Thursday, September 29, 2011

...and Cain makes three!

Fox News has released the latest poll that points to the prediction that many, including An Ebb and Flow, made after last Thursday’s GOP debate: Romney overtakes Perry, and Cain receives a significant bump.

There’s a magical number floating around right now…let’s see if you can pick it out with these few lines from that report on the Fox News poll:

Three September debates have shaken-up the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Herman Cain has jumped into the top tier. Rick Perry’s stumbled. Mitt Romney's holding steady.

The new poll found Cain’s support has nearly tripled among GOP primary voters to 17 percent.
That’s up from 6 percent before this month’s debates, and puts him in what is essentially a three-way tie with Perry and Romney.

The deemed 'two-man' commentary that promulgates among the prescribed 'top tier' candidates is being chipped away at by that magical number 3...and that's a good thing, particularly in a primary. Upon Perry's entry, this is what we had with Romney/Perry/Bachmann for a brief time. But as we're actively learning, challenges among the top tier are fine, but 'sniping', particularly with emotional charges over principally proven substance, gets a prescribed top tier candidate nowhere among many in the electorate, and the punditry and pollsters know that (which in turn, helps them hone their respective trades). It's what happened to Bachmann, with the "poor, little girls" attempt to tug at heartstrings, and aside from Perry's unpolished debating skills, it's what's happening to him, by simply referring to the rejection of in-state tuition for illegals as ‘heartless’. To be clear, Perry has walked back from that statement and apologized for addressing the issue as such. But the fact of the matter is these are liberal-like tactics, and even though Perry or Bachmann have what's considered more conservative credentials than Fox's perceived 'electable' frontrunner, Romney has quite successfully come out on top of such skirmishes in the debates.

Some would argue that Romney deserves to be put under the same scrutiny, particularly by moderators in the debates. I would certainly be one to agree with that. However, if you think about it, he has to some degree already, which is why he bowed out the first time around and didn’t win the nomination. Now, that didn’t cover the ObamaCare/RomneyCare comparisons, but if you think about that as well, Americans have had a few years to mull over that one. That’s no excuse not to address it, especially since everyone else’s past is finding itself under the magnifying glass, but perhaps that can provide insight into the moderators’ choices not to press the issue. Although I wouldn’t necessarily apply the old adage that time heals all wounds, Time has nonetheless been very beneficial to Mitt.

In Herman Cain’s case, as Daniel Henninger admits in his latest WSJ op ed, it’s time for folks to drop the cloudy ‘electability’ argument, or that he’s never held elected political office, and take a more serious look at a man who absolutely has a record of success in the private sector front lines. And after perusing through much of that, as well as admitting he’s rewritten his ‘presidential-selection software’ given our modern deciders for choosing frontrunners, Henninger surmises:

Put it this way: 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.

This would be the advice I'd give to Herman Cain: steer clear of the emotional responses that we’ve seen cripple others in the top spot, and stick to substance (just as you have) to differentiate your candidacy, continue pointing it out, and do it all with that unique flavor that only Herman Cain can supply. That genuineness will cut through the polished Romney mold. (I'd offer the same advice to Perry as well, although I've always contended that the illegal issue would come back to bite Perry more than any other fault)

Past that, Herman Cain faces the same obstacle that great conservatives like Marco Rubio face: the Establishment’s assessment of ‘experience’ when it comes to the charge of ‘electability’. But to add to Mr. Henninger’s call to consider the seriousness of Cain’s candidacy over that, I’d re-emphasize his contributions to the private sector and remember, this is no community organizer we’re discussing here.

ADDENDUM: Further dispelling the establishment detractors, Cain placed 2nd in a new Florida statewide poll, just two points behind Romney's 27%, and garnering a substantial lead over Perry, who's at 13%.  Full steam ahead...

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