED’ is what the political LEFT always screams. They are unwilling to accept the responsibility for self-government and it SHOWS. If you want better candidates then hold them to the standards you know are right, that are written down in black and white and that YOU can figure out for yourself. Not how they have been horribly mangled for over a century, but the original, unadulterated good stuff taken straight. It will wake you up in no time at all if you are serious about self-government and then about how we govern ourselves via the republic. Time is only on YOUR side if you are governing yourself NOW and are willing to help show what it means to do that.

If you want someone without the 20th century mindset, then start looking for them or cluing in the current crop… there is still time for education if you can get past the hubris of those wanting to run for President and see if any of them have the humility to admit they don’t know it all and have made mistakes in how they have governed and can tell you WHY they were wrong. But you first have to be able to ask what it is that they are expected to do, and that goes so far beyond the recall of Obamacare that it isn’t funny because that, you see, is just a plan… not part of a broader policy on government. We need someone to get this clue and run on it. So far, I’m not seeing it.

ajacksonian on September 30, 2011 at 7:21 AM

Karl, he wasn’t saying polls influence the election. He simply pointed out the exceptionally shallow way we expect candidates to perform and what happens in they don’t.

Hard Right on September 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Herman Cain’s image among Republicans familiar with him is more intensely positive than any other Republican presidential candidate’s, but his 51% name recognition continues to rank near the bottom of the field. Among the better-known candidates, Rick Perry has the strongest positive image.

And why is his name recognition only 51% Because the MEDIA won’t give him proper air time or credit.

As to pressure, the man has turned two companies around. He has survived cancer. I’ve got no problem with him handling the pressure of public office. He may get a little angry every now and then, but damn it, we need someone with a pair in the office.

cannonball on September 30, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Cain sure looks more like the ideal vice-presidential, rather than presidential, candidate to me.

Knott Buyinit on September 30, 2011 at 9:26 AM

The 999 plan bothers me. Do we really want the US federal government access to income tax and sales tax? Because they’ll never raise them, right? *nudgenudgewinkwink*

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Then no plan will work, since they all include taxes…and they can always be raised.
This is one of the most confounding arguments I see…our taxes are being raised now…all taxes have a chance of being raised.
What you are basically stating is, never adopt any other system because taxes could be raised on the new system.
It is just a strange argument…

right2bright on September 30, 2011 at 9:33 AM

ajacksonian on September 30, 2011 at 7:21 AM

When you hire a president of a company, you don’t ask him if he knows how to work the line, or balance a budget…you look for a leader that can choose the right people to do those duties that need to be done.

after Lincoln comes a dearth of knowledge in this realm.

Your saying that Eisenhower didn’t have that? Pal, you have got to get your head out of your philosophical @ss and realize that the President is a leader.
Reagan proved that, he had little of the “skills and knowledge” you allegedly think a CINC and President should have…yet he was one of the most successful foreign Presidents we have ever had.
No, what we need, what Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and many others is intelligence, good common sense, extraordinary leadership skills, and a love of the people (not the elite) of the nation. And a way to communicate that to the people.

right2bright on September 30, 2011 at 9:40 AM

“Yes, we Cain!”

Qzsusy on September 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM

One major reason why parties tend to nominate people who have been governors or senators, as opposed to House members or people who have not held elective office, is that they have demonstrated at minimum a history of not imploding under the pressure of a large-scale campaign. Recent examples of pure businessmen running for president — Perot, Trump — underscore this point.

An excellent point: Republicans have a history of running “pure businessmen” for Senate seats because they can be “self-financing”, winning primaries by drowning their opponents in advertising, but somehow they fail to connect with Independent voters. We saw this last year with the failed campaigns of Carly Fiorina and Linda MacMahon (although Ron Johnson won in Wisconsin).

There seemed to be a search for “non-politicians” to run for Senate last year, but what happened to Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell? Most of last year’s winners DID have experience in elective office: Marco Rubio was speaker of the Florida House. Pat Toomey was a former House member, and Rand Paul is the son of a House member.

Herman Cain does seem to be a quick study, but will he learn foreign policy and other non-economic issues quickly enough to beat Obama?

Steve Z on September 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM