I was pleasantly surprised the other day by the results of the Florida Straw Poll in which Herman Cain garnered 37% of the vote. Not only did he beat the media anointed “front runners” but his total was greater than the both of theirs combined. Rick Perry got 15% and Mitt Romney only received 14%. Of course Rick’s slip in the polls was expected after the performance he gave in the debate just a few nights earlier. And I seem to remember telling folks he wasn’t’ the sharpest knife in the drawer some time back before he even threw his hat into the ring. Mitt just ain’t gonna command more than 20% of anything outside of the Northeast.
But why the sudden surge of Cain? In the Iowa Straw Poll in mid August he claimed only 8% of the vote. I have a theory on that subject. First of all Cain worked Florida hard. In spite of having one of the poorest campaigns in the race. He spent more time in Florida than any other candidate, touring the state in a bus and shaking lots of hands. But that alone is not what carried the day for him. He handed in a spectacular performance in the debate on the evening of September 22nd. While the media focused like a laser beam on the “frontrunners” Perry and Romney, Cain used charm, wit and conservative values to explain what was wrong with this country and what he would do to change it. The media didn’t notice, which is not much of a surprise seeing as how they follow the mob mentality in all reporting. The narrative was already set, the news was all about the clash of the titans with good hair. But Florida Straw Poll voters noticed, and gave an overwhelming victory to the guy who was pushing a strong conservative message and not engaging in the political one-upmanship that the press was salivating like dogs for. Hmmm, I have heard somewhere that would be an effective technique.
Then slowly you started to see mention of the “frontrunners” come up in the political talk shows and news programs. And Cain was not one of the subjects. It’s like the media just decided that they could make this nightmare scenario go away if they just ignored it. Pretend it never happened, Huh? What Florida Straw Poll? They have one? Never heard of it………….
Herein lies the issue for Cain. The press is bound and determined to select our candidate for us like they did in 2008. They will try their damndest to ignore Herman Cain and anyone else with similar ideas and the ability to speak to them. There will be six more debates between now and the new time for the Florida Primary on January 31st. Pay close attention to the talking heads that moderate these events as they try to pretend Cain is not in the room. If he carries the Florida Primary and follows up a week later with a victory in the Iowa Caucuses, they won’t be able to ignore him any longer. Also of course, pay heed when they can’t pretend he isn’t there anymore and they shift to reporting all the slime that the Democrat and Republican machines will try to hurl at him in an effort to save their hides.