Since Herman Cain’s conference call with staff and a reporter from National Review (why a reporter from NRO was on the call is beyond comprehension to me) twitter and the internet have been buzzing with talk of whether Cain will drop out and if he does – when it will happen.
After having read the transcript of the call and spoken to others it is clear that Mr. Cain is considering dropping out. Obviously the allegations of sexual harassment, regardless of how baseless they are, have taken their toll and the most recent allegation of an affair with an Atlanta woman – an allegation Cain has denied – are further complicating life for Cain, his family and his campaign.
I have been on the Cain train since it was little more than an asterisk, and as a long time vocal supporter and donor, I for one hope Herman Cain does not drop out.
I love Herman Cain. I have spoken with him at length and I believe he is a good and decent person. I believe he is someone who speaks from the heart, someone who hasn’t been a product of our broken political system and someone who brings decades of real world business experience to this race. For me, however, this race has always been about the message and not just the messenger – and none of these allegations, true or false, about Cain’s personal life change the message one iota.
The message is simple: Washington is broken and it is the politicians – of all ideological and partisan stripes – that are responsible for it.
The Tea Party was a revolt against politics as usual. It was as much a revolt against the excesses of Republican politicians as it was a revolt against Democratic politicians. The Tea Party put Republican elected officials on notice that we – the base of the GOP – were not taking it anymore. Since the Tea Party led the GOP to historic wins in November of 2010, the Hill GOP – particularly House Republicans – have behaved in an uncharacteristic fashion. They have held the line on spending, refused to agree to raise taxes at all, and worked to reign in the size of government. These politicians didn’t suddenly get religion. They didn’t find political Jesus, they found fear – fear of the Tea Party. The only thing that stands between Republicans on the Hill going back to the bad old days of the Bush era GOP is the Tea Party.
Herman Cain’s campaign was and is the best opportunity for Tea Partiers to hold the politicians feet to the fire. The Cain campaign was and is the best way for the limited government base of the GOP to let the establishment know that we simply aren’t willing to accept big government Republicans any more than we are willing to accept big government Democrats.
Every other candidate in this race is just another politician. Nominating any of them would do nothing to fundamentally transform the GOP and do nothing to strengthen the GOP. Herman Cain’ s campaign remains the only hope for Tea Party conservatives to show that politics as usual is over in the GOP.
Months ago, I told everyone who would listen that nominating Herman Cain would send shockwaves through the GOP political establishment, and that nominating Herman Cain could be the stake in the heart of politics as usual, and I still believe that today.