First GOP debate: Yes, we Cain?

So, what to make of the relative praise Herman Cain is getting after last night’s first GOP 2012 presidential debate?

In case you missed it, Cain was the overwhelming winner of the post-debate instant survey conducted by pollster Frank Luntz on the “Hannity” show. And do I ever mean overwhelming: The group of viewers had just one person who admitted to favoring The Hermanator before the debate, but a majority of them said they supported him afterward.

Here’s a clip of the focus group:

Cain is also getting some props from writers at the Washington Post, Real Clear Politics, Hot Air, the Daily Caller and elsewhere.

But there’s that word: relative.

None of these reviews, while favorable, could be described as glowing (except for the Luntz crowd’s reaction). The big guns, as I mentioned yesterday, skipped the debate. And Cain still needs to prove he’s thought deeply about issues besides the economy and the federal budget (e.g., foreign policy).

I have to admit, I was very surprised by the focus group’s reaction. I thought Cain did well, but not that well. (One caveat: I ended up missing the part that focused most directly on the economy — Cain’s bread and butter — to help out with my 2-year-old.)

I think Cain’s performance last night, assuming he builds on it, will help keep him in the race longer than many people may have expected when he announced his candidacy. But ultimately, I wonder whether his “winning” the debate says more about Tim Pawlenty, who came into the debate considered the presumptively stronger candidate, than about Cain.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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113 comments Add your comment

Whacks Eloquent

May 6th, 2011
12:18 pm

Go Herman Cain!

JohnnyReb

May 6th, 2011
12:21 pm

Cain won’t gain momentum, not because his ideas are wrong, but because of his vocal delivery. For sure conservatives are sick of Obama – we see and hear much toooo much of him – and Cain’s delivery borders on comedic. After Obama has trashed presidential perception, American’s want a change back to tradition.

Whacks Eloquent

May 6th, 2011
12:25 pm

Johnny, Bush was not exactly the paragon of eloquence, but conservatives loved him. They will get past Cain’s accent, which to me actually adds to his position as a commoner, a political outsider. He’s not polished, he’s genuine. The antithesis of our president…

joe

May 6th, 2011
12:33 pm

Even if Cain doesn’t get the GOP nod, think what kind of ticket could be had with Cain as VP running mate…assuming he doesn’t last as long as one of the GOP front runners (whomever that might be). Cain did a great job last night and just like the focus group said, he is a very refreshing change from that status quo candidates…except Cain’s “change” would be the type most of Americans actually agree with…as opposed to the Obama variety that is changing America into some sort of quazi socialist nanny state (country).

bullwinkle

May 6th, 2011
12:55 pm

Cain is the new Trump.

JohnnyReb

May 6th, 2011
1:02 pm

Whacks, you make a point, although I don’t think George’s drawl could be confused with comedic tones. I like Herman and agree with most of his positions. He is fighting an uphill battle. Putting PC aside, I’m not sure the electorate would go for another black man as president right now, plus Herman will be labeled everything deplorable by black Democrats.

Lee Weber

May 6th, 2011
1:02 pm

Cain is a nice, intelligent guy with a good business track record. I do find it bizarre that so many of the same folks who criticized Obama for a lack of previous electoral or government experience seem so eager to support a candidate for the highest office in the land who has zero political experience and has never served in any legislative or executive capacity remotely related to being President.

(I hesitate to mention, but will, what I believe to be one of the driving forces behind Cain’s candidacy…his race.)

JohnnyReb

May 6th, 2011
1:07 pm

Lee Weber, the big difference between Herman and Obama is, Obama only had experience at stirring up hate and discontent as a community organizer, oh yes, voting present in the IL house and US Senate. Herman has experience in big business problem solving. BTW, Barry carried his community organizer traits into the white house.

Dave R.

May 6th, 2011
1:10 pm

Lee, I campaigned with Herman when he ran for U.S. Senator back in 2004 when I was running for county commissioner. We each participated in a couple of forums (can’t call them debates) and I struck up a friendship with him at the time.

Unbelievably honest, open, humble and bright. He knows more about the legislative process than you might think.

If he’s on the ballot in Georgia next year, I’ll be voting for him (again).

Lee Weber

May 6th, 2011
1:12 pm

Just to be clear on the race issue, I don’t think it has anything to do with Obama. It has to do with the belief among some GOP folks that if the party would just put more African Americans on the ballot, the party would be be sen as more receptive to African Americans and and give it an electoral advantage. This isn’t a new deal…goes back at least to J.C. Watts (who was and is, a smart, accomplished guy who climbed the ranks) and maybe back to Adam Clayton Powell.

But a) it doesn’t work and b) is a form of tokenism and condescension to A-A voters.

Lee Weber

May 6th, 2011
1:17 pm

Dave R.., I think Cain is a smart guy who probably knows a lot about the legislative process. I’ve met him, seen him talk in person, and think he is a great candidate on the stump. I think he will raise some issues that might not get as much attention as they should.

But I would have liked to have seen him run for something other than President.

One factor that is vastly underestimated in successful Presidents is not only their prior electoral and governmental experience, but the relationships they have formed over many, many years in the arena that give them not only knowledge but allies and sounding boards. Reagan and Clinton had this is spades. Obama and Cain do not.

Guy Incognito

May 6th, 2011
1:20 pm

Lee Weber

May 6th, 2011
1:12 pm

Good post, but don’t underestimate the # of conservatives who are sick and tired of being called racists just because they disagree with this President. They would love the chance to stick it to all the libs who can’t see ANY other reason THAN race to disagree w Oblahblah.

I’d love to see Da Hermanator in either position on the ticket

M

May 6th, 2011
1:20 pm

Are you sure the “HUSSEIN” Obama GOPers could ever vote for a person named “Cain”?

On second thought, the “Am I my brother’s keeper?” thing does fit right in with the GOP’s “I got mine” mantra.

Lee Weber

May 6th, 2011
1:28 pm

You’re right, Guy, but you can’t let that influence your pick. Look at it like a football game. Just because you’re tired of folks saying your running game is bad is not a reason to run up the middle every down against a bunch of All-Pros when their secondary is slow.

DW

May 6th, 2011
1:30 pm

If you were black, would you really vote for the black guy that DOESNT have your interests in mind? (unless youre black, rich, christian, and own an oil company)

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 6th, 2011
1:36 pm

As a Cain partisan, I sorta wish I had watched last night (did not, as I have already found my candidate.) Limbaugh had a nice word for Herman today, said that every time Cain spoke “I thought I was listening to myself.” Given Rush’s ego, that’s a pretty strong compliment for Herman.

Guy Incognito

May 6th, 2011
1:40 pm

Lee
You’re right, Guy, but you can’t let that influence your pick. Look at it like a football game. Just because you’re tired of folks saying your running game is bad is not a reason to run up the middle every down against a bunch of All-Pros when their secondary is slow.

Good point, and as a Packer fan, I realize the true significance of that analogy

JohnnyReb

May 6th, 2011
1:42 pm

“If you were black, would you really vote for the black guy that DOESNT have your interests in mind?”

In effect, DW, that statement means that Republicans don’t have the best interest of blacks in mind. That is not true. Using the old saying, the Democrats want to go through the hood passing out free fish, and brag about it. Republicans want to teach the hood how to fish.

Guy Incognito

May 6th, 2011
1:44 pm

Although I was not suggesting that the ONLY reason that conservatives would vote for him is to stick it to the libs who have been calling anybody a racist if they oppose B.O. (phew).
Just that it would be a nice treat on top of all the other reasons

Jefferson

May 6th, 2011
1:46 pm

Cain has 0 chance.

Linda

May 6th, 2011
1:58 pm

Having past legislative experience CAN add to a candidate’s resume. Having past legislative experience ALWAYS means the candidate is a professional politician. Personally, I’m sick of professional politicians & incessant campaigners. Working in the business community for decades is more important that organizing communities. Pulling a company out of the pits of bankruptcy is more impressive than spending a country out of economic ruin.

Also, if possible, I will NEVER vote for another lawyer. I wish they were banned in DC.

Dave R.

May 6th, 2011
2:04 pm

“Cain has 0 chance.”

Another absolutist statement that has no factual data behind it.

Something Jefferson excels at.

Linda

May 6th, 2011
2:05 pm

DW@1:30, Cain’s objective is not to put a pizza in every home but rather to create opportunities for people to go out & get their own pizzas.

Linda

May 6th, 2011
2:16 pm

Fox News has an unscientific poll on who won the debate last night. Currently, out of over 30,000 votes cast, these are the results:
Cain 45%
Paul 35%
Pawlenty 9%
Santorum 9%
Johnson 2%

Cain called himself the dark horse candidate.

Boehner Tears

May 6th, 2011
2:30 pm

Cain just brings me to tears. Let’s have a group smoke.

commoncents

May 6th, 2011
2:41 pm

Linda- “Personally, I’m sick of professional politicians & incessant campaigners. Working in the business community for decades is more important that organizing communities”

I agree. I’d also like to be able to vote for someone who can understand a balance sheet.

ByteMe

May 6th, 2011
2:46 pm

Prediction: if he even gets that far, Cain doesn’t win in Georgia against other Republicans. Or South Carolina. Or Mississippi. Or Alabama. Or Tennessee. Or …

Linda

May 6th, 2011
2:47 pm

commoncents@2:41, I’d like to have a balance sheet that actually has a balance.

rupert loves a commie

May 6th, 2011
2:49 pm

0 chance.
a huge chunk of the wingnut base won’t cast a ballot for the negro.
plus, he was a chair of the Fed and a lobbyist. eeew.

DW

May 6th, 2011
3:00 pm

REALLY? The republicans will teach a man to fish… Hmm by cutting entitlement programs and lowering corporate tax rates or by pushing more anti abortion legislation?

retired early

May 6th, 2011
3:01 pm

Sorry, but we should at least expect our president to use proper English. Cain would flunk 8th grade English class…but I guess that doesn’t matter to most of you.

Whacks Eloquent

May 6th, 2011
3:07 pm

I doubt most of our politicians could pass 8th grade math…
Cain spoke well enough to be CEO of Godfather’s, Restaurant Association, and to be on the Fed Res Board in KC. Good enough for me. Besides, having listened to his radio show, I can say that when he gets more serious and calm he speaks more proper. When he is high energy and passionate is when his twang comes out.

Mary Margaret Thomlinson-Hanson

May 6th, 2011
3:18 pm

Well, Rupert, I see where you lie on the spectrum with using the word “negro”. I love that you diminish him to such low standards.

The only reason that white Republicans (when McCain ran there was a person of color in sight) are rooting for Cain is because he is black. It is sad. Does your hate and disdain for Obama (I’m sorry, Oblahblah…clever, too) so great that you would vote for any person of color just to beat him?

And in a way, I hope that Obama doesn’t get reelected and a white, middle-aged, rich “cowboy” is elected so all of the freaks can go back under there rocks. And also the words “socialist” and “union workers” and “public, government workers” can be buried under the rocks with them.

Tech Man

May 6th, 2011
3:24 pm

Good for Herman Cain! Good Job! Good Luck! Thank you for your efforts!

Tech Man

May 6th, 2011
3:26 pm

DW
May 6th, 2011
3:00 pm

What does abortion have to do with jobs? Well, unless you are talking jobs at planned parenthood? Is that your point?

DW

May 6th, 2011
3:29 pm

NO TECH MAN. It was in response to this by Johnny REB::

“In effect, DW, that statement means that Republicans don’t have the best interest of blacks in mind. That is not true. Using the old saying, the Democrats want to go through the hood passing out free fish, and brag about it. Republicans want to teach the hood how to fish.”

DW

May 6th, 2011
3:30 pm

republicans have no interest in doing either

Linda

May 6th, 2011
3:31 pm

retired early@3:01, Actually, it does matter to most of us. Republicans like to vet our candidates. We don’t just go by yard signs & TV commercials. We also don’t buy elections. What do you think Obama is going to do with a billion dollars? Get his message out, as if he hasn’t been able to get it out during the last 5 years? Talk about green jobs & wind mills?

Herman Cain has a degree in math from Morehouse & a masters degree from Purdue. He was a business analyst with Coco Cola, rose to VP with Pillsbury, managed 400 Burger King stores for Pillsbury that went from being the least profitable to the most profitable in 3 yrs. Pillsbury then appointed him president & CEO of Godfather’s Pizza that Cain prevented from going into bankruptcy & restored to profitability with 14 months. Cain & a group of investors bought the company.

If Cain doesn’t “use proper English,” I guess that was missed by News Talk 750 WSB radio, a CNN affiliate, where Cain hosted the Herman Cain Show, as well as the Fox News Business channel, where Cain is a commentator, & all his millions of listeners.

Tech Man

May 6th, 2011
3:32 pm

retired early
May 6th, 2011
3:01 pm

I am sure Mr. Cain can learn to read the number of teleprompters Obama will have to leave.

Cain has hosted a talk show on WSB-Radio. I haven’t heard of his audience not understanding him.

Tech Man

May 6th, 2011
3:38 pm

DW
May 6th, 2011
1:30 pm

Ok, so you believe Herman Cain doesn’t have “blacks” interest at heart? Why? How?

I always thought of Herman Cain as someone that wanted everyone to reach their potential.

Whacks Eloquent

May 6th, 2011
3:39 pm

Yeah, Neal Boortz used to pick on him for talking slowly…but what better way to make sure even the biggest idiots out there understand what you are saying!

He is perfectly understandable, and does not talk in high and lofty terminology like some of the elite politicians like to. Most people will find him very easy to associate with, he has been in the real world. He may have an impressive resume, but he started out like any black man growing up in the south in the Jim Crow days. Compare that to our president, who comparatively was fed from the silver spoon…

Linda

May 6th, 2011
3:45 pm

DW, The Unitarian minister, William Ellery Channing, said, “The office of government does not exist to confer happiness, but to give men opportunity to work out happiness for themselves.” I long for the day when poor people & minorities realize that they are being used by the Dem. party & incorporate Channing’s attitude into their own lives as individuals, realizing that we need to stop looking to G O V for whatever we don’t get from G O D. Only then can we realize the power that we have to make a difference in this nation & put an end to socialism.

Tech Man

May 6th, 2011
3:47 pm

Whacks Eloquent
May 6th, 2011
3:39 pm

I don’t think Obama had a prosperous childhood either. That being said, unless your parents are very, very well connected mom’s and dad’s referral might get you the opportunity but you have to pretty much stand up for yourself after that. I would say you are pretty accomplished if you are able to be a serious candidate for public office.

Obama is Wrong

May 6th, 2011
4:12 pm

Bravo Linda, I haven’t heard that quote before but I like it. It is not up to “We” as the government to teach others to fish, but rather “We” as individuals to teach others to fish, to give back to the community. God wants us to give to the less fortunate with loving hearts which is what we do through our giving to churches and charities – not through our government. I keep having this same argument with my children who after going to college have turned into liberal kool-aid drinkers.

The government puts a gun to our heads (figuratively speaking of course) to pay our taxes so that they can fund more and more social programs and spread the wealth. First, where in the Constitution does it say we provide for the poor, disadvantaged? It doesn’t, it speaks of the “general welfare”. When we target certain groups of people to receive benefits, that isn’t helping the “general welfare” only the welfare of those targeted. Second, the government is so inefficient only a small portion of the monies budgeted actually get to those who need it. I’d much rather pay 75% less taxes and be able to share those savings with charities who use the money wisely.

I believe what Obama and the Democrats have done to this country is treasonous, ruining our economy, our society, and flaming the fires of class warfare. I didn’t catch the debate last night but I am thrilled to hear Herman Cain did so well. He is a conservative and I am ready to vote for any conservative who can change the direction of this country and get us back to MUCH less government.

DW

May 6th, 2011
4:34 pm

@OBAMA IS WRONG

You just want less government that helps “those people.” You dont mind paying for tax cuts for the rich and big corporations as long as you dont have spend any money feeding the poor or providing medical care for them.

DW

May 6th, 2011
4:35 pm

your attitude reads: “i got mine, f@$K all of you”

Linda

May 6th, 2011
4:38 pm

Obama is wrong@4:12, I believe the govt. owes our veterans & should be there for the disabled & orphans, maybe widows, & should provide temporary, emergency help for those who loose their jobs.
My father never walked a step in his life & never expected, let alone received, a dime from the govt. I help poor people by giving them work. The worst trouble I was ever in with my husband & my neighbors was when I brought a homeless man home & had him live in our camper for several months.
That said, I can’t for the life of me see how we help poor people by sending them checks for generations. Half of our citizens pay no federal income taxes & vote Democrat. That’s our system. Our poorest half are the wealthiest poor people on the planet. To fund their govt. “entitlements,” we’re borrowing money from China, a nation with the poorest poor people on the planet, where pigs are such prized possessions that they sleep in the house.
I wish more people would stand up to the govt. & tell Obama & the Democrats what I told my husband very early in our marriage, 35 yrs. ago, “I can take care of myself!”
As the years have gone by, I have developed a sense of “entitlement” but only in my marriage. I couldn’t live without him. I rely on him, but not for money.

Linda

May 6th, 2011
4:44 pm

DW@4:34, Do you realize how much trouble the fed. govt. is in? Do you know that our debt is over $14 T? Do you understand that we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we are spending?
Simplified, that means that we need to cut 40% of the federal govt. Once we cut 40%, we are just breaking even. We still have that $14 T debt to pay off. That means we need to cut another 10% of the federal govt. just to start paying down that debt.
That means we need to cut, eliminate HALF of the fed. govt.
If we don’t, we are going to go bankrupt. There will be NO money for Medicare, Medicaid, veterans, social security or defense.
What do you not understand?

DW

May 6th, 2011
4:50 pm

@LINDA

You are right… its not dire trouble but the debt is concerning. Why cant we raise taxes slightly, close loopholes, and cut the WAY bloated defense budget RATHER THAN constantly sticking it to the little guy like republicans ask us to do every single time?

whaaaaa?

May 6th, 2011
4:51 pm

Ragnar listens to Rush? That explains everything…