Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2012 Contender: Herman Cain

Herman Cain is an interesting candidate. He’s a successful businessman with an impressive record of turning around distressed companies. He’s also an economic and religious conservative, with some creative ideas, and some ideas that will turn off moderates, and one or two ideas that are a little troubling. Is he electable?

The big knock on Cain is that he’s never held elective office. He has an excellent response:

Most of the people in Washington have political experience. How’s that working out for us? Not too well. What I bring to the table is more important than political experience, and it’s leadership experience and problem-solving experience.
But that kind of experience may not help when he has to deal with a political Congress and an entrenched bureaucracy which has more power than anything he’s dealt with in the private sector. Also, should the Presidency be a person’s first political job?

1. His “record”: He has impressive credentials. He has a bachelor’s in Mathematics and a master’s degree in computer science. In 1977, he joined Pillsbury and rose to vice president. Pillsbury later assigned him to run 450 Burger King restaurants in the Philadelphia area. This was BK’s least profitable region, and Cain turned it into BK’s most profitable. Pillsbury then appointed him the CEO of failing Godfather’s Pizza, which he returned to profitability. In 1992, he joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and became its chairman in 1995-1996. Cain ran for Senate in Georgia in 2004 and lost in the primary. Today he hosts a radio show and writes a syndicated column. He has written several business books without the assistance of Bill Ayers.

2. Economics: On economics, Cain is solidly conservative with hints of libertarianism:
Taxes: He wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. He wants to reduce the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, reduce the capital gains tax to zero, and end the tax on repatriating profits from overseas. “Liberals say, ‘You just want to reward the rich. No, I want to employ the poor. . . . this is how you can get a job.” He also wants to abolish the IRS and replace the tax code with the FAIR tax.

Spending: He wants to cut the budget across-the-board immediately, and then go through each agency making more cuts, “looking for whole programs to eliminate.” He also says he will veto any bill containing earmarks.

Entitlements: He wants to turn Medicare and Medicaid into block grants to the states and let them establish their own rules. He “totally supports” Paul Ryan’s plan for allowing personal retirement accounts. And he wants to repeal ObamaCare.

Unemployment: He advocates diminishing unemployment benefits over time to encourage people to work, which is what Tommy Thompson did successfully in Wisconsin in the 1990s.

Gold: He believes in the gold standard, which is troubling.
3. Unions/Wisconsin Cain supports Scott Walker and says we need to reverse the trend of giving public sector workers more and more.

4. Global Warming: He does not believe in global warming, saying the science has been manipulated and has become “garbage in, garbage out.”

5. Energy Independence: He favors biofuels as a means of gaining energy independence, so we “stop sending billions of dollars to oil countries that do not like us.” However, he does not believe in using corn: “you don’t use food, you use waste.” He also, apparently does not favor subsidies.

6. Defense/Foreign Policy: Cain’s position on defense is interestingly, but unclear. First, he says we need to start paying attention to our own interests: “The United States has got to stop being Uncle Sucker. We put things on the line, we lose lives, and what do we get in return?” And he wants to be more careful about putting our soldiers in harm’s way.

Thus, on Afghanistan, he says he would ask the military if we can actually win: “I don’t know the answer to that. If the answer is no, then give me an exit strategy. . . . If they say we can win in Afghanistan, I want to hear what the strategy is going to be, and then as president, I’m going to make the decision whether I want to execute that strategy.” So he’s not blindly gung-ho. That’s good.

But then his position on Iran seems strangely bellicose: “We’re not going to talk Iran into not developing nuclear missiles, so we should stop wasting our breath. . . I would park those nuclear submarines over there, with detection capabilities on those ships, and I would do the same thing for Kim Jong Il, that other sick little potentate in North Korea. The only thing they understand is the threat of force and retaliation. I wouldn’t make the first move. I would just make sure our warriors are in place.”

7. Social issues: Cain is a religious conservative, but it’s not clear what this would translate into. Indeed, he seems to be taking the position that these issues would not be his priority. For example, when asked about gay marriage, he said:
I will not sign any legislation that is going to weaken traditional marriage, but I am not going to make getting a constitutional amendment on traditional marriage the centerpiece or the leading issue of my administration. We have a few issues relative to national security, the economy, spending, immigration and education that I think we ought to focus on first. . . leadership is saying very clearly what our priorities are and what we are going to focus our energies on. There are some things that should not distract us from our most pressing priorities.
Here are his views:
Abortion: He believes life begins at conception and opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. He also has accused Planned Parenthood of being “formed to systematically lower the black population. . . because they don’t want to deal with the problems of illiteracy and poverty.”

Gays: He opposes gay marriage on the basis of his belief in the Bible, and opposes gay adoption: “How messed up are those kids going to be?”

Separation of Church and State: His statements in this area sound clear, but are strangely ambiguous:
“The First Amendment says the government can’t establish a religion. It doesn’t say that people can’t have religion in government. If you elect people who share the founding spirituality of this country, you will be able to depend on them to make the right decisions.”
What this means in terms of policy, I do not know? At the same time, he says he will allow Muslims “to practice their religion all they want,” but will not let them “force their beliefs, their Sharia law, on the rest of us.” Again, what does this mean in terms of policy?

Immigration: He supported Arizona’s action, and he says the idea of comprehensive immigration reform is a sham designed to do nothing. He says the US must (1) secure the border, (2) enforce the current laws, and (3) streamline the process for becoming a U.S. citizen. What the third part means is unclear.

Affirmative Action: Cain says he opposes quotas, though he’s expressed the idea that in some instances it’s acceptable to consider race.

Guns: He “believes strongly in the 2nd Amendment.”
Cain is one of those guys about whom all conservatives will find something to like. But they will also find something to dislike. And his appeal to non-conservatives is probably very limited. Would he make a good President? Absolutely. Can he win the job? Maybe.

35 comments:

patti said...

i find it delightful, that conservatives are looking to two black dudes (including west) for such monumental leadership. so much for the racist accusations from the libs. but not to worry, they'll twist it into racism somehow. it's in their playbook. can't abandon the playbook...

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew- every time I heard Cain, I've been impressed. I'd love to see him on the ticket. Patti - I think the left will just call him by their favorite name "Tom."

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

The unfortunate problem with Herman Cain is something staring right at us. He is a business man. His experience in running a business is superb. It is substantially different than running a political community.

In a business, there is only profit and loss. Everything is geared to that. If you don't run your business that way, you won't be in business for long. If you run a political community like a business, you will be run out of town fast.

Part of the reason Scott Walker is successful is because he has people backing him and believe in him. Even people in his administration who are not of the Republican party. Herman Cain doesn't have that.

Yes, he talks a good game. And he is saying all the right things. His experience is all business though.

That is the most troubling item about him. A successful politician has two things. A touch of the blarney stone. He does have that. He hosts a radio program.

The second item is a team. Like a successful actress, he should have a team of people around him. At least one to keep him on schedule. A publicist as well as a recorder of what he is doing. A chief of staff who acts as a bodyguard against people who would, "Just need a few minutes of his time." Once in a while you see these people. They are usually colorless and blend into the background.

These people come from the party, but sometimes they come from a politician's set of friends. Usually a businessman has only a faithful secretary who has stayed with him. That is not a team.

A touch of the blarney stone. He does have that. He hosts a radio program.

There is a Clinton Team. There is a team for Barack Obama. John McCain had one given to him after his earlier group faltered and misspent the funds he had accumulated. Sarah Palin used to have a team for her election in Alaska. They stayed in Alaska for the 2008 election. John McCain supplied Sarah's team for 2008 election. Needless to say, they fell down on the job. Sarah Palin learned her lesson and now has her own team. Reagen had his team.

It doesn't feel like Herman Cain has a team. Yes, he could develop one between now and February of 2012. I think of him more as a one man band. It just feels that way. A lone wolf business man.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, before I say what I think of the guy, I have one (honest) question: Why is the gold standard troubling?

Tennessee Jed said...

Joel - I tend to agree with you which is why I think he could be a great V.P. pic at numerous levels

T-Rav - I cannot speak for Andrew. My concern would be the same as for any fixed commodity standard. When a country's economy is on the ropes so to speak, it would make that country extremely vulnerable to a speculative attack on that substance by your enemies (India, China, George Soros, etc.)

Seeker said...

Anyone stupid enough to be fooled by the Farce tax can not run for office.

CAN NOT. Fairtax is so goofy, so preposterous, that Cain better get rid of this farce, and THEN run.


I know, cause I was fooled by Farce tax at first.

Then I asked questions to Fairtax spokesmen and the SENT me the fine print!

See their own fine print -- and see their own goofy explanations about it.

Not my fine print -- THEIRS. Not my explanations -- THEIRS.

If you still think Farce tax is rational after reading their fine print - - fine.

But no one who reads their fine print -_ NO ONE -- can take them seriously.

There is a trillion dollar HIDDEN tax, that they depend on collecting. See their own spokesmen say so.

http://fairtaxfineprint.blogspot.com/

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, No doubt it will be racists precisely because it isn't racist, so we must be trying to hide our racism by pretending to be non-racist.... clear as mud.

I agree with you, I think it's great that conservatives are looking at black and female and Indian candidates and not really thinking twice about it.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I've been impressed too, and so have a lot of other conservatives. I could easily vote for him, though he has several points that I don't care -- but then, who doesn't?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think he will be able to put together a team if it comes to that, BUT, I think you're right about his experience being a problem.

In my mind, here's the problem. As a businessman, he's used to having a certain responsiveness to his commands. If he tells his staff, "find me cuts," they come back with cuts. If he says, "start doing this," they do it. They know that if they don't, he will fire them and replace them.

Government doesn't work that way. First, you can't fire bureaucrats, who work mightily to frustrate all attempts at reform. Secondly, you can't even replace you cabinet secretaries very easily, and they have a lot of independence.

Third (and much more importantly), he doesn't have power to make real change. For example, he can't make budget cuts or prioritize spending. He can't change the tax code without Congress. He can't simply declare his social issues to be matters of law. Most of what he says about church v. state is beyond anyone's control because the courts are running that. All he can really do is ask Congress and the courts to do these things. His experience hasn't prepared him for that.

Thus, I would be a lot happier with him if he had been a governor first, so we could see how he translates his beliefs in practice.

That said, he bring a perspective to the job that would be invaluable for the country and is a much better perspective than the one brought by all the politicians-for-life, whose only thoughts are (1) how to do get money for my campaign and (2) how do I turn out just enough voters to win?

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Cain is not on my A list. I'd certainly consider him, but there's too much yet to be found out. I will never support a candidate who thinks race is ever a legitimate consideration (with the obvious exception of strictly enforcing equality). If he is for biofuels which don't reduce the food supply, good. But what are his plans for using traditional sources such as coal and oil in the interim? I am not sure if he distinguishes the issue of global warming/climate change from anthropomorphic global warming (the great hoax). I think his absolutist stand on abortion is out-of-step with the majority of Americans who are reluctantly willing to allow exceptions for rape, incest and the physical survival of the mother. But that doesn't disqualify him entirely since he seems willing to yield to the public will.

That said, the issues he has no clear policy on are of great concern to conservatives like me. Without any hard political experience to judge him by, I am reluctant to consider him at this time. That lack of having had to deal with and outfox wily, experienced politicians who oppose his views keeps him off my A list. Having a good overall conservative agenda cannot entirely make up for the need to be able to herd political cats.

For now, I'll demur on moving him up on my list.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, There are many problems with the gold standard, but the biggie is that the people promoting it have no idea what they are talking about, and it bothers me that Cain either doesn't know that, or that he's pandering.

The people pushing the gold standard are generally the same people who push the idea that the Federal Reserve is an international conspiracy to dominate the US, which is laughably stupid -- they don't know their history or their economics. They claim that prior to going off the gold standard, there was no inflation in the US, but after the gold standard, there was incredible inflation "which destroyed the value of the dollar." And if we went back onto the gold standard, that would all suddenly fix itself.

This is completely backwards.

1. They are fudging time periods when they make this argument, and they don't account for the fact that the US in 1960 had a much different economy than the agrarian US in 1760.

2. Their claim that inflation has killed consumers is wrong. Inflation is not a problem within an economy unless it is so high that wages can't keep up -- like Weimar Germany in the 1930s. Unless you have that level of inflation (and we don't and never have had), then wages tend to keep up and inflation is barely an issue. For example, they argue that cars used to sell for $5,000 and now sell for $50,000, so they claim that consumers have been screwed. But the reality is that wages have gone up way more than 10 times in the same period, which actually makes cars cheaper.

Moreover, their main argument -- that the dollar has been destroyed -- confuses inflation with exchange rates. When we were on gold, it took $5 to get 1 Pound and around $3 to get 1 Franc. Today, it takes 5 francs to get $1 and only $1.60ish to get a Pound. So contrary to the claim that going off gold has hurt the dollar, it's actually shot way, way up. Indeed, the gold stanard hurt American consumers by artificially keeping the dollar cheap.

The reason for this is that the floating exchange rate and the gold standard base value on different things. The floating exchange rates is based on an estimate of the strength of the economy as a whole. By comparison, the gold standard is based simply on how much gold you have, which is a proxy for trade imbalances.
(continued)

AndrewPrice said...

(continued)
And since the US has a massive trade imbalance (and not that much gold), a return to the gold standard would result in a swift bankruptcy of the US as all of our gold disappears to China in the course of a couple years.

The people pushing the gold standard don't get that. They think gold simply gives "value" to the currency, but that's economically ignorant. They think gold has "real" value, but it doesn't. Gold only has value because we assign it value, just like we assign pieces of paper with George Washington on them as having value. It's a misunderstanding of the concept of money when people think that the fact that gold is more "tangible" somehow means it has "real" value. It doesn't. And since gold would be valued based on trade only, rather than overall economic strength, you would be trading a very strong currency for a much weaker currency that has little relation in value to the US economy and which would disappear very quickly out of our vaults.

Cain should know this.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's very true too. When your economy or currency is based on one thing then you are extremely vulnerable to shocks.

That's why China feels so stupid right now that they're holding all the US debt and why so many people want to switch the world's "reserve currency" away from the dollar and to a "basket of currencies" so that they aren't vulnerable to problems with the dollar.

FYI, despite claims that gold has never been more expensive, that's actually far from true. First, gold is at a high if you buy it in dollars right now, but is quite low if you buy it in other currencies -- because of inflation fears in the US. Secondly, in real terms (not just nominal dollar terms), gold has lost about half it's value since the 1950 -- compared to the dollar which has more than doubled in value.

AndrewPrice said...

Seeker, Welcome. I actually agree with you. The FAIR troubles me. I think it's hopelessly complex, it doesn't solve the problems it's trying to solve and it hides some massive tax increases. I would rather have either (1) an elimination of the income tax in favor of a sales tax or (2) a flat tax -- something like 15% across the board with no deductions.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree with all points. I like him personally, I'm impressed with his credentials, and I agree with many of his views... BUT....

Some of his views are way outside anything the mainstream will accept, and I definitely don't share them. I am also concerned that he will get rolled by professional politicians. And I am troubled that we have no record to see how he will actually try to implement his policies. It's very easy to say that he's for something, but it's a very different ballgame to see how he implements it and how effective he can be in delivering it.

So all in all, I like him, and I would vote for him over Obama in a heartbeat, but I really want to see him as a governor or something like that before I would want him to be our nominee.

T_Rav said...

Andrew and Jed, okay, now my head hurts. But I think I get your point. Monetary issues have never been my strongest area, so I'll defer to your judgment on this one (even though I'm not a fan of the Federal Reserve by any means).

So with that out of the way, I think I like Cain. I agree with him on the overwhelming majority of policy issues, except maybe the FairTax. The argument against him--due to bureaucracy, running a business isn't exactly like running a government--is well taken, but I think it could turn out to be a source of strength. Businesses have their own bureaucracies, of course, so he's surely familiar with the concept of red tape. And if he makes it clear from day one that Agency XYZ is not going to stand in the way of this policy or that, and has the willpower to stick to his guns, the bureaucrats might be so taken aback by the new tone they'll cave. Besides, striking a theme of running government like it's a business--making sure expenses are less than revenues, for example--will surely find a lot of sympathy on the campaign trail.

I don't expect Cain to win the nomination. But I can think of a lot of people I'd be far more opposed to on the ticket.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I think Cain would bring a valuable perspective, but I honestly don't think he's prepared for what he will find. And that's not his fault, that's the problem with our system.

What we really need to do is to change the government to make it more like a business. The problem right now (due to unionization and the Merit Services Board) is that you can't get rid of people. It's technically possible, but it's not practical. So government employees simply hunker down and refuse to do things they don't like. That's what needs to change.

What we need is someone who is willing to start cutting departments that don't work, laying off government workers, restructuring the entire government employment system, etc. And that will take a strong leader and a stronger Congress. I'm hoping we get there in 2012, but I'm not sure.

Cain might be the guy to do that? I don't know. My biggest concern would be that his administration ends up in chaos as everything else in the system essentially revolts against him. That's one reason I would like to see him as a governor first, so we can see him in action against similar forces.

I would also like to see him as a governor because I'd like to see how he tries to implement his policies. A lot of them sound good in principal, but I'm not sure how they would translate into policy.

In terms of his positions, I agree with some of his position, disagree with others, and am not thrilled with others. Would I vote for him in he were the candidate? Absolutely. And I would prefer him to several of the other contenders. Do I think he's electable? That I don't know.

(By the way, I'm not a fan of the Fed either, but it's the best altnerative. If it didn't do the things it does, Congress would be doing those instead, and then we'd have a real mess.)

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Don't dismiss the importance of a campaign team to a politician. The public usually doesn't see a politician's team. Which is as it should be.

Also, it almost is impossible to get a functioning team together on the fly. I mean you can get people who perform those functions, but there is a palpable difference. Take McCain's Campaign when it faltered. He had a lot of friends working for him. They not only ran through the funds quickly, they fumbled almost every thing they touched.

When it became apparent to someone in the Republican Party, his team wasn't working, they were replaced. This was back when Karl Rove and similar types had greater control over the party. Also, this was back when those types listened more to the talking heads and the media and not to the people. They probably felt that with McCain, the media wouldn't savage him. They were right. The media didn't savage him until he won the nomination.

What I am saying is that any person with a functioning brain wouldn't recommend Katie Couric as THE PERFECT person to interview Sarah Palin for the first time. Especially allow Katie to ask questions for hours in a closed studio with full editing. Also to keep the showing of the edited interview from Palin for the whole time of the campaign. And to keep her incommunicado for almost a month prior to her interview. Now, you might think that someone who knew her would contact her and let her know, yes they did. Through her handlers.

Andrew, if you recommended that, I would suspect that you were trying to sabotage the campaign. Yet, people who were brought together without input from McCain, were allowed to make asinine suggestions like that. Also, a campaign manager worth his salt, would never have allowed his candidate go meekly at Obama when there were so many things McCain could have and should have addressed. Two off the top of my head are Obama's socialism and the Ayers connection.

Obama's campaign wasn't any great shakes either. They fumbled more than McCain's did. He got a free pass from the media. The only one that was any good in the last presidential election was Hillary's. Her problem was the media wasn't about to allow her to win. They wanted Obama.

Also, notice Bush Jr's team and Reagan's team transitioned quickly and efficiently into office. Clinton's didn't. Obama's is marked for all the things you don't do. You certainly don't allow your elected candidate to arrogantly say, "I won." when dealing with politicians shortly after the election.

Don't under-estimate the importance of the that team. It should be hand selected by the candidate and groomed properly. Trained and tested. Getting one on the fly is what happened to McCain and Palin.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's very true and I didn't mean to dismiss the importance of the team. My thinking in terms of Cain is that he's unlikely to win this time, so I don't think he's worried about his team. And if somehow he became a candidate who was likely to win, then I think he would probably do a pretty good job of putting together a good team -- based on his track record of being able to find the right people to help turn those businesses around.

In terms of the teams you mention, I think you're right:

McCain's team was horrible. They did almost everything wrong. And I suspect that was because he loaded the team with people he liked rather than people who were any good. Plus, he was erratic and prone to bad decisions -- especially when he decided it was more important to be liked than to win -- and his team had no ability to control that. So almost everything he did was bad.

Obama's team was no better, but as you note, the MSM wanted him badly so they were going to protect him no matter what it took. That and McCain's horrid campaign are what helped him.

Hillary's team was pretty good, but she made two mistakes. First, she didn't realize that the Democratic base had changed since Bill Clinton's day and was much more far left, and would doubt her leftist credentials if she started talking like a moderate, i.e. she didn't realize how stupid they had become. Secondly, she never realized that the media could pick favorites among Democrats, and she was not prepared for them picking Obama over her.

Reagan and Bush I's teams were good in politicking and transitioning. Bill Clinton's team was excellent at campaigning (Dole's team was pathetic), but poor at transitioning, though they got up to speed fast.

(continued)

AndrewPrice said...

(continued)
Bush Jr.'s team, in my opinion, gets far too much credit. Gore was a poor candidate with a bad team, who was trying to repudiate the very popular Bill Clinton. Bush's team made one mistake after another during the campaign, but got lucky that Gore just fell apart. (Kerry was a joke from stem to stern.) So they basically fell into the Presidency. They did a good job of transitioning, but within weeks the problems began to appear again as they started turning off the base. Then they took the position that they never had to defend their positions, and that became the nightmare that almost destroyed conservatism (even though he wasn't even representing conservatism).

Palin was a disaster. McCain acted erratically in picking her (apparently it was a spur of the moment secret decision and he never even vetted her), and IMO she was nowhere near ready. That made it critical that she got a good team to get her ready, hide her faults, and figure out how to exploit her positives. Instead, they hid her, basically building up expectations. Then they tossed her completely unprepared to Katie Couric -- who is sleazy. They never should have let that be the first interview -- should have started in friendly venues, getting Palin used to the kinds of questions that would asked and how to answer them -- plus, she wouldn't have seemed as suspicious as she did throughout the interview. They never should have given Couric the free rein they did. And they needed to do immediate damage control, which they didn't -- they just tried to hide her. All bad.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I agree with most of what you say. I disagree that Palin was a disaster. She is the reason a lot of people voted for McCain.

She was used improperly. She was shoved into two interviews with anchors slobbering at the chance to savage her. She was kept incommunicado to transform her into a wonkette. Something she isn't suited for. On the trail and elsewhere, she shined brightly. Brighter than McCain could ever do.

I believe the Couric interview along with the Gibson interview gives people cover for not delving deeper into her actual positions as well as her actual abilities. I refuse to speculate as to why they do that. I look forward to your analysis of Palin.

The one thing I thought was hilarious and sad during a transition, the Clinton people removed the W from computer keyboards in the Whitehouse. It is one of those useless gestures of defiance more suitable for teenagers than adults working for the government.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I thought that was utterly pathetic, when they removed the Ws. That was truly petty.

The Palin analysis should be interesting. I think T_Rav said something before about heading into a bunker when I do it! LOL!

I think when she first appeared on the scene, she had incredible potential. She was truly exciting. But she was so mishandled and consequently appeared so out of her league that she did become an embarrassment. I agree with you that she ultimately helped McCain because I know a lot of people (me included) who only voted for him because of her, but compared to what she could have been, she imploded.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, I did say that, and I stand by my statement. (Although actually, I think what I said was that you should put up a Ron Paul and a Sarah Palin analysis up simultaneously, and THEN head into a bunker. Like seriously, a real bunker, preferably one with reinforced concrete. You'd need it.)

To add in my two cents on the campaign teams, I was heavily involved in the McCain/Palin campaigning here in Missouri--I almost couldn't get into grad school because of it--and while I warmed up a bit to McCain (as opposed to, not at all) and have always liked Palin, I got the distinct impression that the people surrounding him were not playing to win. There were too many RINOs on his staff; they became infected by the Obama hype and in the end, I think McCain himself did as well. Besides, they fumbled far too many times. I'm thinking especially of the financial crisis in the fall, when McCain decided he needed to leave the campaign trail and come rushing back to DC. That played badly; people got the impression that he could do only one thing at a time, which was not the case with Obama. (Of course, no one suspected it was because the latter can't even do one thing at a time.)

And the Palin thing was horribly handled. The weekend she was announced as the running mate, I saw a lot of cautious optimism from the grassroots folks--many of them were already noting potentail flaws or problems, but were willing to be won over. Many of them were, but of course, many others weren't, for all the reasons you mentioned. I'm not sure what would have happened had the McCain campaign tried harder or smarter with her, but the fact is, they did not try. By November, it was an open secret that his and Palin's people were at each other's throats.

Ultimately, I would blame a combination of character traits in McCain and his inner circle. They had the arrogance of long-established Beltway types; they were overawed by Obama; perhaps most damagingly, they were in love with the press and therefore unwilling to make a solid statement if they thought the media might not like it. And I think practically all of us on the ground knew this from the start, even if we'd never voice it while the campaign was still in progress.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, That's right, Paul and Palin! I've got a contractor coming next week to start building the bunker! LOL!

Your impression of Team McCain is exactly the impression I had -- they never played to win. It felt like they honestly didn't care if Obama won or if McCain won, and somehow they decided that losing to Obama was an acceptable thing. I even got hints of that from McCain himself, like he thought he was somehow being "historic" by letting Obama run him over.

At no point did I ever feel that they were trying or even knew what they were doing. They expected the media to fawn all over them (just like Hillary) even though history tells us that would never happen. They never fought back. They never made a solid case. And, frankly, I'm not sure they could have because McCain clearly knows nothing about our country or our government. He doesn't understand economics, he doesn't understand how budgets work, he doesn't understand law, he doesn't understand federalism or conservatism, he doesn't understand logic, he doesn't know the issue, he doesn't know how to argue or what to argue. All he kept saying was "I was a POW" and "earmarks are evil." It was pathetic.

What's more, the other three jokers (Palin, Obama and Biden) weren't any better. It was honestly an embarrassment watching the debates. I've never seen four more ignorant candidates in my life. Not one of them knew anything -- and I mean that literally, not figuratively. It was almost: "National Lampoon Presents The Presidential Campaign."

Ug. It was a dark day for America that we picked these clowns.

CrispyRice said...

Mmmmm... Pillsbury... Oh! Burger King!! AND Godfather's Pizza! :D Dude has got my vote!

Seriously, though, I really like him. I've heard him a couple times and came away liking him more and more.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, That is an impressive list of foods.... especially since I'm hungry as I write this.

I miss Godfathers. We used to have them here, but they went away a long time ago -- early 1980s.

Ed said...

Great analysis, great series. Thanks!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ed.

Ed said...

BTW, let me second the idea of moving into a bunker when you do Palin and Paul!

AndrewPrice said...

Don't worry Ed, I'm building one! LOL!

StanH said...

I like Herman Cain a lot. I do disagree with him on some points, one not being the Fair Tax, it’s brilliant. If you leave the current tax system in place in any way shape or form it will grow back to our current monstrosity - - that also fits rather nicely into the definition of insanity, doing the same thing, over and over again expecting a different result.

I voted for Cain over Isakson. Herman ran a weak campaign, his handlers held him back is the best answer I have, Herman needs to be Herman and he’ll do well. I’ve seen him speak several times, and it’s impressive, win-lose-or-draw, he’ll be good for the field.

As an aside, when he launched his exploratory committee he resigned from his talk radio show.

Good and fair appraisal, Andrew, keep your eye on Herman, this man is no dummy.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Stan, I'm glad you like it. I'm trying to be fair to them all. I've got some areas I disagree with Herman about and some things that concern me, but all in all, I do like him a lot and the more I see him the more impressed I am. I think he will be great for the field, particularly at clarifying the doublespeak that candidates often engage in.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. I agree that the current tax system needs to be redone. My concern with the FAIR tax is that it's just as complicated and does too many strange things. I want something much simpler, like a flat tax with no deductions or a sale tax in place of an income tax.

CrispyRice said...

I really want to "bump this thread" up to the top! :) How about a re-visitation now that he's out in front, Andrew?

Go Herm! Go Herm! Go Herm!

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I may go back and do a follow up piece.

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