Herman Cain Strikes Right Chord With Right People in SC


I almost never watch debates, especially this early. But the five-man line up in Greenville, SC, last night, at a Fox News-sponsored event interested me.

I like Herman Cain and Rick Santorum, and would like to like Tim Pawlenty, while having positives and negatives that almost cancel each other out about Ron Paul. Then Pilgrim encouraged me to find out who Gary Johnson is, which probably made me tune in more than anything else.

All three conservatives acquitted themselves well. And the Libertarians failed with me where L’s always fail with me.

So this morning I checked the news blogs to read the Friday morning quarterbacking. There were the usual comments about the sparseness of the debate, with no marque names just second stringers, and how could Fox not understand what a big waste of time this is? As I said, all three conservatives gave good answers. Then my son called this morning to say that Tim Pawlenty looked like Dana Carvey doing his impersonation of Captain Kirk. “What’s with the hand gestures?” Yep, Tim needs to work on that.

But the game changer for me was the after-action tale of the tapes by pollster Frank Luntz of a group of South Carolina Republicans (I assume).  Among them Herman Cain won in a landslide. No, by acclamation. If you didn’t see it, watch here, then lay aside your own personal observations and consider only those of the members of this group.

I won’t analyze what they said, or compare that to my own observations. I will only say the obvious: Herman Cain connected with this crowd, in part, because these are the people he came to this debate to connect with. He was uninterested, OK, less interested, in what the bloggers and talking heads might say, and much more interested in what the people of South Carolina have to say about him.

As it stands right now, the South Carolina GOP primary is Herman Cain’s to lose.


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May 6, 2011 10:43 am

vassar, I think our nation could benefit from having someone with successful private sector business experience in a high-level decision-making position. Someone with that kind of experience is far more likely to put an emphasis on cost-effectiveness of various programs, productivity and efficiency of work processes, re-establishment and implementation of quantitative standards, etc., etc. Those are typical benchmarks that are common in the business world today, and these could be very effective tools in finding ways to reduce expenditures, thereby generating options in reducing both the size of government and our national debt. And the truth being told, I’m really… Read more »

May 6, 2011 11:30 am

Vassar, I am glad I helped pique your interest enough to watch this debate. I agree with your analysis of Herman Cain. The panel and format was a pain for every candidate, and the observations I have are how well did the candidates do in this atmosphere. Herman Cain did an excellent job of refuting Chris Wallace on the Fair Tax. Tim Pawlenty was able to include his answers an attack on Obama and the NLRB vs Boeing, and a challenge to Obama over how he now regards the enahnced interrogation techniques that made an attitude adjustment to KSM so… Read more »

Queen Hotchibobo
May 6, 2011 12:13 pm

I’ll tell you why I didn’t watch the “debate”. I am utterly sick and tired of this stupid media freak show debate format. This is not a debate, this is a panel question and answer session with time limits imposed on the interviewees. The questioners, obviously, have no time limits. They have no restrictions on their questions. I didn’t watch it, like I said, but I’ll bet a million dollars they asked something about evolution/God. Like that’s something that is really a big, hot button with us. At every Tea Party Riot I’ve been to, there have been dozens of… Read more »

May 6, 2011 12:47 pm

I suspect, after last night’s debate, that Herman Cain will gain quite a bit in the polls, and with his fundraising. Good for Herman. I loved when he told Chris Wallace, as to never having won elective office, “How’s that working out for ya.” He kept his answers short and to the point. I also liked that he came across as a problem solver that wouldn’t run away from the big problems/issues. For me, that’s leadership. He does need to brush up on foreign policy, which I’m sure he will. I remember reading that when he took over Godfather’s that… Read more »