Saturday, December 3, 2011

Highlights from the Cain Campaign

Herman Cain has dropped out of the race for U.S. President, so I want to take this opportunity to highlight what I liked when Herman Cain was running:

1. I liked Herman Cain’s campaign theme song, Krista Branch’s “I Am America”, even though I don’t care for the Tea Party movement and find it to be judgmental and selfish.

2. I enjoyed Herman Cain’s smoking ad (not because I support smoking, but rather because of the Krista Branch song and Herman Cain’s smile at the end), and even more Jon Huntsman’s daughters’ response to it (because, well, I like Huntsman’s daughters and think that they’re one of the bright-spots of Huntsman’s otherwise lackluster campaign). And Herman Cain was a good sport about their response because he told Huntsman’s daughters that he thought their spoof was funny.

3. The Gingrich-Cain debate was worth watching because it was an intelligent discussion of domestic issues, and it’s refreshing to see that. I wish I could see more of it! While I appreciated the candidates talking about how they could reform health care and preserve Social Security, I thought that underneath their sophisticated policy analysis was a conservative view that the poor are poor because they are lazy, and I did not care for that. But you can watch the debate to judge for yourself if my impressions are correct. It’s educational to watch, even though Cain is out of the race.

4. I thought that Ann Coulter’s column on Herman Cain was an important contribution to the political discourse. Coulter argued that David Axelrod was behind the accusations against Herman Cain, and that his goal was to make Cain leave the race so that Obama would be able to play the race card—-to say that people who oppose him are racist (which he couldn’t say if the Republicans were voting for Cain). Ann Coulter supports this by noting that Alexrod lived near one of Cain’s accusers, that many of the accusations are coming from Chicago (Obama’s political base), and that Axelrod has a history of digging up (or exaggerating) dirt in the lives of Obama’s political opponents.

There is really no evidence for Ann Coulter’s claims, but it did appear to me to be plausible. Some friends were telling me that the charges against Cain were manufactured, and they speculated that the women were being paid or offered a job for smearing Cain. But I wondered who would have a motive to orchestrate a smear campaign against Cain, since Cain did not strike me as a heavy-hitter in the race—-enough to be a genuine threat to anyone, I mean. But, considering the many times I have heard Obama supporters say that the hatred against Obama is due to racism, it does strike me as likely that some of Obama’s staff would continue to want to play the race card, since (well) Obama does not have too many other cards to play (and I’m saying this as someone who will probably vote for him in 2012). So Ann Coulter’s conspiracy theory made a degree of sense to me, and it also raised the possibility in my mind that Cain was telling the truth when he made his emphatic denials. But, in the end, I don’t know who’s telling the truth.

5. What I most liked about Herman Cain’s campaign is that people who said that America was not ready for a black President after Obama was elected were actually enthusiastic about supporting an African-American Republican. I believe that’s progress.

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