Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is calling for the creation of a third political party — saying it is clear to him that neither major political party is willing to address the nation’s economic problems.
“We need a third party to save this country,” Cain told American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer. “This country is in trouble and it is clear that neither party — is going to fix the problems we face.”
Cain agreed with Fischer’s assessment that conservatives are growing tired of being ignored by Republican party leadership — and that many believe the GOP no longer speaks for them.
Cain said it was troubling that Mitt Romney received fewer votes than John McCain did in 2008 — suggesting that many conservatives did not vote on Tuesday.
Now for a little walk down “Memory Lane” with Herman, who had little trouble with the GOP’s direction in this cycle or last before Tuesday’s election:
Here is Mr. Cain in 2008:
Why I Support Mitt Romney: Leadership Substance
The dynamics of political party connections, the political process itself and public perceptions have once again yielded the top two contenders of each major party in the 2008 presidential race. And once again, the public can only hope that the ultimate winner of the White House will be a candidate with the most leadership substance.
My vote is for Mitt Romney.
Great leaders are born and good leaders keep working on it. We are not favored with an obvious great leader in the 2008 presidential race, as is apparent from the primary process and the results thus far.
But Mitt Romney’s leadership credentials offer the best hope of a leader with substance, and the best hope for a good president who could turn out to be great.
And here he is in 2012, with his endorsement of Romney after the suspension of his campaign:
One way to achieve this goal of a more perfect union is by getting Barack Obama out of the White House,” Cain said. “Throwing our support and energy behind Mitt Romney is a big step in accomplishing this mission.
To me, this “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” at it’s worst. Mr. Cain played and large part in this last campaign and emphatically endorsed the runner-up to the party’s nominee the last time. We are all disappointed as to the results on Tuesday, but feigning despair of the future of the party you were wishing to helm just a few months ago, is too much.
J. R. Dunn discusses Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy over at American Thinker. He entitles his article, “Mitt’s Royal Slam”. You could just as easily call it, “Mitt’s Rope-a-dope”.
What’s the explanation for Mitt Romney’s unparalleled breakout? A few weeks ago, the Romney campaign was regarded as dead in the water. The polls (with the exception of Rasmussen) had the campaign uniformly down, giving Obama up to half a dozen points. Voter interest was phlegmatic at best. A combined Chicago-media offensive appeared to have put Romney on the ropes. The consensus was that Obama would cruise to another victory, one paralleling and perhaps even exceeding his triumph over John McCain four years ago.
Today, little more than an electoral-cycle heartbeat later, the situation is utterly reversed. The big mo belongs to Romney.
This remarkable turnaround is unmatched in recent American political history, and as such, it requires an explanation. Not many have been floated as of yet. The most popular so far holds that Anne and Tagg Romney, acting as Mitt’s consiglieres, pushed aside most the campaign’s professional political operatives in a successful effort to encourage “Mitt to be Mitt.”
Everyone involved denies that anything of the sort occurred, and that may well be the truth. Occam’s razor applies to politics as much as any other field, and the simplest and best explanation in this case is that no large-scale change occurred within the campaign or without — that in fact, things are unfolding pretty much as they were planned to. That it’s happening this way because it was meant to.
A pattern had already begun to emerge in the early months of the primaries. During the “anyone but Romney” phase that the GOP was going through, a new figure on a white charger was offered every couple weeks as the great hope to take down Obama the Usurper. Almost as soon as they popped up, down again they went. Presidential boots proved slightly too large for Rick Perry. Michele Bachmann was felled by a frustrating tendency for her words to outrun her thoughts, and Herman Cain by his purported eye for the ladies.
The two members of this squadron with real potential of taking the nomination were Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Both were similar — figures who appealed to the core conservatives of the GOP by means of images that were largely synthetic. Newt Gingrich was the Cincinnatus willing to leave his beloved historical studies to save the country, while Santorum was Ozzie Nelson. As is often case, these roles were a poor fit to the actual individuals.
That was the key element where Romney was concerned. As a businessman, he’d encountered plenty of figures who were all hat and no cattle, who talked a good game but were never around when it came time to toss some change into the kitty. It was in no way difficult to recognize many of the same traits in his GOP competition. So he treated them the same way he would have treated a hustler back in his investment days. He didn’t fight them, didn’t go blow for blow, didn’t so much as answer them back to any real extent. He let them each go through their schtick, until their essential hollowness was inescapable to all but the most hardcore true believers. He then, in the next debate, presented once again the basic Mitt Romney as the natural opposition figure. Newt and Rick both faded.
What Romney found himself facing in the presidential contest was very much the same thing — to a fault. Obama, the Illinois Redeemer, missionary from the Planet Zong, groveler to sheiks, reincarnation of FDR, and harbinger of the new age, was bogus enough to make Gingrich and Santorum look like avatars of authenticity.
Romney … essentially gave the late summer months to Obama, to the despair of the GOP, sneers from the Dems, and bewilderment from the political pros. Much as he did during the primaries, Romney let Obama take center stage, well aware that he wouldn’t accomplish anything with the time and opportunity he was being given, because he couldn’t.
Obama capered. He took the messiah routine to the point of burlesque. He turned himself into a caricature of Mr. Hope and Change, not grasping the facts that it was no longer 2008 and that no one was looking for a savior anymore. His campaign, the national left, and the kept media carried out relentless attacks on Romney, none of which ever stuck because Romney never did anything to draw attention to them.
By the time the debates rolled around, Obama had used up all his ammo and had become one of those pop items nobody wants to see any more of — last year’s hit sitcom, a burnt-out singer, an actress on her fifth or sixth breakdown. So it goes with messiahs who hang on too long.
It’s a great article. I encourage you to check it out.
Memories and Lessons of a Just-Completed Campaign
Now that the primary season has all but officially ended (mercifully and at last), it is time for political analysts to look back at the yearlong trek that got us Nominee Romney and see what conclusions we can draw from this prolonged fight. There are several things that led to Romney’s success this time around:
The Job Interview
At first glance, it may seem the most cogent lesson is the simplest one: the Republicans once again nominated their next-in-line candidate. Just as John McCain, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford before him, Romney was widely perceived as “earning his turn,” so to speak. But there is something going on at a deeper level here – why (with the notable exception of George W. Bush) does the modern GOP seem to hand their nomination to the next-in-line? After all, this is a truism, a force, strong enough to revive John McCain from political death a thousand times over in 2008. And it was enough to protect Romney from one of the most anti-establishment, angry conservative electorates in recent memory. How?
It has been said that the Republicans treat their primaries much like a job interview, while Democrats treat theirs like a dating game – a comparative analogy that has some heft behind it to be sure. Democrats get excited about insurgent candidates that send thrills up their legs, whereas Republicans like to sit back and determine whether our candidates have the experience necessary for the job. Looking at the 2008 primaries in an parallel universe, then, we wouldn’t have been surprised to see a Mike Huckabee vs. Hillary Clinton general election matchup – where Huckabee had won the Democratic primary and Hillary the Republican one.
Insurgent candidates are just not built to survive modern Republican primaries. And so Romney perhaps had the huge advantage in this way from the outset: with no Huckabee and no Palin in the mix, he was the only “serious” candidate applying for this job. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum were never going to pass the job interview process. Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry both had a chance based on the resumes they had submitted, but as soon as they were called in for a face to face interview they were both summarily dismissed from contention. And so, after inspecting each of the job applicants in turn, ultimately the Republican Party ended up calling the candidate that looked the most attractive at the beginning of the process and saying, “You’re hired.” It’s a familiar process that makes sense for the “party of business” to follow.
Continue reading for Cycling Seppuku, I Can be Your Friend, Where in the World is Romney Sandiego, and “Establishment” Support…
Final vote tally for the Florida Primary with all precincts reporting:
Votes Percentage Romney 771,842 46.4% Gingrich 531,294 31.9% Santorum 222,248 13.4% Paul 116,776 7.0% Perry 6,742 0.4% Huntsman 6,182 0.4% Bachmann 3,947 0.2% Cain 3,481 0.2% Johnson 1,186 0.1% Total 1,663,698 100.0%
Margin of victory for Romney over his three main rivals:
Votes % Total % of Romney Gingrich 240,548 14.6% 31.2% Santorum 549,594 33.5% 71.2% Paul 655,066 39.9% 84.9% Gingrich + Santorum 18,300 1.1% 2.4%
So even if every single Santorum voter had voted for Gingrich, Romney would still have won. And we know from both anecdotal evidence as well as several polls that there was a large percentage of Santorum voters who would voted for Romney over Gingrich.
For reference, here are the results from the 2008 Florida Primary:
John McCain 701,761 36.0% Mitt Romney 604,932 31.0% Rudolph W. Giuliani 286,089 14.7% Mike Huckabee 262,681 13.5% Ron Paul 62,887 3.2% Fred D. Thompson 22,668 1.2% Alan Keyes 4,060 0.2% Duncan Hunter 2,847 0.1% Tom Tancredo 1,573 0.1% Total: 1,949,498 100.0%
So Mitt improved upon McCain’s percentage by 10 points and his own by 15. Mitt has 70,000 more votes than McCain had in 2008 and improved his own total by 166,000 votes.
The conservative blog the “Shark Tank” is saying that Herman Cain will endorsed Newt Gingrich tonight. Here’s more from the Miami Herald:
The conservative Shark Tank blog says Herman Cain could endorse Newt Gingrich tonight in Palm Beach County during a Lincoln Day dinner there. There has been buzz for a month Cain might do it, Gingrich’s campaign said to expect a big endorsement tonight and earlier this evening GOP operative Roger Stone suggested Can might be the man.
Whether this makes a difference at all is a good question. Perhaps we should ask Craig Miller. Who’s that? He’s the guy in single-digits in the Florida Senate race primary polls who was endorsed by Cain recently.
But who knows, to the degree there’s an untapped reservoir of tea-party-like supporters who will be swayed by Cain, this could account for a few votes for Gingrich. But will it be enough to overcome Mitt Romney’s ever-widening lead in the polls? Probably not.
EDIT: It’s official – here’s Cain’s Twitter feed:
I am officially endorsing @NewtGingrich for President of the United States! #tcot
Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC, “Making a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow” will be airing the following ad urging Republican voters to vote for…Herman Cain in South Carolina. Cain is still on the ballot in South Carolina, despite previously dropping out.
It’s true that rank-and-file conservatives in the Republican Party are unrepresented or poorly represented by their national leaders on issues such as trade and immigration, and this is because it’s definitely true that the economic interests of a lot of working- and middle-class conservative Republican voters are neglected by the national party. The electoral record also shows that the relative moderate candidate tends to prevail in the presidential nominating contest, and this is happening again as anyone could have seen that it would. As Cost later acknowledges, the relative moderates eke out nomination victories because there are always so many conservative candidates splitting the much larger conservative vote, which is proof that there are often too many conservative candidates in the mix and not that self-styled conservatives don’t control the party.
There is also always a large number of movement conservative activists and pundits more than willing to embrace the relative moderate as a bold conservative leader on the grounds that he is more electable, which is how George W. Bush and Romney acquired their ill-deserved reputations as conservatives in the first place. When a field has seven reasonably competitive conservative or libertarian candidates and arguably just one moderate (counting Romney as the moderate), it’s no wonder that the one moderate comes out ahead, especially when there are more than a few movement conservatives willing to make the case for him.
But neither Cost, nor Larison, get at one of the fundamental reasons there are frequently several relatively conservative candidates: the inability of conservatives to winnow their field. Conservatives aren’t actually over-represented in GOP fields. In this cycle, there were 3 relative moderates (Romney, Pawlenty, and Huntsman), 4 relative conservatives (Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, and Cain) and 2 relative oddballs (Gingrich and Paul). This is a pretty representative sample. But the establishment has skillfully winnowed the “moderate” field down to one contestant, sending Pawlenty packing early, and ignoring Huntsman entirely. Conservatives, however, have jumped for every single conservative and one of the oddballs. Let me suggest 2 ways to explain this phenomenon.
1.) The Effect of the Invisible Primary. This is essentially the race for money and endorsements. Candidates who perform well in the invisble primary tend to have success. So money and endorsements matter, right? Well, yeah, but I think something more complex is going on. Establishment candidates compete in the invisible primary- grassroots candidates don’t. Candidates who compete in the invisible primary, and later stumble, are more likely to be weeded out. Why should be it the case that Tim Pawlenty should drop out immediately after Ames, despite running 4 points ahead of Rick Santorum and 5 points ahead of Herman Cain? Isn’t this a little curious? A little odd? Both Santorum and Cain competed at Ames, and Santorum devoted as much to the straw poll, relative to his resources, as Pawlenty did. Sure, Pawlenty would have had a hard time getting noticed when his money dried up, but Santorum didn’t get noticed until 3 days before the first caucus and had no money at all. And yet it was obvious to an awful lot of people that Pawlenty needed to drop out. The invisible primary seems to function as a winnowing process for establishment candidates and the grassroots has no equivalent.
2.) Viability. Viability does not really matter to the grassroots. This is not an exaggeration. Even now, you can head over to RedState and read a dozen Erick Erickson posts since Christmas which have A.) Called Rick Santorum a pro-life statist and B.) Admitted that Santorum was preferrable to Romney. Presumably, though I don’t follow his every post, Erick Erickson- along with many other grassroots conservatives- is inclined to support Texas Governor Rick Perry. Erick Erickson thinks Perry “can still win” and therefore sees his criticism of Santorum as both a good faith effort to expose someone less than ideal and a way of improving Perry’s odds of winning the nomination. He is, along with many grassroots conservatives, a true believer. The True Believer may have many superior qualities, but strategic thinking is not among them.
Rick Perry has now been at 5% in SC for 4 straight polls. He has not been in double digits in South Carolina in 2 and 1/2 months. The odds of him coming back in the state are objectively quite low and any improvement he makes is bound to come at the expense of Santorum who, the True Believer admits, is preferrable to Romney. An establishment oriented voter would, at this juncture, abandon Perry and Gingrich, go all-in with Santorum, and hope for the best. And indeed, establishment oriented voters have done that all year. There will be no Huntsman surge in NH to mirror the Santorum surge in Iowa. Establishment Republicans, concerned about electability, do not see Huntsman as viable. Therefore Huntsman has been cheerfully ignored. After NH he will have exited the race, while 3 more grassrootsy alternatives continue on fruitlessly. In ’08, the establishment Giuliani, despite leading in national polls by a gazillion points for an age, was all but abandoned after December and led in just one Florida poll after NH. Meanwhile, conservatives seemed entirely unable to choose between Romney, Fred, and Huckabee, even as McCain seemed likely to waltz to the nomination. Establishment candidates are winnowed by the viability test while grassroots candidates are apparently encouraged to stay in forever.
There is no grand establishment conspiracy to consistently foist relatively moderate nominees on the party. The establishment simply does a better job of winnowing out unlikely nominees, thereby allowing one establishment choice to have free roam of the field.
Just two days before the South Carolina primary, Herman Cain is setting himself up in hopes of becoming a kingmaker or a game changer:
Herman Cain says he’ll make an endorsement in the presidential race on Jan. 19, two days before the South Carolina primary…
Although Cain has given no clue about whom he’ll support, he is close to former House speaker Newt Gingrich and was complimentary to him in GOP debates.
A GOP presidential debate will be held in Charleston, S.C., on Jan. 19, in conjunction with the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
Conventional wisdom for awhile said that Cain would endorse Romney as he did in 2008. Then when Gingrich caught fire, conventional wisdom became that Cain would endorse Gingrich since the two are good friends. Now that Santorum is surging, Cain may endorse him since he is (perceived to be) the most conservative of the three.
At any rate, a Cain endorsement is probably worth a lot less than it used to be, but in a state like South Carolina it could mean a whole lot.
UPDATE: Cain says his endorsement will be “unconventional“… and when asked if he viewed Romney as a “conventional candidate,” he responded by saying all the remaining candidates are conventional.
Rasmussen is first out of the gate with South Carolina polling data following the Iowan Caucuses. The full poll will likely be published later, but here is my analysis of the top line data now.
Here are the top lines from Rasmussen’s two polls of the state:
(1/6) (11/2) Romney 27 23 Santorum 24 1 Gingrich 18 15 Paul 11 5 Perry 5 9 Huntsman 2 1 Cain N/A 33 Bachmann N/A 2
The data shows quite clearly the boast the first three finishers got from Iowa. Romney is up 4 and is now in the lead. Paul is up 6 and has broken into double digits. Santorum, wow! He is up a whopping 23 points leaping from one to twenty-four percent to land in a comfortable 2nd place just three points behind the leader, Romney.
The big news the above data does not show directly is the dramatic Gingrich collapse. Rasmussen did not poll South Carolina in December so they missed the big Newt bubble last month. All other polls during that period showed Newt ahead by a comfortable double digit margin in South Carolina. His lead there rivaled Mitt’s lead in New Hampshire in magnitude. That has completely dissipated now. He limps back into South Carolina following Iowa in a distant third place nine points behind the leader.
Perry’s support got clobbered. It has been nearly cut in half. He is now fighting with Huntsman for last place. That makes South Carolina do-or-die for Rick Perry. He has more than twenty points to make up with little more than three weeks to do it. And the current buzz is nearly all about Romney, Santorum, and Paul. It is difficult to see how barring a miracle Perry survives past South Carolina.
Politico asks the following (emphasis added):
Is Newt Gingrich taking Iowa seriously?
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Newt Gingrich’s improbable comeback may fall short if he doesn’t win Iowa — and there are signs he’s not taking the threat of defeat seriously enough.
Gingrich is getting pounded on Iowa TV by both a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC and Ron Paul’s campaign and is doing little to fight back against ads which take direct aim at him. Less than three weeks before the caucuses, the former speaker is airing a single commercial with little money behind it.
And while Gingrich’s top rivals here flood the airwaves, three of his lesser challengers — all vying for the same swath of undecided conservative votes — began barnstorming the state in an intensive retail push before the January 3rd vote.
Gingrich’s response suggests a lack of urgency: on Wednesday he held a wonky seminar on brain science in this liberal college town. He had plans to return to Washington for a book-signing after Thursday’s debate in Sioux City, without scheduling any public events in the conservative-heavy northwest corner of the state.
Gingrich promised to do more retail events – he teased a post-Christmas bus tour – and said he’d do more ads.
But he also offered a mix of nonchalance and high-road confidence in explaining that he didn’t have enough money to match his rivals’ ad campaign and, in any event, wasn’t inclined to engage in traditional back-and-forth on the airwaves.
[B]y taking such a strong lead here and nationally after the collapse of Herman Cain’s campaign, Gingrich raised his own expectations. If the caucuses turn out to be an effective tie against Paul, and perhaps Romney, they may not offer the momentum he needs as the race moves east.
“If he fails to meet those expectations, it’ll be real hard for him going forward,” said former state GOP chair and Cain backer Steve Grubbs of Gingrich. “But this is the week that decides whether Newt Gingrich is the nominee or not. If in the next seven or eight days, between the Romney super PAC and Ron Paul, he absorbs thousands of points of negative TV and is still standing then I don’t see what could take him down between Christmas and January 3rd.”
Gingrich promised to run an unconventional campaign. If downplaying Iowa when he has a definite chance to win it is his deliberate strategy, then he is fulfilling his promise.
Today’s Rasmussen poll should act as a wake-up call if nothing else. Let’s see if Newt wakes up.
Sources tell FOX 5 News in Atlanta that Herman Cain will endorse Newt Gingrich tomorrow.
Hat-tip: The Argo Journal
Herman Cain’s campaign came to an end yesterday. Was it a necessary end from a political standpoint? I don’t think so. I do think that this latest allegation did pack a punch? Cain detractors and cynics will argue it was because it was true. I think far more charitably, it was a harmful and devestating betrayal by someone Cain viewed as a friend, coupled with the negative impact on his family, and the fact that the media narrative had shoved him off message. Regaining his footing would have been difficult. The type of campaign he’d been running would no longer work. The only option would have been to hunker down in Iowa and hope for a comeback kid style turnaround.
But it wasn’t to be. Some thoughts:
The 24/7 News cycle will be the death of our Republic: The 24/7 news cycle has been a killer this campaign season as well as the media mindset that developed around it. The signal event that knocked Cain out of first place was an eleven second pause in an editorial board meeting. In the information age, I guess that pause is an eternity.
The media coverage and mass hysteria that followed was absurd. One reason we consider the Founding Fathers and Lincoln great is that they were not having microphones constantly shoved in their face. Among the Founding generation of leaders was there none that had an awkward pause or mis-spoke. Certainly they did, but the journalists of their era did not make that the story as the concern was about the substance of the candidacy. Certainly, Cain hurt himself on several occasions, but Cain’s critique of a nitpicky media is valid.
The cycle turned uglier with the stories serving as fuel for ugly gossips. I’ve seen rumors of all sorts of things including illegitimate child, not reported in the press, and with no substantive basis being flouted across the Internet in the comments of news stories. While it could take weeks or months to spread malicious gossip and let the rumors take on a life of their own. We do it in hours. Therefore, it seems that the prime contribution of the information age to politics is that we are far more efficient gossips than our grandparents.
As for the news media itself, the media’s prime offense in Cain’s sexual harassment/affair allegations is that rather than them seeing their goal as reporting the truth, they really believed they’d done their job by reporting the allegations. Whether the allegations against Cain are true or not, the evidence for them was so flimsy that pretty much anyone could be similarly framed. File this as an illustration of, “Why good people don’t run.”
The Campaign Staff Conundrum: Much has been written about the failings of Cain’s staff in the campaign. I honestly cannot blame them for what happened. It’s a common challenge for non-traditional presidential candidates at work.
There are a limited number of top dollar campaign consultants out there who are extemely competent, skilled, and are experienced at what they do. There are many reasons why these type of people are not going to be available to a non-traditional long shot candidate. First, is pure math. These campaigns typically have less resources not only to pay the consultants, but also to run the campaign. Secondly, consultants may not feel like they can even handle some non-traditional candidates, let alone bring them to victory.
So what’s the non-traditional candidate to do? Find the best consultants he can and make do. Usually, these folks are true believers who work for less than the top flight consultants. If all goes well, candidate and staff gel and they’re able to gain traction. Usually, all doesn’t go well. In Cain’s case, up until the allegations, it went remarkably well. Block’s campaign strategy had Cain at one point leading in 17 of the first 24 states to vote.
Unfortunately, the wheels came off as the campaign moved into constant crisis management mode and no one on staff was prepared for it. Was it Cain’s fault? Cain had no money to hire when consultants were avialable and then when Cain had money that he could have hired someone topflight, the best people were not available.
Perhaps, the biggest confusion is on the part of the American people. Americans, in general don’t have a high opinion of political spin doctors and the whole political establishment is held disdainfully, which explains part of Cain’s rise. However, these consultants provide support and advice that help candidates to succeed. Ultimately, Cain rose as high as he did because it wasn’t a traditional politician running a traditional campaign and ultimately he was forced out because he wasn’t a traditional politician running a traditional campaign.
Return to Sender?: Rick Lowry of National Review has called for Herman Cain to return all of the contributions the campaign is sitting on, “His suspended campaign is presumably still sitting on millions of dollars of contributions. Cain owes it to his supporters to endeavor to return that money to all those people who gave it to him in good faith.”
As someone who gave money to the Cain campaign, I’ll say, “No, he doesn’t owe it to us.” No campaign that has run any length of time has turned around and started to issue refunds. There was no term by which we were promised to get our money back if Cain was forced out of the race. I knew full well that Cain might not make it to the White House. That was a risk I took. I’d rather not be patronized by people like Lowry who think I got bamboozled into thinking this was a sure thing.
In addition, how exactly is the refund process going to work? You refund the last people to give to the campaign? Or the first? Or do you retire all the campaign expenses, figure out what percentage of the funds raised remain after subtracting the costs of issuing tens of thousands of checks to people who haven’t asked for them and don’t want them? It’d be a massive operation that will probably not be worth it to anyone other than big dollar contributors.
Like with other folks with a campaign surplus left, Cain will be able to use the money to support campaigns across the country financially.
Where Do Cain Supporters Go Next: Regardless of where Cain goes, Newt Gingrich stands a good chance of picking up a lot of support from Cain supporters initially. Though Cain’s departure from the race means that Gingrich will be up next for a full on media examination, and there’s a lot of problems there to cover.
For my part, I plan on adopting no candidate prior to the New Hampshire Primary. I absolutely will not support Gingrich in the GOP Primary unless perhaps the only alternative is Ron Paul. If it comes down to a simple Gingrich-Romney race, I’m supporting Romney.
Of course, it won’t be until after New Hampshire that we know if that is the actual state of the race. Given that Newt Gingrich’s rise from first to third has occurred over the last couple of weeks, it’s far from certain that he’ll be among the final two. There remain three outside shots that have a chance of unseating Gingrich:
Rick Perry: Probably the best chance in the field to dethrone Gingrich. He is improving in his debate performances, and he made a good case in the Huckabee forum for people to take a second look at him. Still, hsi one statement on the border casts a shadow on his campaign.
Michele Bachmann: She has a good grasp of some issues, particularly on foreign policy, but seems too hooked on talking points and gets into way too many pointless conflicts such as the allegation that she stole the email list of a group of Iowa Homeschoolers.
Rick Santorum: Stacy McCain’s apparent new favorite as well as another conservative blogger who backed the Cain campaign. I like Santorum though he has had some ugly moments in the debates. My big question is money. To call his fundraising enemic is an insult to enemic fundraisers everywhere. While he jibes with a lot of social conservatives, he’s raising money like Alan Keyes with $189,000 cash on hand. How that wins Iowa, I don’t know. And a bigger mystery is how he manages to survive if he finishes strong in Iowa with Florida coming up at the end of the month.
A top advisor to Herman Cain, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells Politico that Cain plans to endorse before the Iowa Caucuses and that the frontrunner for the endorsement at this point in time is Newt Gingrich:
A top adviser to Herman Cain says the former presidential candidate plans to endorse one of his ex-rivals, most likely New Gingrich, this month in order to have an impact before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.
“He wants to play ‘who to endorse’ for a while,” said the adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak bluntly. “Then he’ll probably be endorsing somebody in a couple weeks — before the caucuses…. I’d say he’s going to endorse Newt Gingrich,” the adviser said.
The two have a relationship that goes back to Gingrich’s tenure as Speaker of the House, when he appointed Cain to the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform Commission (known as the “Kemp Commission”), which reported in 1996.
The adviser said Cain would like to play a role in the campaign, and in a Republican administration if his party wins the White House.
“He can go into the African-American community, and there’s a lot of African Americans who like Herman Cain,” the adviser said. “I’ve seen him in churches — this guy can preach. And he can represent the successful black businessmen.”’
A Cain endorsement would get heavy news coverage and would add to the momentum for Gingrich, who finished a clear first in separate polls of Iowa primary voters released this weekend by the Des Moines Register and NBC/Marist.
Be sure to read the whole piece here.
The announcement was made at an event which was supposed to be celebrating the opening of a new campaign headquarters:
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain “suspends” his presidential campaign. He made the announcement with his wife standing behind him at his headquarters in Atlanta.
After allegations of a 13-year extramarital affair and numerous allegations of sexual assault, Cain said it has been difficult to raise the funds necessary to continue to vie for the Republican nomination.
“As false accusations continue, they have sidetracked my ability to present solutions to the American people,” Cain said.
“I am at peace with my God. I am at peace with my wife and she is at peace with me.”
NBC reports that Herman Cain is set to make a “major announcement” tomorrow in his home state of Georgia.
The Washington Post says according to sources inside the campaign, the announcement will be “whether he intends to continue his campaign.” Cain is inviting “top supporters and donors” to Atlanta to give them advance word of his decision just before he makes the announcement publicly. According to one supporter who was invited to Atlanta, Cain said he wanted to express his gratitude at the private meeting.
The announcement coincides with an event that has been on Cain’s calendar for awhile: the opening of new Atlanta campaign headquarters. That event will be replaced by Cain’s announcement.
The Des Moines Register has offered a rare preview of their latest Iowa poll, and it does not look good for Herman Cain. Cain has slipped from 23% support in the previous poll down to just 8% now. Cain was rated as the candidate most likely to have a scandal in the White House (at 47%), but voters also took him to task over his lack of knowledge on basic issues. Twenty-seven percent of Iowa voters called him the least knowledgeable candidate in the race — a dubious honor to be sure, when flanked by the likes of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.
The allegations of a 13-year affair surfaced on day two of the four day poll, but even before that story came out Cain was already floundering in the Hawkeye State. On the first day of polling, he clocked in at just 12%. That number slid further as the polling went on.
Full results will be released Saturday at 7 central time.
Rep. William Panek called the Cain campaign Tuesday morning to say he was dropping his endorsement, telling CNN he will shift his support to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich instead…
“One or two allegations, it kind of piqued my interest, but you know, it’s politics,” Panek said. “But with a long-term, ongoing affair I’d kind of had enough.”
So, if understand Rep. Panek’s logic here, he’s decided to switch from a candidate who has been accused of a long affair to a candidate who actually is known to have a long-term affair.
I guess if you think Cain’s response to the affair has been disqualifying, switching to current flavor of the month would make sense, same if you think Cain is damaged good that is irrecoverable. Although, the reason Gingrich’s peccadilloes aren’t hurting him because they’re not being covered right now.
But if you think the allegations of the affair are the problem and buy them, why on God’s green earth would you switch to Gingrich? Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, even Romney, sure. But Gingrich?
It’s been an exciting roller coaster ride for Herman Cain. When he first entered the race — the first ‘major’ Republican candidate to do so — Intrade investors gave him exactly 0.1% chance of winning the nomination. He was a WorldNetDaily columnist, a talk radio host, and former pizza CEO who had badly lost the only other two political races in which he had run. Nobody gave him a chance.
Cain soldiered on after a rough fifth place finish at Ames, and managed to win the Presidency V straw poll which shot him to the top of the pack. Now, however, fate has come full circle and through a combination of verbal gaffes and charges of impropriety, Cain finds himself once again at the bottom of the pack.
Headlines like “Herman Cain abandoned by conservatives” mark how far Cain has come, and how far he has fallen. The bad news is piling up, as one of his Super PACs filed paperwork this afternoon to legally change their name. The PAC removed Cain’s name from their title, which has been amended simply to “Beat Obama PAC”.
Just a couple hours ago, a Cain aide confirmed that Cain will decide whether to drop out of the race by the end of the week. The signs are there that he is preparing to close up shop. He’s calling individual donors to talk to them about the situation – something that wouldn’t be happening if Cain had decided to soldier on against all odds once again.
Perhaps most tellingly, Cain asked one of his aides to cancel a New York media dinner that was set for Sunday night. Cain asked for the dinner to be canceled “in case he dropped out of the race.”
Up until that cancellation, Cain had said multiple times that he would keep his campaign schedule while he sorted through all this. The fact that he is now cancelling appearances would seem to indicate that the reassessing is all but finished and the decision has been reached.
It is a sad and unfitting end for a candidate that had many Republicans excited. Cain survived a lot during this race. But it looks like he won’t survive this.
UPDATE: Rumor — Cain campaign employees are supposedly leaking that Herman Cain will officially drop out of the race tomorrow.
Sounds like it’s just a matter of time before Herman Cain ends his campaign:
“Over the next several days, we are going to continue with the schedule as usual,” he said. “I’ve got a major speech tonight at Hillsdale College on national security and foreign policy and I will deliver it with vim, vigor, and enthusiasm. And then tomorrow we’ve got some media appearances scheduled. So we’re going to continue until we complete our assessment over the next several days.”
“But if a decision is made, different than to plow ahead, you all will be the first to know,” he said. “So until that time, I want to continue to thank you all for your support, thank you for your prayers. It’s taken an emotional toll, but the people in the audience tonight will never know it.”
“It’s also taken a toll on my wife and family, as you would imagine,” he concluded. “Any time you put another cloud of doubt, unfortunately, in the court of public opinion, for some people, you’re guilty until proven innocent. And so, the public will have to decide whether they believe her or whether they believe me. That’s why we’re going to give it time, to see what type of response we get from our supporters.”
Please read the full wrap-up in Cain’s conference call over at NRO.
There may be nothing wrong with Fox Channel 5′s report on Ginny White’s allegation that she had a 13 year affair with Herman Cain as far as modern journalistic standards are concerned, but there may be plenty wrong with modern journalism.
Good investigative journalism is dead. In this case, Fox 5 has brought us the allegation, but left too many questions. Perhaps, this is the way stories are designed. Like old Soap Opears, the intent is to create an interesting hook so we’ll all tune in for the next installment of “Herman Can: The Scandal.”
To be clear, Cain does need to answer the questions and clarify the exact nature of his relationship with Ms. White. This is someone he knows who has made a serious allegation against him. He needs to explain the nature and extent of this relationship.
Some may question the wisdom of any relationship or friendship between the two. Yet, it seems to me to be the hypocrisy of the modern business world. Imagine, if you would, a man advising male executives. If you’re in business and you’re outgoing and helpful to people of only one sex and less helpful to another, you’re quickly labeled a sexist. Modern executives are taught to treat men and women equally.
Given that the books with Cain’s handwriting in them are Cain’s own books on leadership and business management, rather than say Leaves of the Grass, that at least suggests Cain’ s relationship with the woman was more professional and encouraging rather than romantic.
The signed books are the weakest evidence provided by White because the incriptions really betray nothing more than friendliness. I’ve had friends sign books with inscriptions just as friendly as these. It’s common.
Perhaps, the bigger proof was her possession of Cain’s private phone number and the number of texts and calls between them. But again, how damning is this? While many of us may only give our private cell phone number to ten or twenty people, for Cain that number isprobably significantly higher given the number of people and activities he was involved with including church, business, community, friends, family, and political contacts.
The extent of contact between Cain and White was further obscured by Fox’ 5′s reporting. They stated there were 61 text messages and phone calls, both incoming and outgoing. This fails to give us any helpful idea as to the nature of these contacts. If Cain and White were having a twenty minute phone conversation every other day while Cain was on the campaign trail this would raise some questions. But, with text messages thrown in, the possibilities can become endless. White very well could have been sending several text messages without Cain responding or responding less. Or if Cain and she texted back and forth for a few minutes, they could easily burn through a dozen text messages in no time flat. Cain also could have had a list of friends that he sends text messages to for whatever reason. In addition, the two could have played phone tag on something, with many calls back and forth leaving messages on voice mail and never even touching base. Without giving us a clue as to the breakdown of the conversations (numbers of texts, number of phone calls, length of phone calls, and who was the initiator of the contacts.)
Even then, all that we would have in context is the situation over the last four months when Ms. White admits the sexual relationship had ended.
Unlike the sexual harassment stories, this one is real simple to prove or disprove. Ms. White listed several specific places that she says She and Cain frequented. If that’s the case, then there should be someone at those hotels to corroborate. If Fox 5 had been into old-fashioned investigative journalism, they would have investigated this angle themselves. But, if they did that, we’d have less incentive to tune in for the next installment.
In 2006 there was an open seat for Governor in New York. Democrats were rallying early on to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, so the Republicans needed a candidate who was exciting and able to compete. I went to a Gubernatorial candidate forum and one person stood out, Assemblyman Pat Manning. Manning was young, had a young family, was an across the board conservative, and was a great speaker. He ran in favor of old fashioned family values and classic American values. When he spoke, it sounded like he meant it. I got my picture taken with him and promptly donated to his campaign. I was hooked, I was excited. I was wrong.
A few weeks later it came out that the man was cheating on his wife, who had begun the process of divorcing him. It was messy, as it appeared him and, (according to insiders I knew at the time) other Assemblymen were passing around interns in a sketchy story that appeared less than true, until he dropped out of the race for Governor. He then tried to run for his old assembly seat, losing to Marc Molinaro in the primary – after getting caught trying to contact Molinaro’s pollster pretending to be Molinaro over the phone. I was disappointed to say the least. I couldn’t get over that this man who I had supported, man who I had believed in, would fall this far and could have deceived me so much. Fast forward to this year.
Early on, I had jumped on the Cain Train. When he first began talking about a Presidential campaign, I was excited. Listening to him speak about the fundamentals of conservatism was mesmerizing. His outsider credentials and his vast business experience was impressive to me. Add to that, he had a great personal story and had a great family life. His wife didn’t want to be in the spotlight, she liked her privacy, so he didn’t drag her on the campaign trail. I liked that. I then went out on a limb for him here endorsing him. Then the allegations started rolling in.
First, there were allegations of sexual harassment. There were few details, they appeared…frankly, unfounded. Then came more allegations, including one from a person who actually came public with their specific allegations. Now, there’s this – claims of a 13 year affair. Cain’s response? All but admitting it with a non-denial denial. It makes all the previous allegations appear plausible. Also, she has specifics – texts, call logs, etc. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before he drops out of the race; which is probably for the best for his family.
In both cases, I went all in for a candidate only to end up feeling betrayed and disappointed in a candidate who was not who they said they were. It’s an awful feeling and one I don’t want to feel again. We all need to be careful before endorsing, but that said – much like in romance, we can not allow the failures of the past to sully our future. We can not be unwilling to endorse for fear of being called a fool. We can not predict who will turn out to be a charlatan, who has skeletons in their closet. You can’t be unwilling to endorse because a skeleton that you never could know about may come out. I can’t just assume that everyone running for public office is untrustworthy, or else I’d never vote.
Trust is important to me and those of us on the right. Limited government, in many ways, requires an informed and responsible public; it requires us to trust each person to do what is right for themselves and their family. In order to have a limited government, you have to hold a great deal of trust in the average person. I trust that I know better for myself than my Senator or my President. I feel the same way about my neighbors and my friends. This is part of why I am a conservative. This inherent public trust carries over into our politicians. Ronald Reagan was a big time truster – according to Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson, Reagan would trust those he appointed to do their job according to their ability and where they were the experts, he would trust their knowledge and their judgment. We on the right want to trust our political leaders. We are appalled when politicians prove untrustworthy and in most cases the grassroots will go after our own.
Trust is important to me and when it’s gone, it takes time to rebuild and forgive the person who appeared untrustworthy. That’s why Newt has taken until now to become politically viable. It took time to heal those past wounds. Right now I’m frustrated and betrayed. That said, I won’t let disappointment prevent me from endorsing and supporting a candidate in the future.
Ginger White is publicly accusing Herman Cain of carrying on a 13-year extramarital affair with her — a charge that was broadcast on the 6:00 FOX5 news in Atlanta.
The affair began, according to White, when she met Cain in the late 90s in Louisville, KY. He was the head of the National Restaurant Association at the time, met her after a presentation, and invited her back up to his hotel room. The ‘friendship’, as Cain portrays it, lasted for over a decade and included Cain flying her out to visit him on business trips in Palm Springs and multiple other cities he was visiting.
Their last physical contact was about eight months ago, according to White. Cain cut off the physical relationship before he announced he was running for President. When asked to present proof of the affair, White produced cell phone records that show 61 phone calls and text messages between White and Cain over the course of a four month period. Reporters from FOX5 texted the number to see if it was indeed Herman Cain’s cell phone, and Cain then called them back (and denied the allegations).
Cain’s lawyer released this non-denial earlier this afternoon:
“Mr. Cain has been informed today that your television station plans to broadcast a story this evening in which a female will make an accusation that she engaged in a 13-year long physical relationship with Mr. Cain. This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault – which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.
Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults – a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public’s right to know and the media’s right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one’s bedroom door.
Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media.”
Three weeks ago, this would have been an interesting development in the Republican primary horse race. Today with Cain languishing in the polls, it is a sad time for his marriage and his family. Cain has said he will stay in the race unless the accusations begin weighing on his family. It is difficult to see how they won’t at this point.
The thought came to me the other day that our Race42012 community might include some folks who want an easy way to find all of our candidates’ economic plans. Well, here are links to each of the major candidates’ plans:
So here they all are. As always, I urge folks to read and look at the plans of the candidates. Ill-informed votes don’t do anyone any good.
I entered this cycle truly hoping that Mike Huckabee would run for President, but in May it became clear that wouldn’t happen.
I’ve considered several candidates since then: Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachmann. I’ve remained on the fence until now. I’m firmly on the Herman Cain train.
I laid out what I was looking for in a Presidential candidate in this column and what I believed a Republican Candidate: political courage, character, the confidence of the base in his intentions, and the ability to inspire optomism in Americans. Herman Cain is the man who best represents this ideal.
When I look at other main contenders, their courage to address tough issues is definitely in question. Cain’s is not.
The issue of character is one that some might contest given the recent sexual harassment rumors. However, none of these rumors have had any evidence other than heresay to support them. It’s reasonable to expect a candidate’s known and proven conduct be exemplary. It’s not reasonable to expect he be invulnerable flimsy baseless allegations.
Optomism is also important. We Americans have been beaten down by events. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, our own image of America has taken a relentless beating. And really our economy is suffering as much from our pessimissism about the future as the current problems. We desperately need to feel good about our country. Herman Cain best exudes that Reaganesque confidence in America that instills that good feeling that can restore our national self-confidence.
There are many criticisms of Mr. Cain, including his lack of foreign policy expertise, his mis-statements on some issues, and his campaign staff.
I won’t deny that Cain hasn’t had some facepalm moments, but being president is not merely a matter of being the master of political trivia. It’s about leadership and the willingness to take on hard problems. While I may question some of his staff decisions, it must be admitted that: 1) the quality of staff was affected by the shoestring budget that afflicted the campaign until this quarter and 2) whatever the complaints about Mr. Block, had Cain taken the advice of most pundits and bloggers instead of Block’s, he would have been out of this race three months ago and never become a national contender.
Others make a dubious comparison between Mr. Cain and President Obama. “In 2008, we elected a charismatic guy with no experience, do we really want to do that again?” The argument assumes that the problem with the last three years has been that Obama didn’t have a long enough political resume. The problem with the last three years has been that Obama’s been has been pushing harmful policies, not because of inexperience, but because he believes in bad ideology and political philosophy. It is decades of political experience that has produced the two biggest job killers in this term, Obamacare and Dodd-Frank (named after two members of Congress with more than 30 years in office.) Unlike Obama, Cain will bring executive experience and the one clear failure of executive leadership that we have (the BP oil spill) would never have occurred if Herman were president.
Americans are tired of politics as usual, of men who think up clever answers to everything and take a bunch of positions on issues that they have to reverse themselves on once in office because they didn’t fully understand the situation.
Herman Cain does have staying power beyond the “Flavor of the Month” phenomena. Even after the last few weeks, he remains competitive in national polls and in Iowa. I think he can come back and win this particularly as more intention is put on Newt Gingrich’s past record.
In the Fall, I will support whoever the Republican nominee is against Obama. In this primary election campaign, I’ll support the candidate I think will be best for America. That’s why this morning I put a Cain bumper sticker on my car and I hope to caucus for Mr. Cain on Super Tuesday.
The latest topic of analysis around the blogosphere (including here at Race) is the new “Romney Unleashed” sketch on SNL — how it differed compared to caricatures of other candidates, what it means to Romney’s electability, and other such issues. Why? Because in all good humor lies a kernel of truth. Oftentimes, humor is a powerful way to get a point across.
I follow comedian Andy Borowitz on Twitter. He is liberal. Waaay liberal, as a matter of fact. I don’t line up with his politics at all. But when it comes to humor, the guy’s got a gift. He’s not only funny, he’s influential – clocking in at over 133,000 followers and constantly on the Top Tweets board… which is why I find it interesting to watch how he jokes about the current crop of GOP candidates.
Here’s a sampling of the jokes he’s tweeted throughout this campaign:
It is quite revealing, then, that the best he could come up with for Mitt Romney were these:
Again, just as we saw with the SNL sketches, there is a measurable difference in the flaws of all the other candidates in comparison to Mitt Romney. Romney gets attacked as dull, and with class warfare lines. And that’s about it. Even a liberal comedian like Andy Borowitz who takes joy in how unqualified all the GOP candidates are stops to take note that Romney is “totally qualified” to be President.
Romney gives no fodder to the comedians, which must drive them nuts. But from my perspective – I started following politics in 1999 – I’m looking forward to having someone lead and represent the GOP who doesn’t make me wince every time they open their mouth.
2012 Republican Presidential Nomination
|Poll||Average||Pew Research||FOX News||CNN / ORC||PPP|
|Date||11/9 – 11/15||11/9 – 11/14||11/13 – 11/15||11/11 – 11/13||11/10 – 11/13|
2o12 Iowa Republican Caucus
|Poll||Average||Rasmussen||ISU / Gazette / KCRG||The Polling Company||Bloomberg / Selzer & Co.|
|Date||11/1 – 11/15||11/15 – 11/15||11/1 – 11/13||11/11 – 11/13||11/10 – 11/12|
2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary
|Poll||Average||NH Journal / Magellan Strategies||Bloomberg / Selzer||Rasmussen|
|Date||10/26 – 11/16||11/15 – 11/16||11/10 – 11/12||10/26 – 10/26|
New Hampshire – Not Displaying Romney
The answer is found in the first graph of Cain’s column which wasn’t posted here. Cain begins his endorsement article this way:
The dynamics of political party connections, the political process itself and public perceptions have once again yielded the top two contenders of each major party in the 2008 presidential race. And once again, the public can only hope that the ultimate winner of the White House will be a candidate with the most leadership substance.
This endorsement article came on February 4, 2008, the day before Super Tuesday and was written towards the view of a Presidential race that had come down to A (Mitt Romney) v. B (John McCain). This was commonly held by many conservatives. Fred Thompson was out, Mike Huckabee had been written off (though Huckabee would show the experts wrong on that), and for many folks it was a question of one or the other. Cain saw Romney as the best of two choices. But was Herman Cain’s heart with Romney throughout the process? No. In January 0f 2008, Cain wrote a check for the-then federal maximum of $2300 to Mike Huckabee. But given the McCain v. Romney dichotomy, that was his choice.
Cain has not run a hard-edged campaign against Romney. Indeed, given certain A v. B scenarios, he might endorse Romney again, or he might not. Regardless, it’s fatuous to pretend that Cain was a big Romney booster, out campaigning for the guy when: 1) his endorsement came the day before Romney’s last primaries and 2) he gave $2300 to Mike Huckabee.
Recently found the link to Herman Cain’s endorsement of Mitt Romney from 2008. Found it interesting and decided to post it up here. Here’s an excerpt:
My vote is for Mitt Romney.
History is important, but the future is more important. Making history is nice, but nice can’t make critical decisions. The success of this country in the future will be shaped by the leadership abilities of the next president.
Our success will not be based on opinion polls, pandering to the uninformed voters, promising emotional quick fixes over common sense, nitpicking of opponents’ past records or mastering the art of the media sound bite. Success will come from focusing on the right problems and solving those problems. That will mean making tough decisions about some problems that have been with us for decades. It will also mean taking a tough stand on new problems and challenges.
That’s what leaders do.
Mitt Romney has done that as a chief executive officer in business, as a governor and as head of the U.S. Olympics. He has done so while balancing political consequences, but not compromising fundamental principles of the founding of this country or free-market economics. We have prospered as a nation by strengthening those principles, and will not remain strong if we allow those principles to become diluted with a lack of leadership.
Anyone who wishes to find a reason not to vote for Romney can easily find one. But the reasons to vote for him are far more compelling. He has successfully managed a real business with other people’s money and some of his own. He has balanced budgets. He successfully led a turnaround situation with the Olympics. And he has spent more of his career outside government than inside.
The question I’m sure a lot of people still have for Herman Cain is…what’s changed between ’08 and today?
I said early on I didn’t want a safe choice for 2012. Well, now that unsafe choice has gotten to the point where I can no longer stand behind him. It’s not just the claims, it’s the fact that Cain has been unable to run a functional campaign. Cain’s draw was that he was an outsider who was going to surround himself with the right people. The way he’s run his campaign has shown that he’s unable or unwilling to surround himself with the right people. So, what of the other candidates? As the title of the post implies, I’m undecided and let me tell you why.
Bachmann – Michele is pretty good on fiscal issues, but comes across as a kook. Why? Well, when you imply 9-9-9 is the sign of the devil, you’ve pretty much made yourself written off.
Huntsman – Huntsman has a pretty solid platform. He has a solid tenure as Governor, but governed as far to the left as was possible in the state of Utah. Other problems? He keeps poking conservatives in the eye with specifically targeted comments (ex “I believe in science”) and the fact that he was running for President (or planning to) while serving as Ambassador to China is upsetting to me. I’ve discussed this at length before. This bugs me, seriously. I could vote for him in the general, but I won’t in the primary.
Johnson – Gary Johnson has an excellent record as governor. He founded a 1 man company that turned into the biggest construction firm in New Mexico, which is far more impressive than the experience of a lot of different candidates. That said, he’s pro-choice, he’s known as the “pot” candidate, and is unable to raise money. At all. Johnson can’t get the nomination because no one has given him the chance and he’s unable to raise any funds.
Mitt – Romney has an incredible ground game, is focused on Obama, a decent campaigner, and has the same type of business experience I loved in Herman Cain. The problem? Inconsistent on fiscal issues and Masscare. Both of which led me to not vote for him in 2008, and it’s part of the reason I’m still undecided on him now. Also, I frankly don’t know if I can trust him. He comes across as disingenuous to me and in the debates came across as condescending. Then again, Obama’s always condescending. So, I could still vote for him, but again – undecided.
Newt – Newt is a fascinating candidate. Great debater, former Speaker of the House who helped lead the country in the right direction (pun intended) on fiscal issues and led to serious national reform. But he’s on his third wife with a history of infidelity and he’s been inconsistent historically on fiscal issues. He’s a brain power is unmatched, but as I said – inconsistent on fiscal issues. So, I could vote for him – but still undecided.
Paul – I will not vote for Ron Paul in the primary. Ever. Even if he’s the only one left in the primary. In that case, I would write in George H.W. Bush.
Perry – Perry has some great experience. He was a pretty solid Governor of Texas. 40% of the jobs created in the US in the past 2 years were created in Texas – that’s hard to overlook. That said, Perry is a terrible debater which could be awful against Obama in the general election. Also, there’s the Texas DREAM Act, which as a strong opponent of it here in Maryland who supported the effort to put it on the ballot / overturn it – this is a problem. Deal breaker? No, but an issue for me. Again, I’m undecided on Perry in the primary – but of course would vote for him in the general election.
Santorum – I actually don’t mind Rick Santorum. But, he couldn’t win reelection in Pennsylvania. He comes across angry and agitated in every single debate. He is inconsistent on fiscal issues. And, frankly, his active campaigning for future turncoat Arlen Specter is disappointing. Honestly, Santorum has very little money and does not have a clear path to the nomination. Also, his name is a filthy expression online that will be tough to combat should he get the nomination.
So, I’m back to being undecided. If the primary were held today, I’m not sure who I’d vote for when I got into the voting booth. Maybe Newt. Maybe Rick Perry. Maybe Romney – I’m not sure. What I do know is that I’m waiting to be wowed by the candidates.