Quotes of the day
posted at 10:20 pm on September 30, 2011 by Allahpundit
“A recent Gallup survey shows that, among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, Herman Cain has the highest net favorability rating of anyone in the current GOP presidential field. Cain’s net favorability rating among those who are familiar with him is +62 points (77 percent hold a favorable opinion of him, while 15 percent hold an unfavorable opinion). Rick Perry is 2nd, with a +54 net favorability rating among those who are familiar with him (71 percent favorable, 17 percent unfavorable). Most of the 2-week survey, however, was conducted before the most recent GOP debate (in which Perry struggled) and before the subsequent Florida straw poll (won by Cain) — so the gap between Cain and Perry has likely widened…
“Cain also ranks first among those who feel “strongly” (either way), as 27 percent have a ‘strongly favorable’ opinion of him, while only 1 percent hold a ‘strongly unfavorable’ opinion.”
“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…
“The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain’s life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality.
“Herman Cain is a credible candidate. Whether he deserves to be president is something voters will decide. But he deserves a serious look.”
“But money, as it were, is a problem: While Romney and Perry have a ton of it, Cain lacks the fundraising network of his better-known rivals. And that’s not the only issue. Cain is competing with Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum for social conservatives, and that means he needs to do respectably in Iowa, where they make up a major chunk of the GOP electorate. But Cain has little organization in the state – as evidenced by his fifth place finish in the Iowa straw poll – and some his staff in the state quit because they didn’t think the campaign was putting in a serious effort.
“A Cain campaign official acknowledged to CBS News that the candidate is unlikely to win Iowa. But the campaign hopes to survive the state – a third-place finish would be enough, though Cain has claimed he’d be ‘ecstatic’ with fifth-place – and then hold on until South Carolina.
“It’s a state Cain’s campaign believes the candidate can win — and thus eventually get to the White House. Cain hails from nearby Georgia, where he hosted a radio show that could be heard across the border; the state is also 28 percent African-American and highly religious, which makes it demographically appealing for Cain, a Baptist minister. And the open primary means Democrats and independents who support Cain can cast ballots.”
“The absence of GOP competition for the black vote has allowed the left wing to demagogue the Republican party in the most negative of terms within the black community, without much of a GOP response. Take for instance that comment from Melissa Harris-Perry that I discussed Wednesday, about how the Republican party is not the ‘party of civil rights.’ It is asserted far and wide that the GOP represents little more than the crudest, most reflexive form of Goldwaterism. It’s just not true, so where is the Republican pushback? If Democrats tried to slander the GOP among, say, Catholic voters, you’d see the Republican establishment move heaven and earth to counter such a scurrilous charge. But because the black vote is not up for grabs, this kind of blatant falsehood ends up going unchallenged…
“Cain is right – there is potential for Republicans among African Americans, at least in theory. White conservatives overwhelmingly vote Republican, but black conservatives do not. According to the American National Elections Study, John Kerry won about 90 percent of the black conservative vote. White moderates usually split their votes between the two parties, according to the study, but black moderates do not. Again, Kerry won better than 90 percent. By granting left wing demagogues complete freedom to mischaracterize conservative Republicanism to the black community, the party consistently loses black conservatives and moderates who might otherwise consider the GOP. This, in turn, helps prevent the big policy breakthroughs the GOP hasn’t seen for a generation…
“Herman Cain would not be able to change any of this overnight. And maybe not at all — it would take a great deal of political capital, a deft touch, and a little bit of luck. But the point is this: a Republican candidate for national office, who took competing for the black vote seriously, might help revive Republicanism in the black community. The process could be similar to the kind of top-down advancement the GOP enjoyed in the South after World War II — when Dwight Eisenhower, the Texas-born national hero who beat the Nazis, convinced Dixie to give the Republican party a second look. If Herman Cain could do that for the GOP with African Americans, there would be a real potential not only for the party to do better nationwide, but for African Americans to leverage their voting strength more effectively.”