Posts Tagged ‘Herman Cain’

The Curious Approach of Newt Gingrich

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Newt's Got a Plan

Few things have been clearer than what this past week has made apparent:  The GOP establishment doesn’t want to win an honest fight, and those who comprise it don’t believe we should have any say whatsoever.  Whether you’re a staunch conservative, or a Tea Party patriot, there can be no way to miss the point demonstrated by a week-long attack-fest aimed at Newt Gingrich.  We’re not part of their party, and they will choose the nominee, and if we don’t like it, we can just shut up and go away.  Well, we’re not going away, and we won’t be shut up, and we’re going to call them on their twisted, half-truth ridden distortions in media, and we’re going to turn off their networks, and avoid their favorite in-the-tank websites, and we’re going to forge ahead without them if necessary.  The simple truth is that the GOP establishment needs our support much more than we need theirs, and with the direction this is going, I can’t see a single reason to support them or their chosen candidate.  Meanwhile, something else is brewing, and I take note, because watching Gingrich speak, I realized there was a change, and it manifested Saturday night.

Watching Herman Cain endorse Newt Gingrich on Saturday night, I think I glimpsed a bit of the future, because I think what Gingrich has been saying from the outset of this race is correct:  We must all set aside our petty differences and find a way to engineer victory as a team.  So far, among the candidates who entered the race, and have subsequently departed it, Cain and Perry, each once a front-runner, have endorsed Newt Gingrich. Now while it’s the undisputed truth that conservatives are a generally independent-minded lot, I don’t think we should fail to notice this.  I’ve told you before that a candidate who was an aggregate of the best parts of all of these would be great for the country, but alas, no such candidate stepped forward.  What we’re watching now, as Gingrich integrates these former competitors into his team is the result of having treated both of these men with due respect to their positions and experiences and accomplishments over their lives.  Gingrich has a big idea, all right, but it’s not about some mission to the moon.  Instead, I believe he’s focusing on building a team that can win in November and take the country back from Barack Obama.

This represents a serious departure from previous campaigns, as when the vanquished left the scene, frequently never to be seen again.   Think about what this will mean to the strength of the GOP team come November if Gingrich is the nominee.  He’s building a governing majority now, with the party as his first target.  Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is tooling around trying to further divisions in the party.  Are we now witnessing what is effectively the updated version of the Reagan coalition?  That would be a stunning achievement, and while he’s a long way from having accomplished it, that he’s seeing that far down the road is a hopeful sign.  Nothing is more prone to failure than an ad hoc campaign without direct and vision guiding it forward.  Whatever else you may think of Gingrich, it’s now clear to me that he has a plan, and if just a little luck breaks his way, he might not only capture the nomination, but also the presidency.

It’s always been true that the most effective presidents were those who could put together a governing coalition that permitted the best people to lead with their strengths and their passions.  If Gingrich is figuring out the way to do this effectively, then we as conservatives should be thankful, whether we intend to support him in the primaries or not.  We need somebody at the head of this movement who can focus and direct its energies not only to electoral victory, but to a concrete plan of restoring our nation.  Could Gingrich be that leader, after all?  I’ve certainly had my misgivings, and as Sarah Palin reminds us, he is a “flawed vessel,” but as she also points out, nobody is perfect and without troubles.  Can Gingrich be a true reformer?  He’s done it before, certainly, because his accomplishments in leading the Republicans to sweeping victory in 1994 was a marvel  in modern American history.   Could he do it again?

Time will tell, but for now at least, we know with certainty one thing:  Newt has a plan.

Flash: Cain Endorses Newt Gingrich in Florida on C-SPAN Live

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Cain Endorses Gingrich

Saturday night’s headlines will erupt, and this should lead the headlines on Sunday morning, but since the media is too busy clubbing Gingrich over the head to notice, you never know. I can’t think of a more impressive situation for Gingrich.  This comes at an event in which none other than Congressman Allen West had spoken just moments before, and in an environment of incredibly good cheer. Herman Cain was on hand to both introduce and endorse Newt Gingrich!

Newt Being Assassinated; Public Being Suckered; Gingrich Must Call Bluff

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Perfectly Timed Political Hit

Let me start by saying I am speculating, but anybody who assumes the left is behind this character assassination is smoking dope.  If you think this was instigated for any reason except to combat the story that I reported earlier, you’re mistaken.  There will be no linkage back to the real culprits, of course, just like in the Herman Cain case, but you had better know the real reason:  Newt was beginning  to pull even with Mitt Romney.  If you haven’t noticed the convenient timing of these stories throughout the campaign year, I have news for you: You’re being led by the nose, and on the day that a story comes out about Romney’s offshore investments, what you’re actually seeing is a well-coordinated smear.  If you don’t understand, I’d like to explain.

The story about Romney is a set-up, and by the time they’re done “investigating,” it will be shown that Mitt Romney had done nothing illegal, which we could already guess. This is to give ABC News plausible deniability for being in bed with Mitt Romney.  In this manner, it looks as though Romney is just the lesser victim of this ABC News’ “diligent investigation,” but it’s much worse than that.

The story that Drudge is now pushing is a sham.  The very idea that ABC News wouldn’t run with this story in order to wreck Gingrich prior to South Carolina out of ethical concerns is a laughable hoax. ABC News has no journalistic ethics of which to speak, but in any case, we’re taking this no better than third-hand from a master head-line delivery artist named Matt Drudge.

How do I know the Newt story is a set-up?  I don’t, but let me explain why I think so:

If this was real, and if Marianne Gingrich had something shocking and new to disclose, the story would be running right now.  On the other hand, if the story is garbage, and what the former Mrs. Gingrich said was really not news, you would release the fact that you had the “dirt,” and you would withhold it while letting it “leak” that it was explosive and damaging.

For all we know right this moment, this is no more than the laments and disclosures of a jilted spouse.  I don’t mean to minimize the pain of divorce and all the things that lead to it, but if ABC News can dismiss Linda Tripp as a disgruntled former employee, it’s reasonable to suspect they could likewise dismiss Marianne Gingrich as a “disgruntled former wife.”  The only reason not to do so is that she has something so thoroughly damaging to tell that it would wreck Gingrich.  It could be anything from pillow-talk about political adversaries, or even friends, to something of a personal nature, but it could also be the complaints of an ex-spouse.  (Again, to ex-spouses, I am not dismissing your feelings, but let’s try to be objective about this, and admit that ex-spouses frequently aren’t.)

So why withhold it?  Because the speculation will be more damaging to Newt in the South Carolina primary if it’s a big unknown than if it were something less than catastrophic.  It is for this reason that if I were Newt Gingrich, I would insist that ABC make the footage public out of a “sense of ethics” for the candidates because an unknown looming negative is always worse in the imagination of voters than the facts of the allegation, short of murder or other gross illegality. If I were Newt, I would demand it, and I would demand it now.

I also suspect this will be used in an attempt to damage anybody who has endorsed Gingrich. After all, the argument will be, if they would throw their votes behind Gingrich or vote for him, how can they be trusted? Expect the media to immediately begin making the rounds of all those who have endorsed or in any way supported Newt Gingrich for comment, hoping to show them on camera or play the audio of them backing away from Gingrich.

I don’t think the former Speaker of the House reads this wee column, but if he does, the thing I would suggest to him is to demand it be released to clear the air before the election, particularly if he suspects that this is a trumped-up hit-job.  Speaker Gingrich, you should call ABC and Drudge’s bluff: Insist they put it out now, rather than damaging you by delay.  The damage being done to your reputation by this impeccably-timed leak is greater than the story is likely to do, because it will almost certainly come down to a he-said-she-said between former spouses.  Of course, it’s your campaign, and your life, but that’s my thinking.

Update: As I prepare to take this to press, Breitbart is reporting that ABC now “intends” to release the story on Friday night, the literal eve of the election.  It is either damaging or nothing, but it is the anticipation of the story that will do the most damage.  I still believe that Newt must call ABC’s bluff, because at present, he has nothing to which he can respond, and Friday, it will deprive him of time.  For this reason, I suspect the story is garbage, and when it’s disclosed, it will likely be nothing, but the whole thing is cooked and really, with the damage this will do hanging over his head, Newt would be better to demand it be released.  Even ABC couldn’t sell the “ethics” angle for withholding it, so it will go to press at the last possible moment when Newt won’t have time to refute it or anything of the sort, while the anticipation of the story is permitted to build right up to the eve of the election.  This is scandalous “journalism.”


The Establishment Way

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

I’ve been discussing this over the last week, but it is the subject from which there is no escape if we are to take this process seriously.  Maybe that’s the point to be made about the GOP’s nomination battle:  The establishment sets out to win this war every four years, and every presidential election year since 1988, they have managed to pull it off without a hitch and without recourse for the party’s base.  As Jay Cost explains in a most excellent article at the Weekly Standard, it’s rigged, and this has been the situation since the 1970s, with only Ronald Reagan breaking the trend. If you needed more evidence than this GOP primary season has provided already, you have only to consider the words of this genius, New Hampshire State Senator Gary Lambert, who offered:

“Rather than go on with the blah, blah, blah. I’d like to get right to the point. Which is – Look, we know how this movie is going to end. Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee,” he said.
“This is not about picking your favorite, it’s not about picking someone you like. It’s not about picking someone even with your own beliefs and principles. This is about picking a person that can beat Barack Obama, period.”

Here’s video(I didn’t create the “Mafia” text, although honestly, it seems apt in the context of Lambert’s diatribe):


Did you catch this?  He knows “how you think.”  If you were confused, let me suggest that this establishment Romney hack should have cleared it up nicely for you.  While I’d like to tell you that this guy was going to be tossed from the party for making this statement, the truth is that he’s the norm, and this is the general sentiment of those who run the party.  They don’t care for your beliefs, your opinions or your ideas.  They don’t have any regard for your preferences.  Their analysts and public relations goon-squads choose.   You’re to be herded like the compliant cattle moving through a series of chutes, and you end up penned-in, voting for their preferences.  All this, and yet they wonder why they lose as often as they win, and blame you for the defeats?  Do you really wonder why the country is going to hell?  These people are helping take you there, of course, because they know better.

Don’t worry, Tea Party.  Don’t worry, conservative grass roots activists. You still have a role to play, and it’s to sit down and shut up and vote as they instruct you.  If you’re offended by any of this, it’s only because you’re an “impractical idealist.”  Please don’t bother to explain to me why I must support somebody who holds me in such contempt.  Please don’t tell me how we “must save the country from Obama.”   These people are every bit as bad in their own way, and that we tolerate their domination of this process is a depressing statement on our own gullibility.

There will be more revelations coming out of this process, as I’ve begun to get the sense that some within the establishment want to effectively shut down the primaries altogether, skip the convention, and immediately go to the general election campaign.  I don’t quite know how they would rig the game so thoroughly in that fashion, but I think Lambert’s rant basically tips the establishment’s hand in this respect:  They aim to close this all down quickly now.  Where they’re concerned, it’s a done deal, so when I hear Herman Cain talking about an “unconventional process” on Hannity Friday, I wonder now if he doesn’t literally mean “without a convention.”  Of course, that’s just wild speculation on my part, but given the manner in which Cain stressed the “un” in “unconventional,” I’ve begun to wonder if this might be the sort of thingat which he was hinting.  In this video, Herman Cain discusses this same thing with Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room on Friday(Again, I apologize for the poor quality, but I wanted to be sure you could form your own impressions:)


I’ve also been thinking about the notion of endorsements, and how effective they are(or aren’t,) and how important they are to voters generally.  My own take is that I use endorsements to draw maps of who is beholden to whom, because that’s what determines many of these endorsements, and to be quite blunt, I don’t care at all who any politician recommends in this fashion.  I’m able to make up my own mind, and I’m able to discern who I should support, or not, as I imagine is the case with the vast majority of readers here.   Nevertheless, I enjoy seeing the endorsements because it becomes a form of identification.   Remember, we were told McCain was a ‘Maverick,’ but here he is in 2012 endorsing a party guy and making quite plain that he’s ready to shut down this primary process.  So much for the “maverick.”  He’s much more like a milch-cow.  What’s interesting about the Cain video is how it reveals his willingness to manipulate his supporters for maximum effect.  He’s doing his best to keep them together, to make the best pitch he can when he finally throws his support behind Romney, which it seems that he may well do.  This will have other potential fall-out, should it pan out as my magic-decoder ring seems to indicate it will.

This soup is the end result of pouring out your best efforts and your diligent activism into a rancid broth.  The establishment runs the party, and they do so mostly without reference to we little people.  We’re only good for three things where they’re concerned:  Money, Votes, and Campaigning.  They don’t care about our ideas, our principles, or our most firmly held beliefs.  They manage us, herd us, and drive us into a stampede, with the idea being that we should all arrive simultaneously at the conclusion they’ve laid out.  That’s the game, and it’s been the play for decades.  As Jay Cost concludes his article, it’s worthwhile to consider:

“Yes, it is important to consider the big policy issues – tax reform, health care, industrial policy – but without good rules to produce good nominees who can implement those policies, then it is all for naught.”

Sadly, it’s true.

Cain Out of Presidential Race

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Cain Bows Out of Race

Saying he was suspending his campaign for the GOP nomination, Herman Cain announced to a crowd of disappointed supporters that he was effectively ending his White House bid.  Despite what others may say, I think the American conservative voter will miss Herman Cain’s populist voice in this 2012 election season.  Mr. Cain’s particular strength had been his ability to resonate with voters who have regarded Washington DC as the ongoing source of our troubles, but not necessarily any solutions.  Cain’s candidacy first came under attack after several women made claims of sexual harassment, including a over-hyped media event featuring one of the accusers and Gloria Allred, her attorney.  To date, Gloria Allred still has not provided the alleged sworn statements she said she was waving around in that press conference, making it appear as though she may have known there was no truth to the allegations.  Last week, another woman of dubious credibility came out to claim she had carried on a thirteen year long affair with Mr. Cain, but just as with the others, she has provided no substantial evidence of her claims to date.

Whatever you may think of Herman Cain on the issues, what torpedoed his campaign is nothing more than press-hyped innuendo, at least thus far.  While it is possible all of these accusers are telling the truth, my own gut tells me that at least some of these charges are pure nonsense.  Part of my reasoning is that the method by which these things have been used to take down Cain have emerged is with much media fanfare, but in follow-up, very little substance.  More, when one accusation didn’t work, more were trotted out.  When the sexual harassment allegations didn’t convince voters entirely, accusations of an affair were brought forward.  One after the other, charges were made until the mantra became “it’s the seriousness of the charges,” without any real examination of evidence.

Whenever I see people begin to talk “about the seriousness of the charges” without reference to any substantive evidence, my antennae deploy in suspicion of treachery.  It’s not that Herman Cain couldn’t have done all of these things, although some surely seem farcical.  In any event, I’m disappointed to see Cain depart, if only because his views on taking power from the DC insiders was refreshing and offered hope to people for real reform.  Whether one thought the merits of his “9-9-9” plan were great or terrible, it surely spawned debate on the question of our system of taxation.  Few conservatives will fail to remember 9-9-9 in association with tax reform, and I believe Mr. Cain deserves a good deal of credit for bringing that discussion so much attention, irrespective of these allegations about his personal conduct.

Cain was also willing to go into a forum in which he would face former Speaker Newt Gingrich in a one-on-one debate, which turned out to have been a wild success among voters who wanted to be able to gauge the candidates side by side, in isolation from the glitz and hype of a big stage production with a half-dozen or more candidates and sound-bite worthy time constraints.  Readers of this blog favored that format by a wide margin, expressing the opinion that the remainder of the debates should take on that kind of one-on-one format, since it allowed for a more free-ranging and thorough discussion of the issues based on their merits, and tended to stay away from the sort of “gotcha moments” that tend to characterize the traditional debates.  While readers of this blog thought Cain lost that debate, they nevertheless gained a good deal of respect for the man’s positions.  He also endeared himself to debate watchers in that forum. One would think other candidates would recognize the value of such debates to voters, but some candidates are more interested in winning without the voters learning anything substantial about them.

Herman Cain has been a ground-breaking candidate because he comes not from a long career of government service, but instead because from a private sector background with unique solutions to problems facing our republic.  His exit leaves another hole in the field, because the rest of the candidates have extensive government service that makes it difficult to consider them “outsiders.”  Cain said that he would continue to try to reform government from the outside in his announcement Saturday, and many Americans fervently hope he will carry that out with the same personable good nature that shows through even under duress. His announcement Saturday paid appropriate respect to his supporters, and to the country and its voters as a whole, and it’s why so many believe Cain is simply a class act. This writer certainly hopes Herman Cain will stay involved, because this country certainly needs more voices from outside government demanding real change.

Note to Newt: Stick to Obama

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

How Much Has Newt Matured?

Since Newt Gingrich is offered advice to Herman Cain about what he should do in the wake of the latest allegations that Cain had a thirteen year affair, I suppose it would be permissible to offer a bit of friendly advice to the former Speaker of the House:  Mr. Gingrich, stick to Obama.  By this, I mean simply that you ought not be goaded by media or political analysts into breaking form by going after your fellow Republicans.  That would be a terrible mistake, and you’re by all estimations a very intelligent fellow, so my advice to you is an old refrain: “Dance with the one who brought you.”  In this case, that one has been your strategy of focusing on Obama’s inept, miserable leadership.  Don’t become boastful in pronouncing that you will be the nominee.  Earn it by doing it.  One of your past problems that you have recently admitted has caused you some trouble over the course of your career is immaturity.  At times, it seems your immaturity still rears its ugly head when you seem not to know when to shut up.  Your interview Thursday with Jake Tapper makes the point well enough:  It’s one thing to say you believe you can and will win the nomination, but its another to state boastfully that you will be the nominee.

Speaker Gingrich is indeed a smart fellow, and at the moment, he seems very able to fulfill what will seem awfully boastful to some who are not yet sold on his presidential potential.  There’s another old saying that tells us “It isn’t bragging if you can do it.”  The problem in this case is that with such things, you’re better off to let the tell be in the show:  Do it and no bragging will have needed justification.  In short, just shut up with the prognostication and do it.  This sort of thing has gotten Mr. Newt into trouble before, and while he speaks to a greater maturity these days, this is the sort of thing that leads some to wonder:  Has Newt really wised-up with age, or is he just a better pitch-man?

If I were Gingrich, I would get myself as far away from the internecine battle for the nomination, and focus instead on the real opponent he would be forced to beat.  In the first instance, this helps sharpen the debate that is going to count most, should he fulfill his boast.  In the second instance, it permits him to appeal to the positive side of the debate, instead of getting drawn down into the weeds with other Republicans.  Yes, he will need to rebut them when they make charges of their own, but the key here for Gingrich will be remaining above that fray and instead focusing on the battle with Obama and the Democrats.  After all, he is now the verifiable front-runner, and if the strategy of staying positive with respect to his fellow Republicans helped propel him to this lead, it will surely help maintain him there.

Of course, all of this supposes that Gingrich is listening to anybody, never mind some bumpkin out on the Texas prairie, but nevertheless, Gingrich has always possessed the gift of gab, and I remember fondly his Renewing American Civilization lecture series that aired in the early and mid-1990s on Paul Weyrich’s National Empowerment Television network.  It was educational and captivating, in part because of Gingrich’s mastery of history, but also because he was speaking in the manner of a teacher without talking down to students.  That was classic Newt Gingrich, and it was very effective.  Newt’s singular failing in this respect has been his seeming inability to integrate feedback in real time.  He can get out ahead of himself and his audience, and this is where the trouble frequently begins.

Such may be the case with his interview with Tapper.  It’s not that Gingrich said anything wrong, per se, but it is the manner in which he said it that may rub some people raw:

“I’m going to be the nominee,” the former Speaker told ABC News. “It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.”

To his credit, in this interview, he went on to say that he thinks Republican prospects ought to avoid attacking one another:

“And by the way I don’t object if people want to attack me, that’s their right. All I’m suggesting that it’s not going to be very effective and that people are going to get sick of it very fast. And the guys who attacked each other in the debates up to now, every single one of them have lost ground by attacking. So they should do what they and their consultants want to do. I will focus on being substantive and I will focus on Barack Obama.”

This is a better approach.  Getting sucked into commenting on the Herman Cain story doesn’t help.  That’s fodder for the kind of “gotcha politics” he has so often decried, and it helps the media spin the story into headlines that prompt divisiveness.  Maybe Speaker Gingrich is learning a little maturity after all.  Sometimes, learning when to say nothing is that final bit of wisdom.  That’s always been something of a challenge for Gingrich, and there have been instances when his own words were clipped and snipped to his detriment.  Back when he said “wither on the vine,” I would bet that while he really meant nothing like his comments were portrayed to have been, in retrospect, he probably wishes he had found another way to say what he meant without giving his opponents an easily decontextualized sound-bite. Even now, if you type “wither on the vine” into a search engine, a reference to Gingrich will still appear in the first few entries, though that idiom has been around for a very long time.

It’s great that Newt Gingrich is still quick-witted when it comes to policy and politics.  If he’s right, that he will be the nominee, he’s going to need all his wits about him, and this time, there will be no room for error.  Many have lately remarked that Gingrich’s mouth often has been Newt’s worst enemy may have a point.  Time will tell, but I suspect we will know it if he begins to focus ever more narrowly on Obama, Obama’s administration, the Obama policies, and and all that go with a campaign against Obama.  Many Republicans and conservatives are ready to take the battle to the President, and if Gingrich bears that in mind, he may not only succeed in becoming the nominee, but he may also find himself able to rally the party in a unified effort to defeat Obama.

Psssst… Hey, Speaker Gingrich: If you do get the nomination, don’t run about in the media giving interviews in which you’ll tell us that you will be the President. As a friendly suggestion, since advice is all the rage, don’t tell us – just show us.

Cain Leaves Rails in Newspaper Interview

Monday, November 14th, 2011

What Can You Say When Words Fail You?

It was too good to last.  While the personal attacks against Herman Cain were based on unsubstantiated allegations, I knew his real problem would eventually come up:  He does a decent ten-second sound-bite, but I think his depth of understanding on issues has always been lacking.  There have been signs all along, such as his lack of knowledge on the issue of a “right of return” claimed by Palestineans, his dearth of knowledge on some of the entitlements-related issues as demonstrated by the Cain-Gingrich debate, and now he’s really blown it with some very odd responses to questions about Libya in a sit-down interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  I do like Herman Cain, and I think he’s a genuine and sincere American who believes in a message of optimism, but the fact is that he doesn’t know the issues.  Cain’s reliance on his life’s experience in business has come down to this:  He’s inspiring and motivating, but it does not qualify him to be the President.

I say this with some sadness, because I firmly believe we need a candidate with his optimistic view of America’s potential, but I also know that in the real world we face, that alone will not salvage our position.  If he gets this  confused over our foreign policy on Libya, it’s going to be a problem.  He seems to have gotten confused about the question, his rehearsed answer, or some combination of the two.  To his credit, he gets back on track but he seemed to be stalling a bit in trying to do so, suggesting he was trying to remember what his position has been rather than responding directly to the question.  Again, I’m not bashing Herman Cain, but giving you my best assessment of his knowledge.  It may be that he would be able to stumble in this fashion through foreign policy crises that may arise, but that’s not really the scenario in which you want your President learning the foreign policy ropes.

I also realize that Cain says he likes to have full information before making a decision, and that’s laudable, but the truth is that a President must frequently make decisions despite sometimes sizable gaps in the available information.  Some of those situations will be time-critical, and a President will be forced to try to fill in the blanks with best guesses from advisers, but also from his own accumulated knowledge and experience.   Herman Cain has a great deal of wisdom and experience in some matters, and virtually none in others.  Foreign policy is one of these, and the truth of the Presidency is that foreign policy is arguably the most important concern of every President, whether the occupant of the Oval Office recognizes this fact or not.  If defending the country is the primary purpose of the federal government, then foreign policy must be among our top priorities for our nominee.

This lack of detailed knowledge becomes readily apparent when placed alongside Newt Gingrich, another technocrat with long experience as a policy wonk, but it’s more than that.  I have had concerns about Cain from the moment he first ran into the “right to return” flap.  Even at that, I’d still take a Herman Cain over a Mitt Romney, but the truth is that there are better options than either, in my view.  This particular instance with Cain comes at a bad time, because the latest round of polling seems to indicate his personal favorability has slipped in light of an admittedly dubious batch of allegations about his personal conduct.  A bit reminiscent of Perry’s mental slippage of last week, this moment may provide the final downward impetus to seal Cain’s fate.  Honestly, it’s too bad because he may very well be innocent of all the wretched allegations leveled at him, but in politics, it is so difficult to over come perceptions that when combined with this episode, may turn out to have been an insurmountable obstacle to his campaign.  Then again, people have counted Cain out before, and he’s survived.  Whether he can win the nomination with his clear lack of knowledge may be another matter.

You can watch the video clip from the interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel below:


Analytical Software Shows Cain Truthful, Bialek Not So Much

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Who Lied?

Herman Cain was asked about polygraph testing in his press conference Tuesday evening, but the formality of that sort of testing may not be necessary in any event.  Police frequently use analytical software to assess the truthfulness of interviewees to see if they’re likely telling the truth.  CBS Atlanta is reporting that Private Investigator has applied this technique to Herman Cain’s press conference, but also to Bialek’s, with some amazing results.  While no technology is 100% accurate, it’s also true that some technologies are more reliable than others.  This voice analysis technique is said to be much more accurate than polygraph testing, for instance.

That’s a stunning claim, but such software has been in use for a number of years, and while it holds no sway in court because it is not a 100% perfect technique, much like a polygraph, it’s nevertheless a useful technological tool that is used by investigators to help determine if they’re on the right track.  Honestly, if the software wasn’t so expensive, I’d consider a copy just for evaluating news-casts.  Wouldn’t that be fun? Tell the truth: Who wouldn’t want to run some of Obama’s statements through this sort of analysis? Karl Rove?  Oh, that would be fun!

As I said, while the technology isn’t 100%, and readers shouldn’t consider these results perfectly conclusive, it does lend to the credibility of Herman Cain. Again, you can watch the video of the CBS Atlanta report HERE.

My Thoughts on the Cain-Gingrich Debate

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

One Clear Winner or Two?

In order to avoid lending my own bias to the results of the polls I put up at the conclusion of the Cain-Gingrich debate, I withheld my own opinion on the performance of either man, and instead focused on the format of the debate, and my own thinking about that aspect of the story.  For the record, the polls have closed, and you can see the results here.  In this instance, I agree with the majority opinion on all three questions, including particularly the question “Who won?”  It was clear that while Herman Cain is a very likable man, at least insofar as his debate performance goes, the problem with Herman Cain has nothing to do with style, but instead entirely with substance.  It’s not that Cain didn’t score some points with me, as he most certainly did, but most of the points he scored with me were on a non-specific basis, or on the basis of his affability.  In terms of the issues, while I did not agree in every dimension with everything Newt Gingrich said, I nevertheless admire his command of the issues at hand, whether or not his views or ideas aligned precisely with my own.  He understands the issues in specific detail, and his knowledge as an historian lends to his presentation.

The truth is that the specifics of issues seem to pose a problem for Herman Cain, and to be honest, we knew this well in advance of this debate, so it’s worth noting that Cain at least had the courage to come forward in a venue where he knew that he was at a distinct disadvantage.  While that’s to Cain’s credit, the simple fact that he couldn’t provide any information on the subject of defined benefit plans suggests he simply isn’t ready.  He had some excellent one-liners, but then again, so did Gingrich, but the problem for Cain is that in the details, Gingrich demonstrated a detailed level of understanding that simply out-classed Cain.  Cain’s knowledge was general, and generic, and at that same time, Gingrich knew the nuts and bolts of the subjects under discussion.  There simply is no way to ignore the truth of the matter.

If the presidency were based on likability, Herman Cain would have won this debate, but the truth is that being President is a serious business, and knowledge of these issues is critical to the sorts of reforms we hope the eventual nominee will advocate, whoever that turns out to be.   Unfortunately, the presidency isn’t solely about detailed knowledge either, because what conservatives want is a president who they can trust, and whose first instinct isn’t to create another program or department or bail-out.  Conservatives want to know that a president has their backs.  Gingrich suffers from the deserved impression that he may lose his grounding under some circumstances, as expressed through his Global Warming defection during which he appeared with Nancy Pelosi in a joint advertisement on behalf of Global Warmists.

This is the dilemma presented by the Cain-Gingrich debate.  I suspect that even those who rated the debate “a draw” will admit that on the totality of the issues, Gingrich really was the superior of the two, but that their impression of Cain was informed by his engaging, and at times, humorous presentation.  I also suspect these are people who, like me, still feel a bit burned by Gingrich on a few matters, like the aforementioned Global Warming surrender.

There can be no real doubt: Gingrich absolutely dominated the facts and the issues in this debate, and on that basis, he must be considered the victor, but whether he can smooth over his past failures in the eyes of conservatives is another question.  The truth is that I suspect most conservatives wish that Cain had Gingrich’s grasp of the issues, or that Gingrich inspired conservatives as well as Cain does.  Conservatives want the “complete candidate” for a change, without compromise, and some of us thought we had spotted one, but she chose not to run.  We’re coming rapidly to the time for choosing, and the fact is that conservatives are still unsettled about it.  What the moderates and establishment Republicans hope to do is to make it difficult for conservatives to settle on a single choice, thus dividing the conservative wing of the party in the hope that they can be conquered.   So far, that strategy is paying off as the party is fractured but Romney’s support remains steady at around 25%.

Like many conservatives and Tea Party folk, I thought we would have a unifying conservative candidate, but that choice hasn’t materialized.  I say to my conservative and Tea Party brethren that among those still in the race, these two are probably the best, although I’d like now to see Gingrich face Bachmann in a similar style debate.  I’d like to see Cain against Romney.  I’d like to see Perry against Paul.  The format of this debate was the best of them in my view, and clearly in the view of my readers too.  This is the debate we should be having.  Let’s get to it.

Cain Categorically Denies Allegations – Still No Proof He’s Lying(Updated)

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Justifiably Righteous Indignation!

Here’s the funny part:  At this point, I’m inclined to believe him.  More, there is a backlash brewing among conservatives who suspect this has been a hatchet-job, and not necessarily directed by Democrats, and there is that segment within the conservative movement that is substantially ready to tell the media to kiss off.  I find it interesting because after ten days of accusations, rumors, and an uninterrupted stream of innuendo, we still have exactly nothing to suggest that this is more than a load of manure.   After more than a day having elapsed, Gloria Allred still hasn’t provided those alleged “sworn statements” to the public for examination.  If I were the purveyor of hamburgers, I would ask simply: “Where’s the beef?”

There is the so-called fifth accuser who isn’t actually accusing anything.  The media is referencing unnamed sources who are friends of unnamed accusers.  Most of the people involved in this “story,” apart from Bialek and Cain are unnamed.  Let me tell you what I suspect:

Last week, it was the idea of providing the notion of Herman Cain as a harasser.  When that failed to bring him down, and people basically questioned the entire “unnamed accusers” business, they dug up one willing to go on the record.  They trotted her out Monday, and now they have “established a pattern,” but a pattern of what?  I see a pattern of lies and deceit, but not on Herman Cain’s side of this.   What I see is a rush to convict Cain of exhibiting a “pattern” based on the accusations of one woman of increasingly dubious history and motives, brought to light by one of the worst ambulance-chasing celebrity attorneys in all recorded history.  Then we have the absolute spectacle of Karl Rove telling us that Allred adds credibility.  Again, I ask: In what sort of world does Karl Rove live that Gloria Allred’s involvement adds credibility to the claims of Bialek?

Add to this the utter absurdity of Touré appearing on MSNBC to talk about the “predatory black sexuality” of African-American men?  WHAT?  Am I to understand that this is to be the norm in media?  Are we really supposed to believe that the seriousness of the charge supersedes the validity of the evidence and testimony?  Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t pretend to know what’s inside Herman Cain’s head, and I don’t pretend to know what’s been going on over all these years, but here’s what I suspect:  I think they have to destroy Herman Cain, and I think they’re getting desperate.  I don’t think Cain was supposed to get this far.  I think he was intended to appeal to enough of the Tea Party folks to divide that wing of the party, but something happened on the way to an election:  Suddenly, Cain had become the persistent front-runner.

After all that had been put into the task of securing the nomination for somebody else, Herman Cain had suddenly become a real obstacle, and worse, he began to believe he could win.   This is the reason Cain must be destroyed, but frankly, the longer this goes on, the more we fail to vet Romney.  Look.  We’ve paid scant attention to anything else for these last ten days.  Nobody benefits more from this entire episode than Mitt Romney, except perhaps for Obama, who knows he can beat dear Willard without difficulty.  Cain, in contrast, scares the crap out of Obama.

Let me reiterate:  We still have no evidence of note, and nothing of legal substance.   Herman Cain’s press conference was a sharp rebuke to the media.  That will not deter the media.  It was also a stern warning.  I think conservatives have had enough.  The senseless smears of Palin that were almost criminally contrived, and of other conservatives over the years all set the stage for this situation.  Conservatives will resist this nonsense because they have finally realized they must, because dirt is dirt, and if we’re going to have any integrity at all, we must admit that they can scowl and posture, but they still haven’t shown us anything that convicts Cain, or even substantially harms him.  What we’ve been presented is a load of innuendo.  As of this moment, there is nothing.  Nothing that merits tossing Herman Cain overboard.  Nothing at all to suggest a “pattern of abuses,” other than the abuse of Cain’s record and character and reputation.

You can come here and tell me you believe Bialek, but what evidence do you offer, apart from “feelings” and “instinct” and “intuition?”  Notice that all of these are emotion-bound concepts, and yet if you rely solely on your mind, and the available evidence, what must you conclude based only upon that which is demonstrable at this time?  What must you conclude?

There’s no doubt in my mind that if Herman Cain is guilty of any of this, we’ll know in short order, but there’s also little doubt in my mind that he’s probably innocent of the “serious charges.”  I am no longer going to listen to discussions of the “seriousness of the charges,” not because I believe that such conduct as has been alleged isn’t serious, but because I know that charges are just that, but precisely nothing more, and until they are substantiated by evidence and testimony of credible witnesses, they are only charges.  I have yet to see any of either quantity.  I’m still waiting for Allred to release the statements.  What are the odds that we will never see these alleged statements?

You can watch the press conference, in three parts below:

Accuser Represented by Allred to Air Allegations Against Cain

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Attorney Allred Bringing New Accuser

This is becoming absurd.  It was only a matter of time before Gloria Allred got involved.  Let’s wait and see what this amounts to before we make any assumptions.  Allred has a history of bringing forward some dubious cases, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this winds up being more of the same.  This attempt to kill off Herman Cain’s candidacy isn’t going away, and as the left and the GOP establishment unite in their desire to wipe out Cain, it’s a sure bet that much of this will wind up as we suspected: A contrived, manufactured assault on Cain’s character. Allred’s press conference is scheduled for 1:30pm EST, and it’s not clear what will be alleged.  The media is swirling with hyper-ventilating speculation, but what this particular accuser will claim is not known apart from a vague description in the press, this one from RadarOnline:

The woman, who will be the first to go public on Monday, sought Cain’s help with an employment issue and was allegedly sexually harassed by him. Allred and her client will discuss, in detail, what she alleges occurred with Cain.

If we’re going to go through all of this, there had better be some actual details this time, with specific allegations, and some sort of evidence, rather than just the “she said” aspects.  I have no intention of entertaining yet another blatantly unsubstantiated attack on Cain.  If this turns out to be another case of that sort, Americans are going to be furious, and rightly so.  This isn’t a game, and we shouldn’t be toying with people this way.  Bring facts, or go home.

As if this isn’t absurd enough, a blogger at the Daily Beast, actually says that Herman Cain’s double-breasted suits are a sort of subliminal message.  I kid you not.

Cain Rises Despite Allegations

Friday, November 4th, 2011

In Spite of the Controversy

ABC News is reporting polling data that shows despite the recent allegations, Cain is still rising. Some will wonder how this is possible, but the answer is simple:  Without any substantial evidence, this is just a take-down ploy, and Republican voters know it.  If you wonder why conservatives are reacting negatively to the allegations, you need only examine the story linked above.  ABC cautions that this could change if the nature of the story changes to something more serious.   This is a typical media poll, however, in that it seems to be written to push readers in a certain direction, and it’s not very informative.  From the article, there’s this paragraph:

Yet the controversy does pose risks for Cain. Just under four in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in this ABC News/Washington Post poll do say the allegations are a serious matter. Half of them say it makes them less apt to support Cain, and Romney leads him for the nomination in this group by nearly 20 points. If views of the seriousness of the issue were to increase, Cain’s support could be at risk.

No!  Get OUT!  Do they mean to say that if actual evidence of wrong-doing on Cain’s part comes out, some people might change their minds?  Of course they would.  Notice this, however, when you debunk it. Of those who think these are serious charges as they stand, half say it makes them less likely to support Cain, but Romney leads in that group by nearly 20 points.  Do you understand what this is? This is merely a statement of the obvious.  I could easily say it this way, too: One in five Republicans supports Mitt Romney, and therefore consider any allegation against upstart Herman Cain good news.

Who is surprised at that?  People who think these are serious allegations are prone to support Romney. SHOCKER! That’s nearly as shocking as: “People who believe in socialism vote Democrat.”  There’s no surprise in this because moderate Republicans are anti-ideology.  They could care less about principle.   It’s the only way they could support the candidates they do.  More, I’m tired of these polls including any substantial number of “republican-leaning independents.”  Unless they’re in an open primary state, or registered as a republican and thus able to vote in the primaries as a republican, for the purposes of this polling, they’re irrelevant.  I also don’t want to know about “registered voters,” but insist that polling organizations be honest and poll among “likely voters.”  In this case, they merely specified “adults.”  Here is the data on this poll:

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2011, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents, and 438 leaned Republicans. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample and 5.5 points for leaned Republicans. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

Cain Under Fire: Can He Prevail?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Dirty Politics or Unpreparedness?

Think whatever you like of the allegations against Cain, but what I’ve noticed has nothing to do with the details of the case, except for their absence.  Back when Herman Cain was serving as the President of the National Restaurant Association, just a relative few people would have been privy to the allegations and the case at the time.  What is now known is that the cases were to be held in confidence as part of the settlement agreements.  The parties to these cases wouldn’t have an interest in disclosing information about them, so it makes one wonder where the Politico dug all of this up.  If I was a betting man, I’d bet on somebody within the GOP establishment, or alternatively, one of the other non-establishment candidates who would like to topple Cain from the head of that pack.  Chances are, if it was a liberal, they’d have waited until after the nomination fight if Cain won, or accepted a VP offer.  While it’s true that Politico is a left-wing rag, they’ve often managed to get along with the GOP establishment when it suited their immediate political ends.

In their articles on this subject, Politico hasn’t revealed much detail, which only means they don’t have anything salacious on which to hang their hats, or it would be all over the media by now.  What this suggests to me is that whomever their sources may be, they were close enough to know there had been cases, but not close enough to have been bound by confidentiality agreements.  This suggest somebody close to the National Restaurant Association, or somebody at least somehow associated, who knew about the allegations, or the settlements, at least in that they existed, but this all has the stench of somebody with insider knowledge who tipped off somebody at Politico.

What I can’t understand about this is how Cain wasn’t prepared to see this happen.  Did he believe that because the settlement agreements had been made confidential, that nobody would spill the beans about their existence?  That seems naive for a man who spent a fair amount of time in and around Washington DC lobbying circles to know how things work.  Did he think, innocently, because there really had been nothing to the claims that nobody would dredge this up?  I don’t know, but I think it’s somewhat curious that Cain was caught short in this way. After all, if Cain has an Achilles’ heel, it is probably that he’s not quite as skilled in knowing  how the game is played, and one would have thought that he would have hired somebody who knew, and who had already been through an analysis of what the opposition would attempt.  He should have been ready to respond to this, because he should have known, or at least his advisers should have known, that this would be coming.

This is part of what makes the Beltway political scene so disgusting to so many Americans.  Examining this, all we really know is that there were some allegations made at some time by some people and that those allegations consisted of something, and that there had been some kind of settlement, but we know not a single meaningful detail about any of it. Does this sound familiar?  It should, as it is the methodology used to derail candidates year after year, campaign after campaign, and it stinks.  It’s as though the DC Establishment closes ranks to freeze out all others, and this is the manner by which they wage their war: Innuendo, implication, and smear are the tools of DC politics.

Predictably, Politico is now spinning this into a divide among conservatives, but that is mostly a pipe dream on their part, and the part of the Romney camp.  Politico is also trotting out the women’s groups, which have been conveniently absent over the matter of OWS hushing rape victims.  For this, of course, they show up.  Who would like to pretend NOW would ever endorse Herman Cain(or any Republican) over Barack Obama, anyway?

Presidential campaigns are always full of intrigue, and smears, and plain old lies.  For whatever reason, Cain seems hopelessly unprepared for the ferocity of it, and while they continue to deride him on this issue, I don’t think it’s going to matter, because this won’t be all and they’re hardly finished with him yet.  If Cain doesn’t get wise to the ways of establishment politics, they’re going to eat him alive.

Herman Cain On Abortion: Say What?

Friday, October 21st, 2011

In Search of an Answer?

John Stossel asked Herman Cain about his position on abortion.  Cain seems to take the position that government should stay out of the issue entirely.  This would imply that he’s for continuing legality of the procedure.  The problem is, he also says he doesn’t think it should be legal.  That seems to contradict his first line.  I am having as much trouble trying to figure out what Cain’s stance really is on the issue.  He gives one more attempt to clarify it at the end, but again, it seems to contradict what he has already said.  Am I being difficult, or is Stossel?  I get the sense that Herman Cain is trying to have both sides of the issue.  He wants the state to stay out of it, but he doesn’t want abortions performed, but he’s not going to tell a woman not to have an abortion, and before you know it, I am confused about his position.

It simply appears that there exists some huge ideological or philosophical disconnect on his part, and his answer simply isn’t very satisfactory, if only because I walk away from the discussion not really understanding what his policy as President would be on the matter.  Take a look and see if you understand his position any better than I do:


The problem with all of this is that I like Herman Cain.  I like him because he seems willing to go after certain issues that others seem to avoid like the plague.  He’s a genuinely stand-up fellow, and he certainly seems to mean well.  I simply don’t think he’s spent enough time preparing on the specifics of some of these issues.  For instance, if you asked me about abortion, my answer would be a good deal more concise, and it wouldn’t leave any doubt in your mind as to my position.  It also wouldn’t please everybody.  I might say: “I believe human life begins at conception.  Since our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness owe to “Nature’s Law and Nature’s God,” it means these rights are unalienable, and not subject to the whims of others, and government exists to guarantee these rights.  The only instance in which abortion should be permissible is as an act of self-defense on the part of the mother.”

Are you confused about my position? What about Mr. Cain’s?  I wish he’d spend some time clearing up his positions.  It frequently seems as though he has canned, glib responses that lose all their effectiveness the moment a follow-up question is added into the mix.  It’s as though his understanding of the range of issues is a mile-wide in breadth, but cellophane-thin in depth.  I certainly hope Mr. Cain is able to pick it up on this score.  I really like him, and while I don’t agree with him on all of his positions, where I can figure out where he stands, I certainly like his perspective in general terms.

Let’s hope he can clear some of this up!

Herman Cain Can’t Hide His Unpreparedness

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Oh Herman, Say It Ain't So

In talking to Wolf Blitzed, Blitzed asked Cain if he would negotiate away the detainees at Guantanamo in trade for the life of an American soldier.  You can watch the video yourself.  If this is the best he can do on foreign policy, I’m afraid I can’t support him.  I realize he was trying his best to avoid being tricked into saying anything negative or contradictory about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but a President simply must be faster on his feet. In a moment when Cain should have recognized he was out of his element, stopped, and thought the question through, he permitted himself to say something senseless: “I could make that call.”  The US simply cannot afford to negotiate with terrorists, and this”call” by Cain would turn Khalid Sheikh Mohammed loose again if this had been a real decision.

Here’s the video:


Leading By Default?

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Can I Win Without Speaking?

After the FoxNews/Google debate, it had begun to crystallize in the view of many Republicans is that Rick Perry isn’t the candidate many had hoped.  Capturing the straw poll in Florida on Saturday, Herman Cain reached new heights as Perry’s slide down hill has accelerated.  Bachmann has peaked and begun to taper off, while Gingrich, Paul, Santorum and Huntsman continue to struggle in the middle-to-low single digits.  This leaves Mitt Romney out front, not because he’s such a great candidate, but because to date, his chief opponents have grossly underperformed.  This begs the question most conservatives want most to ask: Is Mitt Romney capable of carrying the conservative banner into battle a year from now?  Most conservatives seem to believe the answer is a firm “no,” but it nevertheless leaves Romney in the position of the last candidate standing.  He’s done nothing revolutionary or proactive to seize the lead or stay at or near the front of the pack, but instead seems to have landed in the lead by default.  If we’re to defeat Barack Obama in November 2012, it’s going to take a stronger candidate than Mr. Romney has been to date.

When you examine his debate performance, the best you can say about Romney is that he hasn’t gotten into serious trouble, but he has flipped and flopped to the extent that most conservatives are looking elsewhere.  Mr. Cain’s straw poll victory on Saturday demonstrates the point:  While Romney doesn’t spend much energy on straw polls, knowing he will not win them in front of a conservative audience that constitutes the base of the party, and the overwhelming majority at straw poll events, he believes it’s better to avoid energetic participation and score poorly than to engage fully and still score a a small proportion of support.  He realizes the infinitely larger black eye that embarrassment would confer on his campaign.

What this demonstrates, perhaps more than anything, is Mr. Romney’s complete lack of courage for a fight.  He’s not even willing to make his pitch to conservatives, and that means he knows he cannot win their support except by virtue of being the only candidate remaining.  His unspectacular campaign mirrors his less-than-thrilling debate performances inasmuch as while he says nothing particularly offensive, he also fails to inspire even a tepid response.  In short, Romney’s strategy is to cruise carefully while avoiding clear debacles, and hope to survive to lead at the end, knowing that the anti-Obama sentiment prevailing among Republicans will be enough to carry him through the nomination.  That may be a suitable strategy for winning the nomination, but it’s unlikely to win the Presidency in 2012.

In Thursday night’s debate, Romney got into a battle with Perry who was busy criticizing the former Massachusetts governor’s health-care plan, and challenged him on changing between what he had said in his book and what he has been saying on the campaign trail about the plan’s possible application for the entire nation.  Romney said:

“I said no such thing”

and that “Romneycare” was merely:

“a state plan for a state.”

The problem with this statement by Romney is that he knew it to be untrue.  While in paperback, the idea that his health-care reform plan might have national application was omitted, the fact is that in his original hard-bound book, No Apology, it was clearly stated:

“We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country.”

Either Romney was lying, or he hadn’t read any but the paperback version of his book.  That puts his jab at Perry into better context:

“I actually – I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing.”

What Romney sought to imply about Perry’s book is that he hadn’t written it himself, and while that may very well be true, it calls into question if Mitt remembers writing his own.  This illustrates the problem with Romney too, because for all intents and purposes, he’s just another well-polished, glad-handing politician who is at least vaguely conservative, but to the conservative base, this speaks volumes about his lack of credibility across the board because it strongly implies a basic dishonesty in Romney’s approach and his policy positions.

This is the likely cause of Herman Cain’s runaway Florida GOP Straw Poll victory on Saturday.  In addition to the poor or at best fair performances of the two alleged front-runners in the Thursday night debate, combined with his own compelling performance, Cain suddenly looks a good deal more attractive to voters than to these two.  Better, if Cain continues to press forward, there is some chance that Romney will be forced to abandon his strategy of winning by default.

The top five in the Florida GOP Straw Poll:

  1. Cain: 37%
  2. Perry: 15%
  3. Romney: 14%
  4. Santorum: 11%
  5. Paul: 10%

This result is a testament to Cain’s strong performance in Thursday’s debate, but it also speaks volumes about the lack-luster performance of the supposed front-runners.  If Romney pursues his current course of avoiding engagement much longer, he risks falling into single digit territory particularly if there is a later entry into this race.  Perry is self-destructing, and while he does so, Romney plans to capitalize mostly by doing exactly nothing.  We Republicans should ask ourselves if that is the sort of candidate we expect to defeat Barack Obama as well as restore the nation now floundering economically under the weight of programs of the same sort Romney has himself implemented in his own state.  Perhaps this is key: When asked during the debate if he thought Obama was a socialist, he vacillated to avoid a direct answer.

With a general election on the horizon that promises a billion dollars of Obama campaign cash, we simply can’t afford another nominee who will not engage fully in this fight.  Romney may win the nomination by default, but he can’t win the general election that way, and the conservative base of the party knows it.  If he won’t speak the truth now, talking to the base of his party, will he ever?  If not, how does he intend to distinguish himself from Barack Obama?  These are the questions Mitt Romney must answer, but chances are that like most everything else, he’ll take a pass and hope to win by default.