Was Herman Cain’s resounding first place finish in the Florida Straw Poll (Cain 37%; Rick Perry – 15%; Mitt Romney – 14%) a sign that Republicans believe in his candidacy? Or, did his win reflect voter dissatisfaction with his rivals?
Mr. Cain has done extremely well in recent debates and, other than a few missteps (openly admitting his lack of foreign policy knowledge, for example), has adroitly handled media interviews. Plus, most of his policy positions align nicely with the influential tea party movement:
- National Security: Cain considers protecting the people as the President’s primary duty. Further, he vows to ensure that our military and all of our security agencies are strong and capable.
- Spending: A deficit hawk, he promises that every federal agency, program and expenditure will be reviewed and revised with a keen eye and a red pen.
- Immigration: Cain favors securing our borders, enforcing our laws and promoting the existing path to citizenship.
- Energy: He believes the Left has forced excessive environmental regulations that have stifled domestic energy production and forced Americans to rely too heavily upon foreign oil.
- Health Care: Cain feels the role of the federal government is to encourage economic growth by ensuring conditions that will allow businesses to thrive, not just survive.
- Economy: He wants to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, free market reforms.
Finally, Mr. Cain’s “999″ plan — which calls for a 9% business flat tax, a 9% individual flat tax, and a 9% national sales tax — truly excites fiscal conservatives. Cain sees this shift from taxes on income to taxes on consumption as the first step to implementing the long desired “Fair Tax,” and alleviating the $430 billion burden that tax compliance, enforcement, collection imposes on the US economy.
Critics on both the right and left worry that Cain’s plan would significantly boost taxes on the working poor, and question the impact a national sales tax would have on strapped state and local governments which rely on the same type of taxes.
Cain’s lack of government experience also concerns many. Washington isn’t a hospitable environment for on-the-job training, particularly with the myriad of social, economic and foreign crises we now face. And, unlike his days running Godfathers Pizza, his “underlings” won’t unquestioningly follow every directive. He’ll have to get up to speed quickly on political power plays, back room deals and, yes, even compromise.
So, is Herman Cain a viable candidate for President of the United States? So far, so good.
But he shouldn’t count his pizzas before they’re cooked.