“Grubbs acknowledges that, so far, Cain hasn’t done much on the ground. But at this point in the contest, he says, most campaigns would rather have the enthusiasm of Cain’s thousands of supporters, not a couple well-staffed offices.
“‘It’s not enough to have a good organization,’ Grubbs says. ‘You also have to have enthusiasm. George Bush in 1988, for example, had a great organization, but not enough enthusiasm and was surpassed by Dole and Pat Robertson.’
“‘That’s why I feel good about Herman Cain,’ he says. ‘He has the enthusiasm in place, and we can generate the organization. The former, if it’s not there, is hard to create. But we are already catching up on the latter. We have both elements.'”
“If Romney can fatally weaken Perry now, it would allow him to dominate in the early primaries. Strategically, a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses would be followed by an anticipated victory in the New Hampshire primary, resulting in strong momentum as the voting shifts to South Carolina and Florida.
“‘You’ve got the guy down a bit, you don’t want to let him up off the mat,’ said Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant. ‘A mistake for a lot of campaigns is the front-runner doesn’t engage, and when they do, it’s too late. Particularly when Perry has the resources to go up in the air with negative ads, I think it’s smart for the Romney campaign. I think the Romney people are making the educated bet, probably the right bet, that there’s no one else in the field that can rise up and can be a sustainable long-term challenger.'”
“The poll numbers in Iowa and the strategic logic of the Perry campaign point inexorably to the necessity of Team Perry ‘going negative’ on Herman Cain — and doing so PDQ, while Perry can still get the maximum advantage of his fund-raising advantage.
“Perry finished the third quarter with more than $15 million cash on hand, whereas Cain had about $1.5 million cash on hand. But the Cain campaign is now getting a huge influx of contributions and it has been suggested they may be raking in $200,000 a day online now, which would translate to more than $5 million by the end of October. That would be ‘Romney-esque money,’ as one GOP consultant put it, and if they could keep up that pace, Team Cain might be approaching financial parity with Perry and Romney by Thanksgiving. So if the Perry campaign wants to strike hard on Cain with TV and radio attack ads, it behooves them to do it before the Cain campaign can accumulate the money and organizational resources to fight fire with fire…
“The strategic situation clearly indicates the necessity for Team Perry to leverage their current cash-on-hand advantage by mounting an attack ad campaign against Cain in Iowa, in hope of restoring Perry’s status as the most viable choice for the Anybody But Romney voters, who are a majority in the GOP primary electorate.”
“Herman Cain’s presidential campaign has been raising more the $1 million a week since Oct. 1, campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon told NBC News.”
“Newt Gingrich: ‘Herman has two challenges. And he’s very likable, and right now, I think frankly, he may be psychologically the frontrunner, even past Romney at the moment. But what that does, is it suddenly changes what the game is. The game isn’t ‘gee, you’re interesting,’ the game is ‘wow, you could be President.’ Well, the yardstick is a lot tougher for you could be president. I think his two challenges are that he developed a great slogan 9-9-9. Now, people are asking, what is the policy behind the slogan? And it’s getting pretty complicated. I think he almost needs to stop, spend some time in a room, get it thought out, get a couple of people, sort of be a murder board, take it apart and make sure that he has really deep answers, because the presidency, unlike say running for the Congress or running for Senate, the presidency, you’re going to be under a merciless grilling. The second is, when you’re a speaker, in the sense of public speaking, you can pick your topics. When you’re a would-be president, every topic picks you. Whatever happens this morning is the new topic. So, you have to have the ability to get briefed, very fast. Ideally, you should know a fair amount going in. And I think one of the Republican weaknesses has been that we rely too much on consultants and too much on talking points. And we don’t rely enough on actually knowing things. If you’re going to lead the country and change history, you had better know a heck of a lot before you start, because there’s not much time for learning on the job. And as Obama’s proven, youth and inexperience are interesting, but they can also be a disaster.'”
“Ever since he stepped onto the national stage, Romney has been criticized as being unable to connect with voters — partly because of past positions out of step with many in his party and partly because of what some say is a wooden, detached personality. Although he has sharpened his campaign operation and mostly aced a series of debates this year, Romney’s trip to Iowa on Thursday and recent swings through New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida reveal a candidate still struggling to make that connection.
“When voters exposed themselves emotionally, Romney offered little empathy. When they sought his support for their causes, Romney didn’t show them that he cared. Romney was scripted when he could have been spontaneous. He was boardroom cool when he could have been living room warm…
“Steve Bennett, 59, of Jefferson, Iowa, has sized up several candidates this year. Of Romney, he said recently: ‘Whenever he’s speaking, there always seems to be that look of doubt in his eyes. He’s fidgety. He looks like he wants it too bad. There’s just something about Mitt that’s lacking. He can’t finish the deal. It’s that simple.'”
Via the Daily Caller.