Is Herman Cain the “star personality” candidate Republicans have been waiting for? And which GOPer do you like? *UPDATED*

Since I’m in California, which has always been a late primary state, and since California is now switching to open primaries anyway, it’s always hard for me to get very excited about primaries.  The fact is that I never feel I really have any say in them, since the front runners are already decided by the time the primaries get here.  I may like or dislike potential candidates, but I observe them rather passively, at least until the race’s outlines start to tighten up.

The current crop of candidates hasn’t given me much of a buzz.  I’ve always liked Romney’s intelligence and competence, but RomneyCare means I wouldn’t bet on him to win.  His robotic talking style doesn’t help either.  Ron Paul’s domestic libertarianism is becoming more attractive to many, but his foreign policy stands are not going to be hawkish enough for a people feeling besieged.  Mitch Daniels is playing Hamlet (an arrogant Hamlet, but Hamlet nevertheless), which is not endearing.  I haven’t been following him closely enough to know whether I like his policies or not.  Tim Pawlenty — well, I don’t know.  He’s awfully likeable, and pretty solidly conservative, but I don’t know if he has what it takes in a telegenic age.  But again, I’m being very vague right now, because I’m still not paying that much attention.  Newt?  No.  I can’t put my finger on it but, even aside from all the baggage, he simply doesn’t work for me.  Chris Christie?  I like him.  I like him a lot.  I think he’s an extraordinary speaker, and he’s shown that he’s a Happy Warrior with great political courage.  I’m worried, though, about the stories indicating ties to Islamists.  I’d like to see that develop before I embrace him as a candidate.  Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio?  Love ’em, but I truly don’t see them running.

And then there’s Herman Cain.  Up until about half an hour ago, I didn’t know too much about him, other than that he’s got a business background, solid conservative chops and a witty speaking style.  A half hour ago, though, I read Robert Costa’s Introducing Herman Cain, over at National Review.  An article like that makes you sit up and go “Wow!”  The man’s values and life history — his drive, his solid (as opposed to Marxist) education, his political consistency, etc. — are all very appealing.

I know that people are going to point to his outsider status — no political office, ever — as a problem, but his executive experience strikes me as equally valuable to what Obama brought to the White House.  As you may recall, Obama brought a failed social activist history (the dismal Annenberg Challenge), a part-time teaching job, and some senatorial experience that saw him voting present a whole lot of the time.  If Cain has the wisdom to surround himself with experienced political operatives, I’m sure he can do every bit as well compared to Obama as an executive, and probably much better.

I’m not jumping on the Cain bandwagon.  I’m just looking at the Cain bandwagon.

Since many of you have already started studying the potential GOP candidates much more closely than I have.  I’d really like your opinions about all of the potential conservative candidate (whether they’re touted as GOP candidates or Third Party candidates).  In fact, if your opinion has a lot of substantive information, both facts and your own opinions, I’ll probably elevate it to a post at Bookworm Room.  I may be passive out here in California, but I know a lot of you are in states where it matters.

UPDATE:  Can you believe that I forgot Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann?  The fact is that, while I admire both, even in a new media age I don’t see either surviving the unleashed savagery of the old media.  Independent voters will be so swamped with vicious lies that it will leave them with biases at a subliminal level.  I just don’t see either a Palin or a Bachmann candidacy working.

Also, I forgot to ask for you opinion about running mates.  For example, I see Cain as a strong domestic leader, but not a strong foreign policy guy.  Would it work to pair him with John Bolton or Gen’l Petraeus?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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  • jewells45

    I love Herman Cain.  He is impressing me more and more.  I watched him in the debate and he came across as likeable, intelligent and competent.  None of the others do anything for me.  Would love to see Rand Paul run instead of his fruitcake father!

  • Danny Lemieux

    I’ve met Herman Cain personally, well before he ever became a political figure. He impressed me no end then and he impresses me even more now.

    My top three picks thus far are Cain, Bachman and Palin. Hoo-ah!

  • DGJ

    I have listened to Herman on the radio for several of years and been to a couple of Atlanta area tea parties where he was the MC. He is intelligent, straight forward and very consistent with his message. Herman has a talent for saving failing enterprise, so, in my opinion he is exactly who we need.

  • eli

    Cain would make the Democrat’s usual race card plays and accusations very interesting. If anyone could handle it, it seems that Cain could.

    I have been most impressed with Cain and Pawlenty. I really like Chris Christie- he’s able to turn the tables on absurdities in a common sense way that most candidates can’t.  Very refreshing to have someone who can cut through the bull effectively.

    I share your concerns about Palin and Bachman- either would be a media dream making the election about the latest media created hype rather than about any issues to a degree that it’s not workable. To me, it really seems that no woman would be good enough for most women, sad to say. 

  • Charles Martel

    It certainly would rattle the left to have a conservative black man (not a half-black man) run for the presidency. However, we would see an eruption of snickering racism the likes of what we haven’t seen since the Jim Crow era under the Democratic Party.

    One thing that the MSM would do right away would be to try to trap Cain the way Couric did with Palin into looking stupid and unprepared. Even if people were to point out that Obama has never been asked a hard question in his life by the MSM, the MSM would simply point out that Cain is a Republican, which implies that he is, therefore, an extremist. Worse, he is a black Republican, which means he is insane. Therefore, he must be subjected to the severest vetting that the media’s great minds can concoct.

    This would be followed by less formal critiques in the Democrats’ secondary communications channels (Kos, HuffPo, Jon Stewart): “Uncle Tom,” “race traitor,” “house ni**er”—all of the vile epithets that the party of tolerance manages to dredge up when it doesn’t like somebody.

    I wouldn’t even be surprised if somebody tried to take Cain down as a closeted homosexual. As we all know, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a homosexual—unless he is a Republican. Then it’s a terrible thing.

  • Dennis Elliott

    I like Romney, because he has a proven track record. Still waiting for him to make the sale (I know. Iknow. health care problem). I would like to know what successes Bachman has had outside of govt. I like what she says. Same with Palin. I like what she says, but the media have made her poison. A stint in someone else’s administration taking down HHS would be a good start for her at the national level. I would really like to see someone like Thad McCotter of Michigan get in the race. I think Trump is out of it, but he showed how to win it. Have some guts. Say what needs to be said. And then walk that talk.

  • kali

    Book: Independent voters will be so swamped with vicious lies that it will leave them with biases at a subliminal level.
    And if we allow this tactic to decide our slate, it will be done again and again.
    I don’t so much want a particular candidate as I want election reform.
    1) a repeal of motor-voter laws, 2) picture ids, and 3) penalties for false registrations. I just want my vote to count as much as any Chicagoan’s.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I don’t worry about the MSM having made Palin “poison” – they did the same with “Bedtime for Bonzo” Reagan. She’s playing this very smart thus far and seems to always be one or two steps ahead of the opposition. She certainly has no trouble jerking Obama’s chain. 

    Speaking of Cain and the race card, I don’t believe Cain’s wife is black. Watch what the MSM does with that! They’s impale themselves on that one.

  • str8dwn

    What about a double whammy?


    I see these men as ready to go. Let Herman govern and give Col. West 8 years to learn the ropes and we’ve got

    16 yrs. ahead of us.

  • Mike Devx

    There are a number of Republicans I like.  It’s far too early for me to make a choice among those I like.

    Romney is OUT for me.  RomneyCare is a complete deal-breaker.  It wouldn’t be if he had hedged his support for it back then with comments such as “This goes against all of my conservative principles, and I continue to believe it can not work.  But the people of my State are demanding it, and so, with great reluctance, I am acceeding to their wishes.  Mark my words: This will fail and will hurt you in the long run.”  But no.  And just yesterday he again defended what is indefensible.  Lack of wisdom is the most important disqualifier for a Presidential run.

    Herman Cain is *definitely* on the positive watch list.

  • Mike Devx

    I’ve read articles and posts concering Herman Cain, and have been impressed.

    I just watched my first Herman Cain interview (on PJTV).

    Quite impressive from start to finish!  I can see now why he nearly unanimously won the South Carolina forum, where Frank Luntz said with great surprise that he’d never seen a result before like that one.  Herman Cain’s got what it takes.  

    The usual caveats: I’m not saying he’s my choice.  I’m just beginning to learn about him.  It’s early. He’s still a relative unknown – what don’t we know about him that we don’t know we don’t know?  Etc.

    But he’s definitely a serious candidate.  My big picture question is “Can you see this man or woman as President?”  And in *all* ways and things “presidential”, after what I’ve read, and then in particular seeing that interview on PJTV, my answer is “Yes, absolutely.”  Herman Cain’s got my attention big time.

    Time will tell.