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A Herman Cain Conundrum
What on Earth Were You Thinking Florida?
-by Scott Rohter, September 2011

The fact that Herman Cain won the Florida Straw Poll by such a wide margin shows just how angry the American people are at career politicians.  Cain received 37% of the vote compared to Governor Perry’s distant second place finish, with only 15% of the vote.  Romney was next with 14%, followed by Rick Santorum.  Michele Bachmann for whatever reason, finished in last place, with less than 2% of the votes.  What conclusions can we draw from the results of this poll, other than that Governor Perry is not as popular in the South as he thought he was, and Michele Bachmann is having her campaign totally mismanaged?  My conclusion is that all of the traditional candidates, and all of the elected career politicians are in deep trouble, and the American people are looking for a needle in a haystack, kind of like the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes, who walked around the streets of ancient Athens in the dark, with a lantern in his hand, looking for just one honest man!

What can we say about Herman Cain?  He is not a career politician.  The three best things about Herman Cain are:

  1. He is an honest man (which is saying a lot these days).
  2. He is likeable, and witty, and funny.
  3. He can think on his feet, and out of the box, and speak without a teleprompter, and occasionally he can come up with a good ‘one-liner’ or two.

But is that enough to be President of the United States?  No!  Is that enough to go from being the CEO of the 10th largest pizza chain, to becoming the President of the world’s largest economy, with over 310 million people, and the world’s greatest military superpower?  Sorry, I don’t think so.  Herman Cain has zero political experience, zero!  That isn’t necessarily bad, but it means that he also has basically zero political connections inside Washington, and inside Government, zero!  Our Federal Government isn’t the same small, provincial, country Government that it was in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the one that our Founding Fathers created.  It is a Federal leviathan!  Of course we would like to move our country back in the direction of a limited Constitutional government again with enumerated powers, as set forth in the Constitution, as our Founders envisioned, but in order to do that it is probably helpful to at least understand a little bit how this Federal leviathan works, how it functions, survives, and exists, so that we can accomplish the goal of dismantling the un-Constitutional 4th Branch of Government, the Administrative and Excess Regulatory State.

It is not the same thing to serve up pizzas around town, as it is to grasp the reigns of the largest bureaucracy on earth, and make it do what you want, and to demonstrate leadership in fifty States, and around the world!  Running a Presidential campaign is not like running a country either!  It is not so easy for a novice, a complete political outsider, with no Washington experience whatsoever, with no Washington connections, and no knowledge of how Washington actually works, to come to our Nation’s Capitol, and do more than just survive the experience.  But we would like the next Republican President to do more than just survive their encounter with Washington.  We would like them to be successful too. We need them to be successful! 

Other American Presidents have had their entire Presidencies ruined because they received poor advice from subordinates. They either made poor choices, or picked bad, or incompetent people to serve in their administrations.  Without basically knowing anyone in Washington, Herman Cain would have to be one hell of a lucky judge of character, to pick all of the right people to serve as his top advisors, cabinet level secretaries, and judicial appointees!  Even the great Julius Caesar, the hero of Rome, couldn’t pick enough good people to serve in his Government, and as he lay dying, the subject of a fatal coup, he turned to his trusted advisor and friend Brutus, who had just literally stabbed him in the back and said, “What, you too Brutus?”

Our Federal Government is a monster that will prove very difficult to tame, even for a political insider who knows all of the ropes!  There are fifteen executive government departments with 1,193,144 civilian employees.  There are 5 branches of the military service with over 3 million soldiers and enlisted personnel, under the President’s command.  There are Generals to be appointed, Ambassadors to be selected, and judicial appointments to be made.  There is a rat’s nest of political appointees from the previous administration to be ferreted out and gotten rid of.  With no prior knowledge of ‘inside the Beltway’ politics, how can a total political outsider hope to get a handle on all of this in just four short years?  There is just not enough time for a complete novice to get up to speed, and get acquainted with all of the key players in Washington in order to do this, or to form good opinions, and to get acquainted with all of the different personnel in line for the various Presidential appointments.  There is even less time to turn your first term as President into a success.  There is only a short period of about two months between November 2nd and January 20th in which to pick all of your key, top WhiteHouse staffers, advisors, and cabinet level secretaries.  These are the appointments that will determine the future success or failure of your Administration.  As I said, it’s quite one thing to manage a chain of pizza parlors, but I expect that it’s a whole different can of worms to administer the United States Federal Government!  It’s one thing to have policies and it’s quite another thing to get them implemented! If Herman Cain had at least some public sector experience in his background, or some ‘inside the Beltway’ political connections, then perhaps he would stand a little better chance of not being betrayed by one of the many political Brutuses that swim in the murky waters of the ‘swamp on the hill’!

And finally, there is one position that Herman Cain has on a very important political issue, that is more than a little bit problematic.  He is one of only two serious Republican candidates in the race that have refused to endorse the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life Pledge!  So with all due respect to the voters in the Florida Straw Poll, “What on earth were you thinking?”

"The truth, the political truth, and nothing but the political truth.
A journalist has no better friend than the truth."
- Scott Rohter

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