The Other McCain

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

Dave Weigel: ‘Hey, You Know Who’s Doing Pretty Good? Herman Cain.’

Posted on | May 26, 2011 | 20 Comments

Our boy Dave takes a look at the Gallup numbers and notices that the Hermanator has zoomed up in the GOP 2012 pack without benefit of much previous national media exposure, and despite the generally dismissive attitudes of such pundits as Karl Rove, Charles Krauthammer and Michael Barone. Here are the numbers:

Mitt Romney . . . . . . . . 17%
Sarah Palin . . . . . . . . . 15%
Ron Paul . . . . . . . . . . . 10%
Newt Gingrich . . . . . . . 9%
Herman Cain . . . . . . . . 8%
Tim Pawlenty . . . . . . . . 6%
Michele Bachmann . . . . 5%
Jon Huntsman . . . . . . . . 2%
Gary Johnson . . . . . . . . 2%
Rick Santorum . . . . . . . 2%

A couple of caveats about this poll: First, it’s nationwide, and there is no such thing as a nationwide primary. Secondly, they polled Republicans and “Republican-leaning independents,” whatever that means.

All caveats considered, however, this poll is the latest indication that pundits who have been dismissive of Herman Cain are making a serious mistake. If Tim Pawlenty is a “first-tier” candidate, you cannot now deny Cain is “first-tier,” too.

Dick Morris says Herman Cain “blew me away” at a Wisconsin Tea Party rally and, even though Morris doesn’t think Cain can win, he admits that he’s got “magic” and says he can’t be counted out.

Isn’t it time you joined the online grassroots army at Citizens for Cain?

ADDENDUM: Permit me to remind you exactly how early I foresaw the potential of Cain’s campaign. It was less than two weeks after the election last year and, at the end of a very long post on November 13, I included the clip of Herman Cain’s June speech at the SRLC in New Orleans. He ended that speech by making a plug for a possible “dark horse” campaign in 2012, and I wrote:

Say what you will about Mitt Romney, at least he’s got some meaningful private-sector experience. But if you want a successful businessman for the 2012 GOP nomination, how about a dark horse? . . .
Yeah: Herman Cain. Having backed a few can’t-possibly-win underdogs in the past couple of years — I went all-in for Rubio when he was 35 points down — I’m taking a long, hard look at that dark horse. It might not be the “pragmatic” thing to do, but I’m thinking a few “blogospheric demagogues” might be in a mood to really bust some balls for 2012.

Perhaps some analysts have overlooked the extent to which the Cain campaign is an anti-establishment ball-busting operation. There are a lot of grassroots conservatives who are sick and tired of having the GOP establishment and the elite pundits pick their candidates. If Cain could somehow win the nomination, he would owe the Republican establishment exactly nothing.

Heh. Heh. Heh.


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