The case for Herman Cain staying in the race

Ever since the last round of allegations against Herman Can from an alleged paramour, he’s experienced a dramatic drop in the polls and swirling rumors that he may be exiting the race. He’s now come out and said that, while he is considering that as an option, he’s waiting to discuss it with his family. But the sentiment that the sun has set on his unconventional campaign is not universal. Today we’ll share with you a sizable excerpt from one supporter who feels he should hang in there. The author is Chris Barron, one of the heads of GOproud, and he fleshes out his argument at length.

I have been on the Cain train since it was little more than an asterisk, and as a long time vocal supporter and donor, I for one hope Herman Cain does not drop out.

I love Herman Cain. I have spoken with him at length and I believe he is a good and decent person. I believe he is someone who speaks from the heart, someone who hasn’t been a product of our broken political system and someone who brings decades of real world business experience to this race. For me, however, this race has always been about the message and not just the messenger – and none of these allegations, true or false, about Cain’s personal life change the message one iota.

The message is simple: Washington is broken and it is the politicians – of all ideological and partisan stripes – that are responsible for it.

The Tea Party was a revolt against politics as usual. It was as much a revolt against the excesses of Republican politicians as it was a revolt against Democratic politicians. The Tea Party put Republican elected officials on notice that we – the base of the GOP – were not taking it anymore. Since the Tea Party led the GOP to historic wins in November of 2010, the Hill GOP – particularly House Republicans – have behaved in an uncharacteristic fashion. They have held the line on spending, refused to agree to raise taxes at all, and worked to reign in the size of government. These politicians didn’t suddenly get religion. They didn’t find political Jesus, they found fear – fear of the Tea Party. The only thing that stands between Republicans on the Hill going back to the bad old days of the Bush era GOP is the Tea Party.

Herman Cain’s campaign was and is the best opportunity for Tea Partiers to hold the politicians feet to the fire. The Cain campaign was and is the best way for the limited government base of the GOP to let the establishment know that we simply aren’t willing to accept big government Republicans any more than we are willing to accept big government Democrats.

There’s a fair bit more to read, but that should give you the flavor of it. (As a side programming note, we’ll be talking to Chris about this on The Not Ed Morrissey Show today in the second half of the show, which kicks off at 3:00 PM eastern.)

Questions of readiness, foreign policy experience and campaign organization aside, I accept that there are still more than a few reasons for Cain to remain in the race. His base of support is strong and his followers seem fairly fierce in their loyalty. (He hasn’t disappeared from the polling horizon entirely, though a lot of his support seems to have migrated to Newt.) Further, if Cain has amassed any campaign debt, he has even more incentive to remain. He should easily qualify for matching funds next month, and even if he doesn’t wind up winning the nomination, that would be a completely legal and legitimate way to retire that debt.

But probably the biggest reason is the people like Chris Barron. I really don’t see the kind of passion on display here among supporters for Romney or Newt. (Or Huntsman or even Perry these days, for that matter.) If Newt also stumbles – hardly an impossibility – maybe there is a second act in American politics. I’m sure T-Paw is still regretting dropping out so fast. And if he’s got enough cash on hand to keep up a bare minimum of appearances, what’s the point in quitting before the first vote is cast?