Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Romney and Cain Win big in Vegas

Tonight's Vegas debate was the most spirited and most personal of any of the previous debates.  Herman Cain took the early attacks on his 9-9-9 plan and handled the questions with grace and style.  He used a lot of Apples and Oranges to try to differentiate his "Tax" from State sales taxes.  That was wise considering the media and his opponents will try to blur the lines.  He also defended most everything well.  He stumbled a bit on the TARP flip-flop which he acknowledged, and on the negotiating with terrorists I think he handled a bit weakly, but overall a good night on stage.   GINGRICH should stay in the race as long as we have debates.  Newt's doing a great job of trying to keep the bickering from within, he's smart and funny..and he just needs to keep it going!  He's the only one who reminds the group the media wants a fight..don't give it to them!  Speaking of fights Perry clearly was more prepared this time around and was ready to go at Mitt with everything he could muster..this was the first debate where Mitt was the punching bag..and he deflected every punch extremely well. He kept his cool and his smile, but didn't give up his ground.  He's smarter, and more studied, and more savvy than Perry by a mile.  Perry just can't compete in that league and he looked slightly deflated towards the end of the debate. Bachmann worked herself into the discussion as did Santorum..who actually came out looking a bit bullyish, (I know coming from me? Really?).  Paul, I was sorry didn't have time to make his TRILLION dollar case..and I think the viewers were denied a chance to have the others try to either pile-on Paul or to express their support of his plan.

Cain and Romney winners;  Perry I think can stay around, Gingrich and Paul WON'T go away.. Santorum and Bachmann you may return to your corners of the Country..and hey why not run for US Senate in those 2 states??  Minnesota and Pennsylvania BOTH have races next year!

Is Cain just a temporary TEA Party crutch?

Some people complain about the primary/ caucus process as favoring a few small states Iowa and NH, at the same time they will complain about the debates beginning so early.  The truth is the debates have nearly replaced the primaries. The debates are sort of a national primary, and the national polls and fundraising follows the candidates that do well in those debates.  Those performances and the money that follows will effect the ability of the candidates to buy media in the early states.
Herman Cain has wowed the press and TEA Party Conservatives and created a major Buzz just in time for his book tour.  Many editorials are openly asking if Cain and the 9-9-9 plan can win..he is being taken seriously at least for the moment.  But is he really just a "parking place" ?
Charlie Cook asks: "Cain seems to be functioning as a parking place for conservatives who have grown disillusioned or who harbor reservations about the previous flavors of the month. Until he demonstrates strength in some of these other dimensions (fundraising, campaign organization), it’s a good bet that Cain is little more than a place for conservatives to window shop while they decide what to do. If Gertrude Stein were alive, she might observe that with the Cain campaign, “there is no there there.”   
I had framed almost the same commentary in my head and then I read Cook and decided to quote him rather than being accused of plagiarism :^).  I think as we look back at the past 4 months we had a rush to Trump for a few days when he was calling out Obama, then Bachmann had her day in the sun..and good polling for a few weeks..until Perry got in and then he had a month in the top spot..thru it all Cain has been gathering strength and followers but not much cash until the last week before the reporting period where he took in about 1.5 Million dollars.  But compared to the 14.5 and 17.3 million Romney and Perry camps brought in it's a pittance really.  Cain has a lean campaign of about 35 staffers, he will now need to ramp up his staff FAST and he will need to keep bringing about 1 million a week and he'll want to leak that info. to the press to keep the focus on his growing momentum in the GOP race *(Cain's campaign leaked this week 10/28 that he raised 3 Million in Oct.). That much change in a short time is bound to cause problems and mistakes.  If Perry has a mediocre performance tonight and Cain looks, good he could seriously become the official un-Romney candidate, if Perry does well then Cain and Perry will battle for that title now until January 3rd, when Iowa will decide if there will even be a race in 2012 for the nomination. (10/28 update  Perry had his most combative debate with Mitt and Cain did his Apples and oranges defense, but little has changed and Cain has polled barely in first place for about 8 days, I suspect he has peaked though).
Scenario one:  Cain or Perry places first in Iowa on Jan 3rd; Romney wins NH and Nev; and then either Cain or Perry MUST win SC; or it's over.  Florida will be the next week.and Romney will do very well, either the TEA  Party will take this race and give it to Cain/Perry or it's over on Jan 31st.  (Florida).
Scenario two:  If Romney wins Iowa because the folks see him as the safe choice, it's all over on Jan 3rd.
I like Cain and wish him success but I think the fact is that Romney has consistently been 20% or higher whether in first or second place..and is clearly winning every debate, he is inevitable as the undecideds have now given up on waiting for "Superman", as Chiristie, Palin, Guilianni and Ryan have declined to run. 
2 Predictions:
Huntsman will be the next to drop out of the race, possible in the next 2 -3 weeks. Secondly, while Herman Cain has pulled to within a half point of Romney in the RCP avg.s he will not rise above Romney by more than 1 point , and probably won't climb above Romney at all *see 10/28 update Cain is up .7%.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Citizen CAIN on MTP

Herman Cain this morning was on MTP with David Gregory. Cain handled himself very well and very confidently.  Gregory badgered him over the 9-9-9 plan and he held his own..Gregory was intentionally, (I think), trying to mix the State tax with SALES tax!  I found this interesting because this is the tactic that will be used by his GOP rivals, and the Dem's in the campaign, should he win the nomination.
Wisconsin we have a 5-5.1% SALES tax..and if Cain was to prevail that number would rise to 14-14.1% as the consumer sees it.  Even though the STATE portion will not change..the Fed portion will be 9%.  It will be a challenge to sell that in Wisc. or Ill where the Sales tax is already 12% in some areas. Michigan is 6 and would raise to 15%.   While what is being ignored is the reduction in the INCOME tax that is already built into the cost of product.

My only other observation of Cain was when asked whether he was a "Neo-Conservative"..I knew he was asking about Iraq/ Afghanistan.  He responded correctly that he is a "Conservative" missing the implication Gregory was making to try to tie his Foreign policy to Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and others.  Gregory is clearly trying to under cut Cain..but that is no surprise.  Gregory's lefty bias is so blatant..Tim Russert would not be proud. For Cain to fend off Gregory without looking foolish is a success by any measure! NeoConservative comment