Ink and pixels are growing about potential Republican nominees hoping to oppose President Barack Obama in the 2012 general election. One potential candidate—an emerging national brand in the political market—is gaining grassroots support.
He’s being talked about on Facebook and Twitter; he’s been featured in The Daily Beast, The Daily Caller and in other print/web media. Not long ago a dear one and I were having coffee when Cain popped up on the TV on one of those political talk shows. My dear one listened for a few minutes and more excitement ensued than I’ve seen in a long time (at least when it comes to presidential potentials).
The response from my companion?
“He gets it!”
I would also add Cain’s got more charisma in his pinky nail than many of the other GOP hopefuls. Aside from that, Cain is an inspiring orator and he has a proven track record in business. Equally important: Cain could effectively debate Obama.
Cain’s personal story is inspiring, and will resonate with many of us who grew up in homes where hardworking parents made the best of limited budgets and means. Our parents looked ahead, hoping to prepare us to better ourselves beyond the yardstick set by their own generation.
Cain’s business background comes from his work at a number of known brands—Pillsbury, Godfather’s Pizza, Coca-Cola. He also worked for the Dept. of the Navy and many have listened to Cain’s commentary either on his Atlanta talk radio show or when he fills in for hosts of other shows.
The businessman is also famous for a Clinton era moment, when, during a Townhall, he asked President Bill Clinton about his healthcare plan commonly called ‘HillaryCare’ that ultimately failed in Congress. Cain told Clinton some of his calculations were “incorrect.”
There’s a moment when Clinton attempts to distract with a barrage of figures—Cain blew Clinton away on that one. Cain, by the way, has a background in mathematics. Clinton finally backed down because he couldn’t effectively rebut Cain. Neal Boortz's site featured the full video.
There’s another takeaway from the exchange—Clinton didn’t know squat about running a business and he knew even less about the impact of his healthcare plan on financials. There is an epidemic of this ignorance in Washington where politicos have convinced many Americans the government “creates jobs.” Taxpayers of course fund those jobs, pensions, healthcare costs and perks. For us there is no bottom line return—taxpayers fund costs for federal employees until the day one or the other dies.
Cain is hitting the grassroots circuit, appearing at events like Americans for Prosperity’s annual Tallahassee summit in Florida, to Wisconsin for the Racine County GOP Lincoln’s Day dinner, to Pennsylvania to keynote the state’s Leadership Conference and to numerous other events where he will get to know some of the GOP faithful.
So far, Cain is being cast as an outlier by a number of conservative publications—Newsmax for some reason didn’t include him in a list of candidates in their recent issue. I still can’t figure that out although print deadlines may have been an issue.
The Republican Party should pay close attention. A number of frontrunner candidates are leftovers from 2008—they lost to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the primary. Others lack oratory skills or a compelling vision.
Cain comes across as a man who would look out for America’s interests first. That approach is desperately needed in Washington as financial titans push politicos around the globe to international government. At the moment, it appears Washington is redistributing American wealth abroad.
Cain hit the nail on the head when he told an audience at the CPAC conference, "Stupid people are ruining America." [Talking Points Memo]
Republican leaders should pay close attention to Cain. As my dear one said, “He gets it!”
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 24, 2011)
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