Four years ago, after Fred Thompson dropped out of the GOP primary, I was a supporter of Mitt Romney because he was the most conservative candidate remaining. Four painful years hence, Barack Obama is president and has unleashed a leftist gauntlet unlike anything seen since Wilson and FDR. So now, a middle of the road Republican is unacceptable, the battle must be joined because the fate of the Republic is at stake.
My choice for engaging in this battle was Sarah Palin for many reasons but three in particular. She has been attacked from every conceivable angle possible and savagely, at that. Yet, she still stands strong. She also has a deep understanding of what has gone wrong and has fought the battle against even her own party's corruption and won. Finally, she is unapologetic and fearless. She doesn't accept the leftist media premise and formulations on important issues and boldly speaks out and gives voice to Americans of all stripes who understand the blessings of liberty but who also want to hold both those in government and private sector actors accountable for abiding by the rules that have been established for the rest of us. Her identification of cronyism as the issue that animates most Americans and her articulation of the problem is as clear and relevant a manifesto as exists anywhere among the political class.
Sarah Palin is not perfect, nor was Reagan, yet I was willing to fight with her and die on that hill if necessary. If Palin is imperfect, most of the GOP presidential field is less so. I can eliminate Ron Paul and Gary Johnson from consideration because I don't agree with their take on foreign policy. Huntsman may as well be a Democrat and Romney authored Obamacare among other problems I have with him. Perry who as he entered the race fought comparisons to George W. Bush is looking more Bush-like with each debate performance. "Compassionate Conservative" anyone? That leaves Bachmann, Santorum and Cain.
Bachmann is fearless too and I like her. Until she got caught up in trying to take down Rick Perry, I was hoping that she would perform well because her philosophy and instincts are often very right. She had a good debate performance at the Bloomberg event . . until she again went after Rick Perry and that was awkward. Given where she's polling, I understand but it doesn't look good on her. Then there's Santorum. I agree with him on most issues but he too is not polling well and looked angry at the last debate. He's not getting traction. That leaves Herman Cain.
First, the big issue I have (and I suspect a number of conservatives share this concern) is his support of TARP and his tone deafness on the Federal Reserve. While the latter can be understood in light of his own chairmanship of the Kansas City Fed, without adequately understanding the problems of having a private bank manage our currency untethered to any hard valuation leads to inevitable devaluation of our currency and inflation. More problematic is his support for TARP with his only criticism being of its implementation and management, not the concept itself. If you don't see an issue, you may think that bailouts or government intervention is acceptable and find other areas where the government may step in. That is a problem!
However, just as Palin is imperfect, Cain is imperfect but his appearance on Meet The Press has placed me decidedly in his column of supporters. He has the strengths of Palin and Bachmann, not to accept leftist formulations and premises, he is unapologetic in his beliefs and he is likeable throughout, even in the lion's den of leftist media trap interviews. He is well spoken and able to articulate his beliefs and management philosophy which all translates to presidential bearing. I could talk about the merits of his "9-9-9" plan but that will become more clear in the days ahead. Ronald Reagan too was unabashedly conservative, yet cheerful and likeable and this is a great strength of Cain's that will be hard for his competitors to overcome. His "heritage" is also something that resonates with many of us; humble beginnings yet never complaining, never a victim and appreciative of the opportunity society that is America.
I think he should go have a good long chat - no, a serious conversation with Todd and Sarah about cronyism and TARP but given what we're facing, his philosophy, approach to problem solving and demeanor, I'd say Herman Cain may just be the man for this hour in American history. I support Herman Cain's candidacy for the Presidency of the United States of America.
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