Cain Accusations Show Why Beginners Have it Rough

Herman Cain

A lot of people seem to like Herman Cain. Given that the GOP field is a choice between Romney, who’s bonafides on the Second Amendment and health care are not to be trusted, and Rick Perry, who is increasingly looking like a candidate who doesn’t have the chops to operate on the national level, Cain seems like he could be a refreshing alternative.

But it was almost predictable that he’d have a “public hair on the coke can” moment. Not only because of the fact that the quickest way to politically lynch a conservative black man is to drag forth the old racist stereotype that the black man can’t control his libido, but also because the guy is a political neophyte who has never really been vetted in a serious way before. Unlike Perry and Romney, Cain has never held any elected office. He’s been involved in politics, but generally as a behind the scenes operator. He has never put a target on his back until he became the GOP frontrunner, and now everything that could ever possibly come out about him is going to come out.

Romney and Perry have the advantage of having attained a governorship, with Romney having done that in a state which is heavily Democratic. Generally speaking, to attain an office like this, you have to work your way up the political ladder. As you work your way up, you put a bigger and bigger target on your back. People have an incentive to dig. Any skeletons in your closet are going to come out, even if they are skeletons someone else put there. All the chickens from your past are going to come home to roost.

Mitt Romney comes from a political family, his father having been Governor of Michigan. This is an advantage to Romney because he would have been exposed to the rancorous nature of politics from an early age. Romney actually attained the governorship of Massachusetts as a relative newcomer to politics — his only experience prior to winning Governor was a failed challenge to Ted Kennedy’s seat in 1994. Nonetheless, this would have put a big enough target on his back for opponents to start digging. His successful gubernatorial run in a Democratic state certainly would have given opponents and the media an incentive to dig.

Rick Perry won his first election to the Texas House in 1984, ironically as a Democrat. After that, as a Republican, he ran for Agricultural Commissioner. From there he ran for Lieutenant Governor, and was elevated to Governor once George W. Bush assumed his role as President. Perry has only really ever faced a tough high-profile race once in his career, which was for Lieutenant Governor. I think his weaknesses as a candidate have been showing in his primary performance.

Cain has virtually no political experience. He has never held any elected office. All the accusations, whether true or not, are going to start coming out now. For the first time, he’s painted a big target on himself. Having run for political office before is certainly not a guarantee you won’t come under new allegations, after all it was Bill Clinton who had a team dedicated to dealing with “bimbo eruptions,” but having run for lower offices previously at least means some of the sources for allegations your opponents might know about have already been used up, and overcome. Herman Cain will have the disadvantage of having to deal with many of them now, rather than in prior races during his political career.

It’s a risk trying to win a national office with someone who has never even held a single elected office. Even Obama, despite his lack of real political experience, at least had the Chicago machine behind him. While I like many of Cain’s positions, have been disappointed in Perry, and harbor no real love for Mitt, I’m wary of pushing such a political neophyte as Cain onto center stage. It’s a huge gamble, and the stakes are unbelievably high for 2012. Our primary goal is to ensure Obama does not get a second term. For that I want the strongest candidate we can run. As much as I wish that could be Herman Cain, his lack of real experience on the political stage is a major issue I don’t think GOP primary voters should overlook.

14 thoughts on “Cain Accusations Show Why Beginners Have it Rough”

    1. I like the guy more than the rest of the lot, but he’s been out of politics for a while, and the media is ignoring him.

  1. Though I live in the ATL, Cain’s home base, I still lean more to Huntsman (yep, there’s a lost cause). I’m a little nervous on Herman from a foreign policy standpoint.

    The Honkees for Herman t-shirts are kinda funny, though.

  2. If Romney gets the nod, I won’t vote for him. The only thing that separates Romney from Obama is being half-black less.

    I’d gladly support Bachmann, Newt, Huntsman, Paul, Perry, or Cain. None of them are perfect, in fact they’re all flawed as hell, but they’re not Liberals with an R next to their name.

    I’m sorry if I’m not convinced that being a professional politician is what we need right now. Hasn’t worked in liberty’s favor yet and you know the definition of insanity, right? A little Of The People sounds good right now, even if it’s imperfect.

    1. I’d be happy if a non-professional politician could win. It does happen from time to time. But history doesn’t favor it

      The last one who won was Eisenhower, who also had no elected political experience. But I think it could be argued that Eisenhower was rather uniquely positioned.

      Before that it was Herbert Hoover, who had only served as a cabinet secretary. Before that, he was a mining engineer.

      Taft served as Governor of Cuba and the Philippines before being President, but held no elected office before President.

      Before Taft, you have to go back to Grant, who was situated similarly to Eisenhower.

      Before Grant, Zachary Taylor made the transition from War hero to President as well.

      From there you’re back to George Washington, who also made the transition from war hero to President.

      So there are two examples of people with no political experience going straight into the Presidency who weren’t war heroes to start out with. However both of them were in the 20th Century. So I wouldn’t rule Cain out, but his win would be historically quite unique. I’m no lover of Romney, and I would favor Perry over him, but Cain is a pretty big gamble, I think.

      1. Eisenhower had plenty of political experience during WWII. He had to deal with Churchill, Montgomery, Patton and a lot of other big egos. I like Cain he was the first I heard say the tax system is broke. It’s not about raising or lowering taxes. It’s about the broken tax structure.

  3. What about Andrew Jackson? Wasn’t he the “hero” of 1812? I would just Google it but that woukd be cheating….

  4. A “commercial” mindset and a “guardian” mentality are WAY different. If a candidate’s sole claim to fame is that “he would run the government like a business” then one should shun him.

    The two have different approaches to problems and the tactic of applying a business solution to a government problem is usually a catastrophe. Here’s an example:

    A few years ago, the NY transit system was overwhelmed by complaints of bums soliciting money and urinating in public. The NY Transit Authority applied a commercial solution: They gave bonuses to the transit cops for each arrest!

    You can imagine how well that worked!

  5. I don’t know; the more I see of the candidates, the more it appears the GOP hasn’t got anyone who has a chance at winning in 2012. –And that worries me.

    Increasingly, I’m convinced they need to go the way of the Whigs.

    1. Becoming irrelevant and having a civil war triggered by their replacement? Which I suppose at this point is merely improbable, not impossible. And if the GOP goes the way of the Whigs, that will make two political parties finished off by the Democrats by triggering a civil war…

  6. Sebastian, I’m not sure what your knowledge level on TX politics is, but Perry’s last governor’s race was NOT a cakewalk.

    His policy positions are pretty good. On Obamacare:

    First, I will issue an executive order prohibiting the Department of Health and Human Services from any further implementation of Obamacare until we can fully repeal this unconstitutional government mandate, which, if it stands, will diminish our health care and kill jobs.

    And any candidate who goes to Iowa and tells them that the Federal government has no business subsidizing ethanol or any other form of energy has more than enough determination.

    As for immigration, he’s the only governor who’s actually sent extra law enforcement to the border (including Arizona).

    As for his debate performances, meh. No one looks that good in the LSM controlled 30 second soundbite we’ve seen so far (except for ORomney, who can sit back and let the moderators make his opponents look bad).

    1. I don’t want to appear anti-Perry. If I had to choose now, he’d be my choice. But I’m concerned that he hasn’t swept in and made it a Mitt vs. Perry fight like I thought he would. Also, as a Pennsylvanian, I’m concerned that my state won’t vote for a TX Republican. Perry doesn’t need Pennsylvania to win, but if he’s the nominee, I think you can probably write us off.

      Another of my concerns is, whoever is the next President, I think is going to prove to be pretty unpopular as well. Our economic woes are rather fundamental. I do think repealing Obamacare would help, but we’re still staring down the barrel of a huge entitlement problem. The next President will have to make some very tough choices. I wouldn’t be on him earning a second term.

  7. I don’t hear a lot of enthusiasm for Romney. But I do hear a lot of, “I really like _____ but he hasn’t got a chance, so I’ll vote for Romney.” I think if everybody planning to vote for Romney merely because he’s been anointed as inevitable actually went to the polls and voted for the person they really wanted to be president, the results would be surprising, and probably result in a better candidate. Personally, Romney’s flip-floppery is a huge problem IMHO, one Obama’s people will have a field day with even if Rick Perry can’t seem to make it stick.

    Personally, I’m voter for Huntsman; Romney has no core values that I can identity with certainty.

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