The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Cain, Corn and … the Phantom Menace

Posted on | August 5, 2011 | 15 Comments

My American Spectator column:

DES MOINES, Iowa — Highway 193 runs nearly flat and straight some 60 miles southeast from the state capital in Des Moines to the Mahaska County seat of Oskaloosa, where the monument in the town square honors the tribal chieftain for whom the county was named. Chief Mahaska? “lived at peace with the white man and was slain by an Indian in 1834,” a plaque at the base of the statue explains to visitors.
There were many visitors in the Oskaloosa town square Thursday for the “Sweet Corn Serenade,” the annual festival celebrating the region’s most famous product. And this being Iowa in the summer before an election year, one of the visitors was running for president.
Herman Cain didn’t stay long enough to sample the corn — roasted in the husk and served with a pork sandwich for $3 a plate — but he did shake hands with residents and talk with several of the vendors before adjourning to the Smokey Row Coffee Shop on Market Street for a meeting with two dozen or so of his local supporters. “Happy to be here,” the retired Atlanta businessman began his presentation, “because I like to get out and meet people and talk to people.” He quickly segued into a variation of his standard stump speech, emphasizing his background as an executive — “a problem-solver, not a politician” — and his plan to boost economic growth. And given that the Dow Jones Industrial Average had just lost more than 500 points in the aftermath of an unpopular compromise debt deal in Washington, Thursday was a good day to be a non-politician with a pro-growth economic message.
Less than ten days before the Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 13, Iowa is swarming with Republican presidential candidates, nine of whom will appear on the straw-poll ballot. . . .

Please read the whole thing, which includes a mention of an ad I saw late last night on TV:

Having Rick Perry’s potential campaign looming on the horizon casts a certain shadow over the proceedings here.