Newt Gingrich is Yesterday’s Man

 

Will the Dream Team be Benched?

Newt Gingrich was introduced at CPAC by Calista, who generously thanked the many kind Americans they have met on the campaign trail. When he came on stage to an excited crowd, it was clearly no 2009, when he had entered through the crowd to his signature “Eye of the Tiger.” Maybe it’s the effect of copyright denying him playing his tune, but it seemed to take Newt a while to get going.

His focus was on the economy, though if he’s going to present an economic plan to America he will have to find a better way than invoking the name of Reagan every two minutes. He recalled Reagan’s bold colors speech at CPAC, and recalled what he achieved, which liberals thought then was “unrealistic” but turned out so successful.

It was almost halfway through the 10 minute slot that he finally got the crowd going, when he sent Prime Minister Harper a message that Canada won’t need China in a Gingrich White House.

He joked that we can track Fedex parcels, but the government can’t track 11 million illegal immigrants. Newt offered his own innovative solution, to send 11 million parcels to immigrants and track them to find them.

Newt promised he intends to change Washington, not accommodate it, prompting this observer to ponder when he decided to stop accommodating DC, given his ultimate insider status. Really, his attacks on the Washington, Republican or political “establishment” rings hollow for this consummate DC schmoozer.

His schmoozing has led him to form his own “conservative dream team” to challenge his supposed bête noire establishment, and you can count how many failed presidential nominee candidates are in the line-up for yourself.

The speech in truth hit the two problems: the GOP will not win by trumpeting Reagan in favour of substance, and Gingrich will not convince many beyond his base that he is anything but an establishment man. In both cases, he simply comes across as yesterday’s man.

Who will bring us a bright tomorrow?

A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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These Debates Could Be Game Changers

Come on.  We’ve heard these candidates in just over one million debates so far this year.  Another one?  Another two actually, this weekend leading up to the New Hampshire debates.  And these two debates could definitely wreak havoc on the standings going into New Hampshire.

Mitt Romney is the undisputed front runner.  Ron Paul and Rick Santorum fans at this point are dreaming if they think their candidates are on a solid trajectory to win.  Not winning Iowa should be a clear sign to heavily religious social conservatives like Bachmann, Perry, Santorum and Newt that getting past Romney is going to be nearly impossible with a crowded field.  Bachmann got the hint, and Perry almost did.  As for Ron Paul, maybe if he runs two more times he can win enough support to break out of his traditional 5-10% polling finish.  Look, he’s already doing better this year than last time, and last time he did better than the time before.  That was Ross Perot’s and Ralph Nader’s problems.  They quit trying too soon.

Back to Mitt Romney.  You know he is back on the punching bag hook tonight, a place he hasn’t been since the very first debates.  Santorum wants a piece of him, Newt wants a piece of him, Jon Huntsman finally qualified for another debate and you know he wants to take Romney down a peg.  I think Perry will try to just get through the night and might take a few shots at Santorum.  As far as the #1 conservative attack dog of other conservatives, Michele Bachmann will not be there tonight to claim that Perry is in bed with pharmaceutical companies,  Newt Gingrich is pro-partial birth abortion and the number one Freddie Mac adviser responsible for the economic collapse, and whatever she might cook up about Rick Santorum while mostly leaving Paul and Romney alone.  So I think Romney will be taking the hits and the other candidates can relax their guard a little bit.

Now, on to the x factor in debates.  Newt Gingrich was finished this summer after his campaign collapsed and he proved he was in the top 1% by buying his wife jewelry.  I mean how out of touch can you get.  But, he has climbed back into contention through powerful and commanding debate performances.  Just two weeks ago, Gingrich was the front runner.  The difference between Gingrich’s fall and other candidates falls is that their demises can be tied directly to debate performance.  Bachmann with her claims about HPV and other wild attacks on the candidates, Perry with his glaring gaffe, Cain who offered 999 and 999, oh yeah and 999.  It wasn’t enough substance to save him when scandal gave nervous supporters a reason to doubt.  Huntsman affirmed his global warming stance.

Gingrich hurt himself with his illegal immigration stance, but his downfall can be attributed to the harsh attacks he faced over the last two weeks from Romney’s friends, paid allies, and former foes.  Ron Paul also attacked Newt, not Romney, with harsh ads in Iowa.  Paul has probably done the same math I have, but mistakenly thinks he has a shot with Newt’s base over Romney’s.

The debates are ad free.  They are also friend free.  The only way Romney can attack another candidate tonight without attacking that candidate directly is to pay off the moderator or a fellow candidate.  On that stage, it is going to be Santorum’s “what smells” debate face versus Perry’s memory versus Huntsman’s out of touch moderate stances versus Paul’s old shaky finger wagging versus Romney’s slick hair and nice demeanor versus Newt’s heavy hitting and quick wit and ideas.

If these debates garner an audience, this is all upside for Newt, and downside for front runner Mitt Romney and social conservative front runner Rick Santorum.  In an instance of incredible luck for the candidates in this New Hampshire debate, the New England Patriots get this weekend of playoff action off.

Herman Cain Resurfaces with the Promise of an Unconventional Endorsement

Bookmark and Share   Moments ago, in a Fox News interview, Herman Cain resurfaced and shed some light on his future role in the 2012 presidential election.

Cain told viewers that he does not intend to endorse any candidate any time soon.  He states, “If I were to make an endorsement now, it might split the vote”.  He claims that in addition to not wanting to do that, he also does not want to do anything that prevents voters from remaining engaged in the process and educating themselves about candidates.

But the Herminator does promise to eventually issue what he called “an unconventional endorsement”.  He added that after running an unconventioanl campaign, an unconventional endorsement is only appropriate.

During the interview Cain admitted that in the end he will support whoever is the Republican nominee and as for his own political future he states that because of his accelerated age, he believes his biological clock will preclude any future run for president and he is not positioning himself for any future cabinet position.  However Cain did promise to remain active through his new political organization which is headquartered on the internet at The Cain Solutions website.

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Debunking Newt Mythology

Ok, hold on a minute.  Let’s talk about Newt.

The left has gone all in on Newt.  After three years of seeing that the Democrats have an empty hand with Obama, they have put all their chips on the table and dared us to run Newt.  And as usual, we are folding.  Same thing happened in 2008 when the left and the media scoffed at Mitt Romney and said that the only candidate who could ever beat their guy was John McCain.  Believe it or not, we listened.  For the smarter party, Republicans sure can be stupid.

Now the left is saying it will be a cake walk if we run Gingrich and the only serious candidate who can beat their guy is Romney, or maybe Huntsman, although they seem to have figured out that one is a hard sell.  So why are we listening again?  Ann Coulter came out slamming Newt and endorsing Romney.  George Will has attacked Newt Gingrich.  And what for?

Newt got $1.8 million from Freddie Mac.  Not really, it was actually Newt’s company.  But he did it by lobbying.  Well, again, no.  Newt did not lobby for Freddie Mac, but his company did provide consulting services to Freddie Mac.  Now, I am a businessman and a lot of what I do involves consulting.  Does that mean I can never run for President in case one of my clients does something bad someday despite my advice?  Maybe.

Let’s take it out of the business realm.  Pretend you own a garage and you fix cars.  If George Soros drives up and asks you to change the oil, will you turn him away?  Are you a liberal if you change his oil?  What about Bernie Madoff before he was caught?  Are you part of his illegal pyramid scheme because you changed his tires?

It would be one thing if Newt counseled Freddie Mac on how lose billions of dollars, get bailed out, and pay everyone huge bonuses.  But if you are looking for that smoking gun, you are looking at the wrong person.  Try Franklin Raines, Jamie Gaerlick, etc.  Enough with the guilt by association.  Newt did consulting for large businesses, and they paid his company rates that large, multi-billion dollar businesses pay for high level consulting.

Ok, but Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi.  Yes, he did.  He also had debates with Cuomo, Kerry and Sharpton.  Newt Gingrich is not going to implement cap and trade to prevent global warming.  That’s about as crazy as saying Mitt Romney is going to support partial birth abortion.  Seriously, you have my word that neither of those will happen.  Newt wasn’t endorsing Nancy Pelosi any more than Al Sharpton was endorsing Pat Robertson.  If Sarah Palin stood next to Michelle Obama and did a PSA saying its good for kids to have a healthy diet, would you suddenly think that Palin supports federal government takeover of school lunches? Newt has fought vigorously against cap and trade.

Well, what about Newt supporting a healthcare mandate?  When Hillary was pushing Hillarycare, which would take responsibility away from people, Newt signed on with the Heritage Foundation’s alternative that included an individual mandate. After researching it, Newt backed off that position.  He never implemented it for an entire state, or for anyone actually.  Newt is not going to implement a healthcare mandate on the entire country.  Guess what, neither is Romney.

In fact, let’s talk Romney for a minute.  Mitt Romney is pro-life.  He opposes gay marriage.  He makes Huntsman look like Hillary.  He supports tax cuts for the middle class and not raising taxes on employers and producers.  As much as Romney has been painted as the liberal in this bunch, he was the most conservative viable candidate in 2008 after Fred Thompson dropped out.  He may not be a card carrying TEA Party member, but he has said himself that he supports the TEA Party and shares all of their goals.  By the way, I never got a card either.  I really don’t think they issue them, even if Bachmann has one.

Why did Romney lose in 2008?  It all came down to two reasons.  Number one, Romney was not moderate enough to get the “independents”.  He was too conservative.  Only John McCain could beat the Democrat in 2008 by reaching across the aisle and not being so extreme.  Reason number two, the infamous time-table for withdrawal charge.  Romney said that when the time came to draw down the troops from Iraq, he supported a time-table for an orderly withdrawal.  His opponents turned that into Democrat style cut and run.  No matter how many times he tried to explain that was not what he believed, that became the mantra.

What about Rick Perry?  Why aren’t we going around saying that Rick Perry is going to implement cap and trade because years ago he was a Democrat working on the campaign of the future Nobel prize winner and global warming snake oil salesman, Al Gore?

The only person we have to actually worry about doing half the crazy stuff he’s been accused of thinking is Ron Paul!

So let’s not let people choose our candidate for us.  Research what you hear about candidates.  Just because George Will thinks you are too dumb to vote doesn’t make it so.  Each of the candidates left have some great ideas, and each one will do a far better job at running this country than the current President.  Did Cain have some foreign policy gaffes?  Shoot, the last three years have been an Obama foreign policy gaffe.

Part of this election cycle that Romney has skipped sofar has been the knife in the back from the right and the dare to run that candidate from the left.  Considering how well Newt is handling this complete onslaught from the right and left, wouldn’t you rather have him going up against Obama than the candidate that no one is vetting?  McCain got plenty of vetting after Romney dropped out in 2008.

This is not an endorsement of Newt.  I will make an endorsement of a candidate after the Jacksonville, Florida debate in January.  But this is a serious question to our party.  Why do we have to self destruct again?

Trunkline 2012: Sunday Election News Review-12//4/11

Bookmark and Share ****Cain gone, Newt Ahead in Iowa, Coming in second: Ron Paul?? *****

With Cain gone, the field is looking more and more like Gingrich/Romney.  Meanwhile, liberal pundits and even some conservatives seem to be praying that Newt’s rise will be as long lived as Bachmann’s, Perry’s and Cain’s.  Is it really Santorum’s turn?  How about Ron Paul’s?

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Reaction To Herman Cain’s Decision To Suspend His Campaign

Bookmark and Share   Herman Cain’s poll numbers had fallen in to the single digits, so his withdrawal from the race for the Republican presidential nomination may not have any immediate and dramatic effect on the overall numbers for any of the other candidates.  It would seem that Newt Gingrich had already picked up the numbers that Cain lost.  But the remaining five to eight percent of Cain’s supporters have yet to pick a new team to side with.  Those staunch supporters will likely follow Herman Cain’s lead when he makes a promised endorsement of one of his rivals. 

But in the meantime, to say that those supporters are disappointed is an understatement.

Many of those who have come to support Herman Cain are a part of the newly reinvigorated civic minded group of individuals who come from the TEA movement.  They are people who had been turned off by politics and tuned it out.  Until President Obama tried to deliver on his promise to reform America.  Obama’s attempts to control every aspect of our lives from how much a private business can pay us, where a private business can do business, where we get our healthcare from and when we can get it, to the air that we breathe and the food that we eat, have alarmed these dissatisfied Americans so much that they came to realize that the direction our leaders try to take our nation in can not be ignored or allowed.

These people are not like politics and do not  like politicians.  They are reform minded and want dramatic changes in the process and policies of our federal government and they do not trust the establishment any more.

Then came Herman Cain.  An independent, successful businessman, who has challenged the establishment and tried to provide the solutions that the establishment can’t or won’t.

Between his fascinating and poignant personal story,  his oratory skills, homespun style, common sense thinking, and anti-establishmentarian tendencies, Cain captured the imaginations and hopes of these people.  And while he did not always rise to the occasion, he did offer the promise of a change from business as usual.  It helped him win the hearts and minds of many of these Americans and now that the Cain train was forced off the tracks, they are left angry at a process that dashed their hopes and they are left searching for a new leader to pin their hopes on. 

Immediate reaction to the Cain announcement seems to indicate that Cain’s support will continue to overwhelmingly go to Newt Gingrich. 

A sampling of the reactions to Cain development are expressed by messages sent to White and through white Hose 2012.  In an open letter that one Cain supporter, J.C. Stephens, sent to Mr. Cain through White House 2012, he writes;

I knew last night there was an update to come today about the campaign. The thought that you might stop your bid for the White House did cross my mind for a moment but I thought you would be able to fight through to the end.
I do understand and praise you for putting your wife and family first . I am however greatly saddened that you have made this decision.

I believe you are a man of character and just what we’ve needed for this country since Ronald Reagan.

I don’t know what more to say other than I hope you will return to the race for President and go on to the White House in 2012.

Sincerely,
J.C. Stephenson

Marji states to White House 2012 readers;

People…do you not remember..we had a President of the Unite States look the people in the eye and Lie, lie, lie….”I did not have……..”. The news did nothing…this man they are trying to put him on the cross. I wonder how much she got paid to ruin this man’s life. When are you going to wake-up!!! The news people are doing the voting for you so they can get the one in the White House now re-elected. Obama does not care for us or our country…he is selling us down the drain for pennies….Look..look at what is around him…the company he keeps!!! Wake-up and pray….the greatest country on earth and he hates it.

In another open letter to Herman Cain, Nina Flora writes;

Mr. Cain

I just want to express my deep concern for you, your wife and your family. I for one just do not believe the allegations and do hope you as you said recently get to the bottom of this. It is so sad that a person can say whatever they desire to defame a person’s character, hurt the family and just walk away with no proof. I always thought the person being accused had a right of confronting their accusers, I do also realize when in the position you were in that there is not time to do all this and “run for president” I am so very disappointed in our leaders “plural”. We have now people in our country in leadership who have no honesty, integrity, and loyalty to our loved country. I admire your desire to make some badly needed changes and do wish you all the best and our prayers.I know this was a plan to destroy you. You are in my prayers.

Nina  is now leaning towards Newt Gingrich but tells us she likes Rick Santorum because she thinks he is particularly honest   Nina says” I think Newt is very smart and actually does care for our country, he is a strong personality capable of standing up for us, his past does not bother me..if a person changes..they change and have a right to acceptance”  She adds ” but just wait , if he becomes the Republican candidate, they will crucify him just like Cain and Sarah Palin”  Nina goes on to tell us;

“I am sorry that Cain was maligned…but that is also part of the problem..just wait and see who is the upcoming candidate and see what liberals, MSNBC, CBS and all the liberal media do next to ruin them..These medias are simply evil and vindictive and want their “bosses” the liberals and all other anti-american entities to be in control.”

An appreciative Steve Moran of  California, shows some fighting spirit with some enthusiastic encouragement of Mr. Cain’s new mission;

Amen! Thank you for pressing forward Mr. Cain to represent “We the People” and to clear your good name. You are a true patriot and I pray that you are in the Cabinet of the new Republican administration in January 2013 to help to briskly cleanse Obama’s anti-constitutionial corruption, to eradicate his heretical socialist policies, and to, once again, restore America to the hill top so that her exceptional, unflickering shining light may unapologetically beam brightly for all the world to see in 2013, and for many generations to come. God bless and stay the course.

When asked where he will go from here Steve tells us he has has not yet decided who will now support but stated that is leaning towards Newt Gingrich because he is “largely aligned with Mr. Cain on the salient issues vital to the re-establishment of de facto conservatism in America.”  Mr. Moran also tells us that who Herman Cain endorses will totally influence who his vote goes to though.   “I value Mr. Cain’s opinion immensely, and his future endorsement will have a profound effect on the candidate that I support”, said Moran.

He adds “I had hoped that they [Gingrich and Cain] would run together as President and Vice President, with either in either position”

As for those who just a day ago were Herman Cain’s rivals for the nomination, reaction to the end of Cain’s campaign is somber in tone but filled with praise for the former presidential candidate.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson released the following statement;

“I have no doubt Herman Cain will remain a significant voice in the dialogue about the many important issues we face.  His rejection of business-as-usual in Washington has been a valuable part of this campaign,  and clearly resonates with a great many Americans.  I wish him the best.”

Newt Gingrich tweeted the following message;

“I am proud to know Herman Cain and consider him a friend and I know he will continue to be a powerful voice for years to come.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry stated;

“I know this was a difficult decision for Herman Cain, his family and his supporters. He helped invigorate conservative voters and our nation with a discussion of major tax reform. Anita and I wish him and his entire family all the best.”

Others like Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and Jon Huntsman have also issued their well wishes and commended Herman Cain on what all agree was a job well done.  And a job well done it was.  One of his most significant accomplishments was his courage and ability to force the rest of the Republican to all agree on making tax reform a major staple of their campaigns and in turn a major issue on the American political agenda. 

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Plan B: TheCainSolutions.com

Bookmark and Share  Before Herman Cain even uttered the words “today I am suspending my presidential campaign” his team had established The Cain Solutions website.

The site is a quick transition from being Candidate Cain to being Citizen Reformer Cain.

With TheCainSolutions.com, Herman Cain promises to lead the way to some of the most important and sweeping reforms in our nation’s history, including his 9-9-9 tax reform plan and initiatives to achieve American energy independence.

 

Click Here To Visit The Site

With The Cain Solutions, Herman Cain has the chance to remain a significant political force.  For how long is not clear, but at least for now, The Cain Solutions.com provides Herman with a good way to transition from the fast paced life of his presidential life and back to life as Citizen Cain.
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Herman Cain Suspends His Presidential Campaign

Bookmark and Share   Amid a  festive atmosphere that ironically included a barbecue, Herman Cain, who has been continuously grilled about the fate of his campaign in the wake of new allegations about a 13 year long extramarital affair, stepped off his campaign bus with his wife Gloria at his side and ended the suspense by declaring he was suspending his campaign for President.

The announcement came at what was originally billed as the grand opening of his campaign headquarters.

Cain opened his announcement by stating how proud he is of how far he and his supporters have come.  And while talking about his decision to run in the past tense, he reminded voters that he was inspired to run because the politicians in Washington have failed us.  He thanked those who supported him and shared his concerns. 

Cain stated that his campaign and supporters proved that money matters less than the message and told supporters that they showed the world that we the people are still in charge of this country and that you do not need a distinguished pedigree to run for President in America.  He told supporters that with a month to go till the Iowa Caucuses, he is one the of final four in the polls and added that it is a sign that you can come from humble beginnings and still be President.  Cain declared that proving that a common man can lead this nationwas the greatest gift that he and his campaign have given people.

Cain stated that he has made mistakes and is the first to own up to his mistakes and despite how the political elite feels he handles those mistakes, he does it his way.  Then Cain admitted that the media fury which has spun the false allegations against him hav hurt his wife, his family, himself, and the American people because it cretaes distractions that prevent the American people from being provided with solution.

Standing with his wife behind him Cain reiterated his claim that all the accusations were false and that he and his wife are at peace with themselves, their family and themselves.  Then he announced that his campaign was going on to plan B which is a suspension of his presidential campaign because of the continued distraction and hurt on him and his family.   But he promised that he will not be silenced and will not go away.  So his plan B. was to move ahead with TheCainSolutions.com with which he will show that people are in charge and promised to make sure that the biggest reforms our nation has ever seen.  Cain cited energy independence and his much touted 9-9-9 plan.

Cain wrapped up by saying that plan A was to change Washington from the inside, but plan B is to change it from the outside.  Then he declared that he will endorse one his rivals very soon.

With his campaign suspended, Herman Cain may now have more an impact on the 2012 presidential than ever before.  His campaign concludes at a point in time when the race seems to be shaping up as a two-man contest between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.  If Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich, Newt will find himself in the catbirdseat. 

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Watch the Livestream of Herman Cain’s Annoucement. Wiill He Stay in the Race?

Bookmark and Share   Sometime between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm EST , Herman Cain will be announcing the fate of his quest for the presidency of the United States. His campaign has provided a livestream of this event which is actually suppose to be the grand opening of his campaign headquarters.

Expect Cain to announce that he will  not allow himself to be pushed out of the race.  Do  not expect a mea culpa or any announcement declaring that he is pulling the plug on his presidential ambitions.  Few have ever done such a thing after providing a livestream of their fall while having a barbecue for those at the announcement.  And that is exactly what is happening outside the new headquarters for the Cain campaign in what is reported to be a very festive atmosphere.  However, it is reported that Herman Cain’s campiagn team is not optimistic.

Watch the livestream of the announcement here or by clicking on the image below;

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Bachmann’s Gamble

Michele Bachmann believes she is the best candidate for the job.  She should, she’s running.  However, unlike the two front runners, Bachmann has chosen not to differentiate herself based on ideas, but instead to attack the front runners as being more liberal as she is.  Her most recent target is Newt Gingrich, but she can also be traced to the fall of Rick Perry.

The two front runners, and Herman Cain, have done a very good job of not attacking other candidates.  The “attacks” between Romney and Gingrich over the last week have amounted to points scored on differentiation in back ground and complementary assessments of each others abilities with subtle hints as to who is better because of it.

So why does Bachmann think that attacking the other GOP candidates is a winning proposition?  Simply put, she does not believe Barack Obama can win.  In Bachmann’s mind, the GOP candidate could be Tom DeLay and Obama would still lose.  Technically, she should be right.

The administration got the best news it’s had in three years this past week.  Enough people dropped out of the job hunt to join Occupy Wall Street that unemployment (which only measures who is looking for a job) fell to 8.6%.  Now, Obama’s justice department has released a new round of incriminating documents on a Friday night to avoid the media cycle and Obama is skipping town for an extended Christmas/New Years vacation that us working schlubs could only dream of.

But Bachmann’s faith in Republicans’ will to vote for the lesser of two evils is unfounded.  Just look at how quickly Republican supporters are backing off of Cain after the most recent affair allegation.  Sure some of it is fears over electability, some of it is dislike for his 999 plan and foreign policy, but a good portion of it is different standards.  It’s the kinds of standards that make Republicans resign for tapping their toes in the men’s room while Democrats can shove a cigar in their young intern’s….well anyway.

Bachmann’s gamble is that since Obama is going to lose anyway, Republicans need to take this glorious opportunity to choose the best candidate for the job (Michele Bachmann) and not settle for a RINO (Mitt Romney), a crony capitalist (Rick Perry), or a flip flopping environmentalist (Newt Gingrich).  Instead, we should choose the TEA Party image of perfect conservatism, the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan mixed with Sarah Palin: Michele Bachmann.

Bachmann seems to think her negativity will make her be the first candidate to be a front runner, lose it all and end up in 5%ville, and then rise from the ashes a second time.  She needs to be careful that it won’t accomplish that for Obama instead.

Will Cain Pull A Clinton, or a Biden. Will We Find Out Today?

Bookmark and Share   In a matter of a month Cain has gone from 31% to 8% in Iowa and while he had some of his best fundraising of the campaign in the days immediately following an initial anonymous accusation of sexual harassment, that rally around effect slowly faded after additional charges continued to surface.  But the money really stopped flowing after Ginger White came forward and accused Cain, not of sexual harassment, but of having a 13 year long affair with her.

While Cain flat out denies this recent accusation, as he has done with all previous charges, this time he did admit that he was friends with Ginger White but kept that friendship a secret.  Cain alleges that he was simply helping White out financially by paying a few bills for her on a monthly basis.  The suspicious arrangement may have paid White’s bill but it is now preventing Cain’s presidential campaign from paying its own bills.

The former flavor of the week contends that he must reevaluate his campaign because of the effect that the charges have had on his campaign but he also states that his family is a big consideration here.  In many ways the decision to keep moving forward in his quest for the presidency may rest with Cain’s wife, Gloria.  For while Herman Cain’s campaign may be able to survive with a portion of the electorate still suspicious of his guilt regarding  alleged misconduct and personal indiscretions, the only one that really matters is his wife of 42 years. 

Some like Fox News political analyst, host, and reporter, Chris Wallace have stated that Cain will not be ending his bid for the White House.  Others like myself are not so sure.  Faced with lingering questions and heightened suspicion, and a campaign that is witnessing the evaporation of support and money, there may not be enough momentum or opportunity left to gain momentum with just 30 or so days left to go before Iowa votes in 2012 ‘s first in the nation Republican presidential nomination contest.  One clue that may suggest Cain is leaning towards dropping out of the race was his stated concern with what his campaign would do with the money it does have left, if he did drop out.

While one can never say never in politics, when considering the existing political reality, the writing on the wall would seem to indicate that Herman Cain is going to be the first casualty of the 2012 presidential election.  But politics is perception and as such, in the past, many politicians have proven themselves to be  savvy enough to create their own reality and make voters believe them and support them.  Bill Clinton did it numerous times.  Still, the floor of the political sea is covered with the debris and wreckage of many who tried to sail its rough waters.  Be they guilty or wrongly accused, circumstances have more often than not overwhelmed the hulls of their political campaigns, and while some have been able to stay afloat, most sink to the bottom at varying speeds. 

Gary Hart saw his political ambitions hit the rocks and go under in the 1988 presidential election cycle. 

After being caught fooling around with one Donna Rice on a yacht called Monkey Business, Hart hunkered down with his wife in their Troublesome Gulch, Colorado residence and decided to end his campaign.  But Hart denied the charges and then he decided to get back in the race, until he found out that he was losing to Walter Mondale.  That just goes to show you that if go from a place called Troublesome  to a ship called Monkey Business, you’re asking for trouble.

Others like former governors  Jim McGreevey of New Jersey’s, and Elliot Spitzer of New York, admitted to their wrongdoing and resigned.

Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a Governor who was seen as a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, came home from a visit with his mistress in Argentina, apologized, and filled out the remaining year of  his gubernatorial term.

Then you have Bill Clinton.

He tried to deny any charges of infidelity, then had to admit to it,  lied about it  under oath, but stuck to his guns and survived impeachment proceedings. 

Another politician who eventually landed ion his feet is Vice President Joe Biden.

Before Gary Hart sunk in his 1988 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden crashed and burned after it was discovered that he was plagiarizing everyone from JFK to the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Neil Kinnock.  He tried to run again in 2008, but found himself to be nothing more than a footnote.  And now look at him. 

So nothing is set in stone in politics.  Herman Cain can continue his campaign but how far he can get is very questionable.  If he does fight on, he wouldn’t be the first to keep beating a dead horse in the hopes of resurrecting it.   Herman Cain could come out and say that he won’t let the S.O.B.’s push him out.  Some will find his fighting spirit admirable.  But will there be enough of those people to make a difference?  Between that and Gloria Cain, Herman has a lot of thinking to do.

Meanwhile, as we await cain’s decision, White House 2012 is proud to present you with this historical look at some of those whose private exploits have forced them to make some very public mea culpes.

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Cain’s Area 51 Response to Tabloid Reporting

Herman Cain may not be able to salvage his campaign after issuing a notice that he is reconsidering his run.  Nothing says you have skeletons in your closet more than jumping in front of the closet door and shouting “Ok, I’m done!” when people get close to it.  And it’s truly a shame.  Whether or not the accusations are legitimate, so far there is no credible evidence that they are.

Ginger White adds to the list of financially troubled, gold digging, sue happy women from Cain’s corporate past who have been bankrupt, sued their work place for frivolous sexual harassment claims, and of course have failed to provide any evidence of the alleged misconduct.  Her husband said her claims “wouldn’t surprise me, either way”.  If you’ve worked in the corporate world, haven’t you known that person that you decided right away you better leave your office door open when he or she comes in to protect yourself?

The mountain of accusations has come down to one woman, without even a hotel receipt to show for it, claiming that Cain grabbed her crotch in a car while taking her back to her room, one woman who claims Cain dared say she was as tall as his wife, and a woman with no money and several eviction notices who Cain thought was a friend, but who also has had about a month now of hearing why the other accusers might be financially motivated because of book deals.  I mean, imagine how much she could sell her autographed book she got form Cain that says something about friends being friends forever and everything else being bonuses?  We all know what that means.  He might as well have said “had a great time being friends with benefits”.

So suddenly every mainstream newspaper in America is reporting Cain’s affair like the black and white tabloids say that aliens exist.  The only problem is, Cain is getting ready to put electric, barbed wire fences up all around area 51.

Herman Cain has not been impressive in his handling of things like this, but let’s face it.  He is an amateur when it comes to smear politics.  He can’t even do it himself.  The poor guy has been nothing but respectful to most of his opponents, with the one exception being when he rashly called out Rick Perry and his former staffers for kickstarting the story since only they knew those sexual harassment claims existed.  So Cain’s decision to hold off and see if things blow over or not could just be a rank amateurish blunder.

That said, my evaluation is that Herman Cain may choose to continue, but the continuation will be short lived.  He has contributed a lot to this election process, but at this point his blunders have just made him a distraction from the main event.  If I had to predict, I would say that Cain will drop out, and will endorse the person who ends up becoming the GOP candidate.  Shortly after dropping out, the affair stories will quickly evaporate leaving only his most staunchest supporters and detractors wondering if they were ever actually true.

Herman Cain’s Blurry Foreign Policy and National Security Vision

Bookmark and Share    After a recent charge regarding  a thirteen year long extramarital affair finally got Herman Cain back into the headlines, and after making an admission that he was “reassessing” his campaign, Herman Cain took the stage of  Hillsdale College in Michigan to deliver a speech on his foreign policy vision.

The speech offered a coherent cursory view of international affairs, but really did little to prove that Cain has a superior grasp of foreign affairs, something which has became a major problem for Cain after numerous gaffes seemed to show a crack in the former frontrunner’s political armor.  Ultimately, while the speech did present some catchy phrases, it lacked any detail, something which has become a trademark of all of Herman Cain’s policy positions.

Adding to the problem of a lack of detail was Cain’s unwillingness to take questions following his speech. 

Typically, major policy speeches like the one Cain delivered allow for some follow up questions, especially when delivered in an academic setting such as the one provided by Hillsdale College.

Of course, the lack of any question and answer period following the speech was probably mainly due to any willingness to field the questions most on people’s mind when it comes to Herman Cain………those of the most recent charge against him and the rumor that he was thinking about ending his campaign for President.  But for those concerned about Cain’s true knowledge of the issues, especially on matters of national security and foreign affairs, any reason to avoid getting in to the details of his plans, was merely an excuse.

In the end, one of the most interesting things to have occurred during the Cain foreign policy speech was a Twitter which he issued right before he took the stage at Hillsdale. It appeared as follows;

Herman CainTHEHermanCain  Herman Cain

“Team HC: The definition of reassess is: To consider again, esp. while paying attention to new factors. Doesn’t sound like dropping out…”
 
Later, Cain tweeted several links that refered to his Hillsdale foreign policy speech.  One included the video seen blow and the other included a link to his website and what he called a “detailed” summary of his foreign policy.
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It is no White Christmas for Herman Cain

The news comes this evening that The Herman Cain campaign is “reassessing” its strategy following the allegation by Ginger White that she and Mr. Cain had been involved in a consensual relationship over a 13-year period.

Cain initially made the allegation public to Wolf Blitzer in an interview on CNN’s – The Situation Room. Shortly after the announcement, a statement from Cain’s lawyer said, “White’s claims of a consensual affair between two adults is not a legitimate news story.”

It should come as no surprise that Cain is reassessing his campaign as although the allegation does not involve sexual harassment like the previous claims, in many ways Cain’s lawyer’s statement is far from a complete denial or strong rebuttal.

Cain’s campaign team as I expressed in previous articles, totally mismanaged the original allegations from the three previous accusers. I do not believe it was the nature of the allegations that harmed Cain, but the fact, that his team got it so badly wrong in their crisis management of the affair which caused him damage.

Cain had just seemed to put his campaign back on a solid footing when he undertook a disastrous foreign policy question and answer session, which showed him all at sea when trying to answer a question on one of the year’s major foreign policy issues. This clip of his failed interview dominated an entire news cycle and only was also reinforced by his standard and sometimes weak replies during last week’s national security CNN debate.

I believe Cain has brought a considerable amount to this campaign. He has shown America that a black conservative politician can challenge for the GOP’s nomination. He has delivered the catch-phrase and intelligent 9-9-9 plan which had everyone talking on both sides of the political divide and his charisma, humour and common sense has made him a national figure. I believe that the opposition were gravely concerned about a Cain nomination and run off against President Obama, as it would have impacted a lot of their strategy for the 2012 campaign.

Cain would have been able to counter many of the messages which commentators expect the Obama machine to come forward with in the run up to next November’s election. Cain is very much the symbol of the American Dream experiencing southern state segregation, coming from a poor family and rising through hard work and studies to run some of America’s largest and most successful organisations.

Cain’s appeal was largely due to his business expertise and understanding of the economic challenges facing America. Next years election will see the eventual GOP nominee trying to make the election about the economy whereas, Team Obama will try and make it an election based on social and class warfare, as he can’t run on his domestic and economic record.

The revelation surrounding this alleged extramarital affair is sadly, I believe, one straw too many for the Herminator. It is hard to see many social conservatives being able to overlook the cloud hanging over Cain’s personal life and support him in time for Iowa and New Hampshire.

There is also the impact all these personal attacks and allegations are having on Cain’s own family, nobody deserves to be treated in such a fashion and again ability seems destined to be ignored in favour of rumour and innuendo. I feel for the whole Cain family, I really do.

Cain is due to spend tomorrow in Ohio before appearing on Fox News’s Neil Cavuto show for a one to one interview. It is believed a final decision will be made by Cain within a couple days about whether to go on.

A big factor in Cain’s decision will be money. Cain feels an obligation to those who have supported his campaign financially and it is believed he currently holds $9 million in his campaign war chest.

Personally, I would advise Cain to consider his family at this time. I don’t believe the allegations however; other supporters or admirers will prove much harder job to convince then I. Cain has had an excellent run and exceeded many people’s early expectations. Cain has seen what is involved being in the media spotlight of a national campaign. He should thank his supporter’s for all their support and bow out to focus on his family and proving all these allegations as being false. There is a remote chance should he prove the current allegations false, that he may be approached for a Vice President slot, if time and opportunity coincide.

I would like to see Cain respectfully drop out now and throw his support firmly behind one of the other candidates. I am sure Mr. Cain and his team know that after such a dreadful six weeks, winning the party nomination on this occasion is now firmly beyond him. He has raised his profile considerably and even if a V.P. role doesn’t come his way, he can spend the next four years becoming more involved in politics at a national level and prepare the way, all going well, for a stronger and less controversial run in 2016.

Is the Cain Train Still Running?

Bookmark and Share I began writing this post three days ago.  The thinking behind it came to me when I suddenly realized that we had not heard anything substantive, from or about the Cain campaign in almost two weeks.  I  began to think that in the case of Herman Cain, no news is bad news.  After he vaulted to the top of many polls because of the Republican electorates willingness to go for anyone but Romney, Cain was hot and it looked as though he was about to establish himself as the man to beat.
 
Then came one, two, three, and even four accusations of sexual harassment. 
 
For a brief second, it seemed that things might fall apart for Cain, but after news hound Gloria Allred got involved and after the accusations seemed to be a bit flimsy, Cain not only recovered, he benefitted from a brief backlash against the media coverage of anonymous allegations from over a dozen years ago, which never made it in to the judicial system where Cain could have had a proper hearing.  As it was, Republican voters were getting tired of the media telling them that Mitt Romney was going to be their nominee whether they liked it or not.  Which is how Herman Cain become so popular to begin with.
 
He was the perfect anti-establishment candidate in an electorate that is as anti-establishment and opposed to the political class as ever before.  Cain never held elected office, he had some novel ideas, a common sense approach to problems, was willing to go against the politicians, and never held an elected office that could have qualified him as a politician.  So he was the perfect vessel for TEA Party-like, anti-establishment voters to send their message through.  Add to that the fact that Herman Cain was a passionate, articulate, and creative speaker and what you had was the perfect candidate for the times. Add to that Sarah Palin’s decision not to run and Herman Cain was a lucky man.
 
So Herman Cain benefited from a combination of a lack of elected offices, a history of talent, and good timing.
 
But with that benefit came responsibility.  The responsibility to prove that he was worthy of the support that naturally gravitated towards him under the circumstances. 
 
The problem is, Herman did not prove he was deserving of the support.
 
Instead he demonstrated that when he had more than two minutes to answer a questions, he didn’t know what he was talking about.  And as for his campaign, instead of demonstrating that he could solidify and build on the popular support that did come his way, it proved to be inept, incompetent, and interestingly ill-equipped to cope with politics.
 
And the odd thing is that Herman Cain is nothing like his presidential campaign. 
 
While Herman Cain worked hard to go from very humble beginnings to become a highly learned, highly successful businessman, and conservative leader, his campaign for President had a humble beginning and after a brief anomalous bounce in the polls, went from promising to disappointing.
 
Which brings us back to what finally put Herman Cain back in the news this week.
 
The initial accusations of sexual harassment seemed to have faded away.   No thanks to his campaign, its fading away was a good thing.  But what we began to see was that without scandal to force the media to focus on Cain’s presidential campaign, there was nothing for the media to report about Cain.  Such media silence was a tragic loss of opportunity for Cain’s campaign.
 
They had the opportunity to grab the bull by the horns and issue bold new policy initiatives and plans that would have grabbed the headlines for Cain based on content of issue, not on spaciousness of scandal.  Herman Cain had the chance to solidify the support he was getting when people rallied around him in his defense.  He had the opportunity to increase his support by demonstrating to voters that in the face of politics as usual, he was the man who could get things done and focus on the issues, not the distractions.
 
Instead, Herman Cain and his campaign, initially extended the life of the sexual harassment charge scandal by mishandling his reaction to it for the first five days and then dropped off the political map.
 
Now as it turns out, we finally hear some news related to Herman Cain’s candidacy.  But what we hear is not something we like.  It is an accusation of a 13 year long, clandestine, extramarital affair. 
 
Whether it is true or not does not even matter.  Afterall, after the Kennedy’s and Clinton’s, the nation is numb to such personal matters.  But what does matter is the fact that Herman Cain and his campaign failed to gain the limelight for nearly two weeks but finally do so after the prospect of a new scandal arises.   Had it not been for his recent accuser, there would have been nothing else to report on regarding Herman Cain.  There would have been no new economic inititaives or possible solutions to peace in the Middle East coming from Cain to report on.  There would have been no new evidence to prove that Cain does know his P’s and Q’s when it comes to foreign affairs.  Nothing constructive would have come out of the Cain campaign and that is a sad statement on the effectiveness of Herman Cain’s presidential campaign.
 
As I stated at the beginning of the post, this account was in the making several days before his latest accuser surfaced.  The fact that there was finally something to say about Cain’s campaign because she surfaced, simply punctuates the point.
 
Before today, I was wondering if the train Cain was still running.  I  But as  have been standing at the station waiting for something to report on about him.  But every time I looked down the track, I saw nothing on the horizon.  But as of today, I think I have my answer.  While I know better than to never say never in politics, I have come to conclude that service on the Cain line has been discontinued.  And it is not because of shaky accusations.  It is because the Cain train has been unable to drop off any real issues whenever it makes a stop on the campaign trail.  Even in politics, soundbites only get you so far.  Good candidates need to run on more than slogans, they need some real issues and substantive policies to run on and unfortunately, after a good start, when it comes to issues, the Cain train’s been running on empty.  After building up so  much initial speed, it’s just taken awhile for the forward momentum to come to a stop and  force the Cain train to come to an end. 
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Affair Story Could Change Minds

Herman Cain may not have impressed pundits with his handling of the sexual harassment and assault charges that were leveled at him with no proof, and in some cases no names attached to the victims.  But he has managed to keep many of his loyal supporters from losing faith.  Support from Cain’s wife and his own direct denials turned a potentially ugly situation into a he said/she said where his supporters had a reason to rally around him and his detractors simply had one more negative thing to say about him.

Now, someone who Cain describes as someone he thought was a friend is coming out and alleging a 13 year affair with Cain.  Cain apparently had knowledge ahead of time that she was going to come out and attempted a pre-emptive denial.  The big difference here is that Cain did know her, remembers that he knows her, knew she was going to come out with this allegation, and considered her a friend.  People who you think are your friends don’t usually make up stories about 13 year affairs.

The problem with this story is that if it changes peoples’ minds about Cain’s character, then every other dismissed accusation is back on the table.  If Cain did it and decides to come clean and admit to an affair, he can forget the support and especially the trust of his supporters.  If he continues to deny this affair, he will keep his loyal supporters but may not gain enough support back to regain relevance.

The best thing that could happen for Cain’s campaign at this point is for one of the women who made accusations to come out apologetically admitting that she made the story up.  Either that, or an alibi.

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