He Took Florida by 37%, Is The White House Next?
1 year ago
Why Herman Cain could be the second black president
Herman Cain doesn't believe his leading show in the Florida Straw Poll was a protest vote, and I don't either. Cain is not the Ralph Nader of the GOP – he’s no screwball spoiler. He is a black man in a traditionally white party in a tough spot and perhaps willing to go on a little faith. Cain is that unknown quantity, which I think gives him a legitimate shot at the presidency. And that should tell you a lot about where the country is right now, that we’re considering electing the (former) Pizza Guy to higher office.
To be fair to Cain, he is indeed the portrait of the American Dream: born to hard-working parents, he worked hard and didn't make excuses. It's the reason he should be taken seriously – he's the capitalist's Barack Obama. To many, his story is just as captivating, just as compelling. And his run for the seat has potential to split and nullify the black vote. To some blacks, he represents the face of the steady, black middle-class who, besieged by taxes, BET and the evening news on all sides, are becoming increasingly withdrawn into themselves. They insulate themselves from the have-nots behind gated walls. They are not so concerned about the recession – that’s Pookie's problem. The black middle-class will always make it to the polls to protect their intere$t$. But the grassroots – the huddled masses, the people hit hardest by the recession – may be too war-worn and complacent to cast a ballot for the guy who told them "Yes We Can." Because four years on, it's apparent that we can't. Cain’s like a conservative Obama, sans the Newports.
HERMAN CAIN SECURED 37.11% OF THE VOTE IN THE FLORIDA STRAW POLL
Sadly for him and his supporters, he lacks some charisma and eloquence – he's not as good with the punchlines and take-home points as Obama – I mean, who the hell knows what he’s running on? His win of the straw poll in Florida doesn't portend any mandate – his biggest selling point is that he's not Mitt Romney or Rick Perry. In fact, I'm convinced he could run on that platform – "Vote Cain: I'm Not The Other Guy" and make a strong showing in Iowa.
Back in the day, I believed that Bobby Jindal of Lousiana was the Great Brown Hope of the Republican party, and I remain convinced that he will run for president once he shores up his base at home. Lately, I'm inclined to believe Herman Cain could have the Kryptonite to sweep Obama out of the White House, or at least cause a situation for the Democrats. He speaks to a black conservative constituency we didn't acknowledge existed and could easily disrupt the black vote. I wouldn't give you odds, mind you – who gambles in this economy? – but, it's interesting to me that the people who call Herman Cain a long-shot president are the same people who doubted Obama's chances. Cain is clearly able to surprise the pundits. However, could he surprise us all in 2012? Will Republicans vote for a black president?