Saturday, October 08, 2011

Raising Cain

Chad and I may have our disagreements over craft beers, but his criticisms of Mitt Romney are spot on. I really don't have anything to add to his critique of Romney, who clearly is not a leader that would redefine the role of government. Unfortunately, few see such a leader in the Republican field.

As I look across the field, seeing leaders with differing strengths and weaknesses, I'm more intrigued by the prospects of Herman Cain. His weakness #1 is his electability, which is essentially a b.s. criticism of someone who has low name recognition. Weakness #2 is that his lack of experience in government. If we are looking to redefine the role of government, who better to do so than someone whose resume isn't bogged down in government.

Cain's resume, while missing federal and state government experience, does boast a Federal Reserve bank chairmanship. Given the financial crisis that we face, this seems to be relevant policymaking experience that would rival the governorship of any state.

As I listen to the candidates, Cain is the only one who shows the passion of a thoughtful conservative ideology. Yes, Brian, Newt Gingrich can talk the talk at times, but I have several problems with Newt. First, I can't shake the image of him sitting with Nancy Pelosi for an Al Gore inspired advertisement against global warming. Second, Newt is well known and brings high negatives to the table in the minds of many voters. Finally, Newt is more an intellectual than a man of action. He's able to come up with wonderful though sometimes fanciful theories of government, but much less likely to execute on his agenda. This is evidenced by his speedy fall from grace in the 1990's.

Michele Bachmann is a rock ribbed conservative that simply doesn't have the executive experience and may not have the temperment for the presidency. She's fairly young and may develop into the role, but she isn't there now. I don't trust any of the other candidates conservative bona fides as much as I do Cain's.

Finally, a Cain nomination would create a Rovian dream. For decades, the African American vote has been monolithic. An election featuring two black candidates might chip away at that phenomenon. Obama received over 90% of the AA vote in 2008, and AA voters represented over 10% of all voters. If Cain could move the needle up to 20%, that would represent a pickup of 1% of all voters. As the demographics of the United States change, it becomes more important that minorities consider the Republican party. A Cain nomination and presidency would facilitate this.