Herman Cain and Black Republicans… : ThyBlackMan

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Herman Cain and Black Republicans…

October 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) As Monday’s Washington Post reported, “Herman Cain is on a roll” – sort of.

After being edged out of August’s presidential primary spotlight by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Cain — the gospel-singing, talk-radio-hosting former Kansas City Fed director and Godfather’s Pizza CEO — has surged in September with a high-profile win in the Florida GOP’s presidential straw poll, taking 37 percent of the vote and almost doubling the combined total of the presumptive frontrunners, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

But while Cain can publicly savor an underdog win that will propel him into the  next two Republican debates set for October, he might privately wonder if his candidacy would have broken through if he’d stayed focused on his business experience and he’d presented himself as a mainstream candidate with bold ideas about how to fundamentally fix the stagnant economy, instead of spending the summer Muslim-baiting, endorsing Donald Trump’s birther conspiracies, and demonstrating a lack of foreign policy cred.

Now, no matter how well he does in future debates, it’ll be tough for him to be taken seriously.

And black Republicans will have to wonder if Cain squandered an opportunity to be the conduit through which African Americans — who overwhelmingly vote for Democrats — began migrating to the GOP. Instead, Cain’s just a convenient receptacle for “none of the above” protest votes of Republicans who are dissatisfied with Perry and Romney–and he won’t fundamentally alter the black political landscape.

It could have been different.

When I wrote in June that Cain should pattern himself after the GOP’s 1996 vice presidential nominee, the late Rep. Jack Kemp–a white politician who championed black economic development–I didn’t know he was listening. But in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Cain name-checked Kemp and floated the concept of “enterprise zones” to boost entrepreneurship in minority communities–it’s an old Kemp idea.

In recent debates, Cain also unveiled his 9-9-9 plan that resonates with hard-core conservatives and sounds at least coherent and cohesive to less ideological voters. He introduces it with a catchy tithing reference that’s meant to please a Christian audience, saying that “if 10 percent is good enough for God, then nine percent should be just fine for the federal government.”

9-9-9, which contains a flat nine percent corporate tax, a nine percent individual income tax, a nine percent national sales tax and looks to eliminate all capital gains taxes, would be a fairly radical change and probably wouldn’t get through Congress. But in the short run, the plan’s primary benefit — for Cain, at least — is that it strengthens the story that Cain wants to tell: that he’s a solutions-oriented businessman, not a politician.

But Cain took too long to start playing to his strengths. He’s gained traction among voters who’ve seen him debate and like his plain-spoken style. But he lost momentum — and credibility — after spending the summer rolling out slogans like “stupid people are ruining America” in reference to President Barack Obama and anyone who’s more liberal than he is.

Finish story over at; TheGrio – Herman Cain – Black Republicans, etc.

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Comments

3 Responses to “Herman Cain and Black Republicans…”
  1. donna wayt says:

    Do NOT underestimate this man.
    He is amazing.
    I met him a week or so ago and left with NO doubt as to who I am voting for.
    God bless Herman Cain.
    God speed my friend

  2. Richard Reeves says:

    Your criticism is reasonable, and I am concerned.

    At the same time, Cain seems to be like a tuning fork showing what’s not right with the other candidates, and what’s right about him. Even the weaknesses in the 9-9-9 plan can be readily contrasted to the current status quo tax system, which is life-stealing.

    If this man wins, he is going to win in his own way, just as Obama was able to outmaneuver Hillary, even though it was “her turn”. It will be a hard fight to get beyond Perry and Romney, who in their own way are establishment candidates. Bachmann is an insurgent, but she faded.

    Cain may be just what America needs to get its mojo back. Hope seems to have left Obama entirely; a black cloud follows his soul everywhere. Cain’s optimismistic spirit is infectious – moreso than many of the other candidates with good ideas. I look forward to reading his book when it comes out in a few days, and will watch the coming debates with interest.

  3. ralph roberts says:

    If, in fact, what you say were true and Herman Cain has made a few small blunders, they in no way are so egregious as to keep him from being the Republican nominee. Barak Obama has told so many BLATANT LIES and broken so many promises that it is hard to even keep track of them. AND HE IS STILL IN OFFICE!!! Herman Cain is the best thing that has come along in politice (either Democrat or Republican) since Ronald Reagan. I am for Herman Cain all the way!!!! You are absolutely wrong in your statement that Cain has not modified his statement about not having a Muslim in his cabinet. You should do your homework – but journalism has deterioriated as much as politics recently. Journalism is almost dead.

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