Elusive Electability | Learn the Lingo

By Tera Ertz

I have been a big fan of Herman Cain for a long while now, and I started touting his candidacy on my show when he first formed his exploratory committee.  I stood in the grass of Centennial Park in Atlanta with my very non-political daughter on a beautiful day in May of this year as Mr. Cain announced his message of hope for an unwillingly changing America.  I just smiled when my daughter leaned over amidst the cheering throng of thousands and said, “I like this guy a lot, I’d vote for him.”  I grinned as I surveyed the crowd of young, old, rich, poor, black, white and all the shades in between, Americans who had turned out to hear this man’s amazing message.  And I couldn’t help but laugh when he smiled and told us that together we could show the world what America was made of, and has been since the days of the Revolution.  I, of course, came home to news of Mr. Cain’s problem as a candidate for the GOP nomination.  And no, it wasn’t that he’s a black man running in the mean, racist Republican primary.  It was that he’s never held public office, and he’s somehow “unelectable.”  I shook my head in pity at the ignorance of my fellow citizens and prayed that the God who so providentially blessed this nation at its founding and who has led us through so many years of trials and tribulations would show these folks just how wrong they were.  Because, it isn’t the man, it’s the message, and the message was American exceptionalism to its core.  It was every bit of the best of Reagan, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln (and probably a number of others) all rolled into one.  Okay, so maybe I was feeling a little giddy and star struck, but you get the picture.

Mr. Cain continued on his rise through sheer hard work and perseverance.  In poll after poll by Gallup, one of the only companies that tracks enthusiasm and name recognition along with who’s ahead overall, Mr. Cain kept coming in low in name recognition, but off the charts in voter intensity, with a rise in both numbers.  Bachmann was the only one who came close to the kind of voter enthusiasm Mr. Cain enjoyed, and everyone knew who she was.  And finally, with only 51% of the Republican electorate knowing who he was, last week Mr. Cain swept the Florida Straw poll, and pulled ahead or even with Romney and Perry across several poll.  And yet, the idea of his “unelectability” persists.  As Daniel Henniger put it in his Wall Street Journal piece, and others have quoted as well, “I like Herman Cain, but he’s not electable.”  This word has persisted across multiple elections, particularly within the Republican Party.  John McCain was the only candidate in 2008 that was electable, supposedly.  We all know how well that worked out for us.  So, as this word continues to be bandied about by the punditry and the less politically addicted among my fellow conservatives, I decided to amble along to dictionary.com to see exactly what the elusive electability would entail.


capable of, or having a reasonable chance of, being elected,  as to public office.

Well, perhaps I need to check my Constitution, but I’m pretty sure Mr. Cain is capable of being elected to office.  Heck, not to go all Birther on anyone here, but there are still questions regarding false social security numbers for the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, so eligibility certainly isn’t a problem for Mr. Cain.  The current occupant had a hidden and questionable work history, launched his political career in the home of a known terrorist and attended church for twenty years with a preacher who consistently condemned his country, even going so far as to damn it.  He has since presided over what has been arguably the worst economy since Jimmy Carter (and longer in many respects), and increase in instability around the world and a loss of the US AAA credit rating for the first time in history.  Apparently the criteria for having a reasonable chance of being elected to public office are pretty loose these days.  And we can certainly see from his very long and successful resume that Mr. Cain is capable of pretty much anything he sets his mind to.  So, again, I wondered what made this stellar example of the triumph of American values somehow unelectable.  Perhaps it was not the general election that was the concern but the more immediate primary contest.

Hmm.  Mr. Romney was the original front runner, but his biggest accomplishment to date was RomneyCare, the precursor and blueprint for Obamacare, obviously a bit problematic for more than half the electorate in the general, and an even greater share of those likely to vote in the Republican primary.  Mr. Pawlenty dropped out early after throwing enough dirt at Mrs. Bachmann to bring down her poll numbers dramatically.  Mrs. Bachmann has a lot of flash, but seemingly not enough staying power and is a far more polarizing figure than her fellow contestants.  Mr. Paul consistently pulls between 5-10% of the vote, never more, never less.  Mr. Huntsman and Mr. Johnson, when they manage to blip onto the radar of the primary voters, both hold views contradictory to the traditional primary voters in the GOP in different but key areas.  Mr. Gingrich, for all his intelligence and interesting ideas, has spent the last several years touting a bi-partisan, middle of the road approach to such important issues as immigration and global warming.  Even with his dramatic shift to more conservative rhetoric, his past performance in his last year as Speaker and this more recent seeming betrayal of conservative values makes him a less than appealing choice to an electorate discouraged with the deception of DC.

And last, but not least, the Texas governor with the really great hair.  I must admit that I have nothing against Mr. Perry for the most part.  I think he’s done a fairly decent job of explaining some really tough decisions he had to make as governor of Texas, and I think he’s done a stellar job of keeping his state’s economy rolling along while the rest of the country was struggling.  That being said, he’s got some problems on immigration, which will be an extraordinarily difficult sell to the primary voters when comparisons are made to the DREAM Act being pushed by Democrats in DC.  He made the unforgivable gaffe of calling his fellow conservatives heartless when he got called on his policy of providing in-state tuition to illegal aliens.  And quite simply, he doesn’t have a unified message and vision for what he plans to do for the country as the President.  In other words, he may look pretty, and talk kinda pretty, but many voters see him as the same old, same old politician that got us into this mess in the first place.  Which brings us to Mr. Cain.

I won’t go into Mr. Cain’s many qualifications.  There are those out there who are far less star struck that have gone to a great deal of trouble to do the research on the man.  But, what I do want to get at is this.  In a general election where you don’t know who the other candidate will be, or you know the two candidates messages will be similar enough to make the contest close, things like electability might matter, although I must question that given the recent past.  But, in a primary election, the entire point is to pick the absolute BEST person for the job, and then work on convincing the majority of the rest of the electorate that your guy is better than the other guy.

This country is suffering because it needed a leader and instead got a community organizer.  It needed a problem solver and instead got an agitator.  It needed someone to take responsibility, instead it got a man only interested in laying blame.  And we’ve suffered.  My friends, we’ve suffered enough.  Isn’t it time we found the leader we’re looking for, the man with the message of the hope that lies at the very core of American values and American traditions to contrast with the hopeless mess of “hope and change?”  Above and beyond the amazing list of accomplishments on his resume, Mr. Cain has the one true quality this country needs, the same one that allowed George Washington to navigate the tricky birth of this nation, that allowed Lincoln to bring together a torn and broken nation, that allowed Reagan to unleash the chains on this country and topple the USSR without firing a single shot.  Mr. Cain has faith, first in God, and next in his fellow countrymen to live up to the ideals that have made us great for more than two centuries, and he has the smiling, unflinching guts to tout that faith to the world.  I’d say that makes him eminently electable, both in the primary and the general.  Perhaps the pundits had something else in mind?

5. a. chosen or choice; selected or elite

I doubt very much that the pundits would consider Mr. Cain among the chosen, or that the elite would consider him among their numbers.  But, for me, I’ll pick the guy who loves my country as much as I do.  I hope you will to.  Until the contest is over, Learn the Lingo, and be wary the wielders of words.


About sswimp

I am not an "African-American'. I am a proud American, who happens to be of African descent. I am Christian. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Word of God shapes my concepts of what it means to be a conservative. I am Pro Life. Devoted to the principles of free enterprise, limited government,and individual responsibility. I believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman.
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21 Responses to Elusive Electability | Learn the Lingo

  1. It sounds like we have our facts and our act together and the truth on our side. So next year, let them bring it on. We will not be deterred.

  2. Mary Peeples says:

    Amen Stacy! Herman Cain is the only person running that I trust our America to! Herman Cain does love our Amercia and he loves the American people, regardless of color.

  3. Lolly Winne says:

    THIS is the absolute BEST write up of Herman Cain I have read to date! (And I’ve read HUNDREDS!!!) Thank you SO MUCH for writing this!!! :)))

  4. Tristan says:

    Beautifully said, Stacy. And bless you for saying so well what lies at the heart of those of us who see in Herman Cain, a man who can, as he says, “fix it”. A man of eminent skill, solid conviction, unflinching faith, and dauntless courage.

  5. Dan Schwartz says:

    Stacy, the Cain candidacy is the ultimate insurgency against the Beltway insiders and DC-Manhattan punditocracy.

    I’m taking a minority view on Florida moving up their primary to the end of January, pushed by Perry supporters inside the Florida GOP: The conventional wisdom, espoused by Rick Santorum the other night on Greta, is that it will freeze out everyone but the top two candidates — Perry & Romney — as the others won’t have time to do the time-consuming retail politicking.

    But guess what? It’s gonna blow up in their face… And here’s how: The Big Two are making the assumption that the caucus-goers in Iowa, and voters in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina are going to settle on one or the other going into the big Florida election. What neither candidate is expecting is that voting attitudes have radically shifted in the “Black Belt;” and nowhere more so than in the Palmetto State:

    1) In the 2010 cycle, the SC voters elected Indian-American Nikki Haley as Governor, and in a 68% white district, Rep Tim Scott (R-SC6);

    2) The Frank Luntz focus group after the first debate on May 5th in SC: Bookmark this video clip, as this is when the world saw that South Carolina “got the message” that it’s good to judge a man by the content of his character, and not the color of his skin.

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    • Tristan says:

      I think you’re spot-on right, Dan. It just frustrates me to death that the RPOF is so devoted to perpetuating the establishment mess that they’re willing to give up half of their delegates to do it. It makes me sick.

  6. Ellen Parker says:

    Nice piece of work, Mr. Swimp. We need Herman Cain as our President. We’ll start with the Primary and move to the General Election. Keep writing and talking! I know you will help make it happen!

  7. Ellen Parker says:

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying close enough attention- just dived into the article. Nice piece of work Ms. Ertz!

  8. terajean says:

    Dan, I’ve been trumpeting the same message that this is an attempt to boost the top guys and cram the establishment selection down our throats. I hope you’re right about the outcome, but it’s going to be up to those of us in the trenches to help our candidate get his name out to the voters in multiple states and keep spreading the message. I appreciate the insight of your analysis, it gives me a bit more hope that this will indeed backfire on the folks at the top who are pushing this acceleration in the primary process. Aside from concerns it’ll work, it’s kind of nice to see. Shows they’re scared the “front runners” are about to get trounced and their playing fast and loose with the rules to try to avoid that.

  9. Awesome review excellent. Mr. Cain must be doing something right, because I shared a photo with a friend and guess who made a cameo appearance? Marc Lamont Hill told us, “You really don’t think he’s going to win do you?” I tagged Vanessa Jean-Louis with the pic and she’s friends with him on Face Book. So Marc must be worried.

    • terajean says:

      Not being a reader of liberal news, I had to go look up this guy’s name. Nice to see we’re starting to freak out the left AND the GOP Establishment.

  10. sandrakahn says:

    Mr. Cain Won the National Republican Women’s straw poll at their convention in Kansas City this week-end: 41% for Cain versus12% each for “frontrunners” Romney and Perry. He is very electable. I just wish he would re think his position on a National sales tax.

    • terajean says:

      I caught that bit of news in the headlines over the weekend, and was just smiling from it. I must say that in most elections I think pretty much anyone who has great ideas and works hard is electable. In this particular election, I think anyone not Obama stands a great chance of winning. But, I also think that if it’s an election where so called electability doesn’t matter, then we really ought to go for broke picking the BEST person for the job. And Mr. Cain just keeps getting better.

      What position on the National sales tax to you have an issue with?

  11. terajean says:

    To all of you I didn’t respond to personally, I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for all the really nice things you had to say that made me blush 🙂 God is so amazing, and I have been blessed to be given the opportunity to make my voice heard here at Contagious Transformations. And last night in particular, I was in need of encouragement. Thank you all for being instrumental in providing it!
    As supporters of Mr. Cain, I have a call to action for each of you. Link this article, and all of the other articles written about Mr. Cain and his amazing story and qualifications as a candidate. Talk to everyone you know or meet about the importance of informing themselves on the issues and the people involved in the upcoming election. And sign up to work with the campaign in any capacity you are being led to. Last, pray.
    As conservatives, this blog has a lot of really terrific writers, I know most of you have already subscribed. Pass along the links and encourage everyone you know to subscribe as well so that the power of the voices here that stand for liberty and stand for American values and traditions can be heard everywhere that folks are in need of the message of an active, optimistic, energetic and growing conservative movement.

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