After last week’s republican presidential
debate, many felt they began to witness the fall of Perry and the rising of Cain. Delegates in Florida shocked the country by overwhelmingly voting Herman Cain as winner of their straw poll. Why is this so shocking? It’s arguable. Some say it was the Florida seniors citizen’s response to Perry labeling social security a Ponzi scheme. Others say it is because Herman Cain’s supporters are well-known for passion and intensity. They are determined to spread the doctrine of this leader to all within earshot. Perhaps it is both of these things and more.
So, how did we get here? How did we get to a place where relatively unknown Herman Cain is now polling in a virtual three-way tie with Perry and Romney? Just a few weeks ago, it was rumored the former radio host and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza was considering abandoning his bid for the Whitehouse. Rick Perry was the Republican golden child. Then, Perry had to debate. With poor showings at the last debates, it allowed Cain’s momentum to gain some traction. Perry reportedly dropped 10% on poll rankings. All of a sudden it seemed the political god’s had thrown Cain grace. Front runner Rick Perry found controversy. The Washington Post reports that the orignal name of his family ranch is “Niggerhead.” Though it has been painted over and renamed, many still say it is visible and may be reflective of Perry’s sentiments towards minorities. Perry refutes the validity of the report. Perry says the issue was resolved decades ago and is not reflective of his feelings nor the sentiments of his family and upbringing. This allowed people who normally would not weigh in on Perry’s general electability to become extremely vocal about their concerns, doubt and discontent.
Cain is familiar with controversy. He was heavily criticized for stating he would not hire any muslims in his cabinet if elected president. His solution for illegal immigration (said jokingly) is to build a medieval style moat around the borders and fill it with alligators to discourage illegal entry into U.S. He also was criticized for saying Black Americans have been brainwashed against conservative principles and the political process.
Cain has now taken charge and leads an offensive to stay in the top-tier. He has been one of Perry’s strongest critics. He blasted him over the inappropriate use of “niggerhead.” He also questioned if Perry is “too liberal” for the Republican party. He eludes the same about possible fresh-meat candidate Chris Christie. He suggests that both Perry and Christie have weak stances toward immigration.
It seems that the Cain train has not only left the station but is full steam ahead. Now that he is in the top-tier, his campaign seems determined to keep him at the top. With increased visibility, curiosity is escalating about the brash, “tell it like it is” businessman. His largest hurdle has been name recognition. With plenty of time between now and the primaries, Cain seems focused on making sure familiarity gap barrier is breached.