Raising Cain

In a comment to my earlier post today, a reader asks, “Hey Will, why Herman Cain?”

Cain is one of three major candidates in tomorrow’s Georgia Republican primary for Zell Miller’s U.S. Senate seat. The Democratic slate is extremely weak (a sad sign of the times for a party that held both Senate seats and almost every statewide office just two years ago), and the eventual winner of the GOP primary will be an overwhelming favorite in November. The other Republican candidates are two Congressmen, Johnny Isakson and Mac Collins. Isakson, who’s been a staple in Georiga GOP politics for two decades, is considered the frontrunner.

My first exposure to Herman Cain (who hasn’t previously held or run for office) came in 1994, when he appeared in one of those excruciating “town hall meetings” with Bill Clinton. Clinton was there to hawk Hillary’s socialized medicine plan, and Cain, at that time the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza (full disclosure: that was my favorite brand in college; love that Humble Pie) somehow slipped through the White House screening process and onto the stage.

Cain absolutely cleaned Clinton’s clock in that debate. He’d run the numbers on what Hillary’s regulations would mean to his business, and laid out how many restraunts he’d have to close and how many people he’d have to lay off just to be able to pay the new medical taxes. Clinton just shrugged, telling Cain he should just raise his prices 15 or 20 pecent to pay the taxes.

Cain had to explain to Clinton that it isn’t that easy in the private sector. Paraphrasing from memory (I couldn’t find a transcript), he told the Slickster, ‘You can raise taxes by that much, and people have to pay you or go to jail. I don’t have that luxury. If I raise my prices, my customers will just go to McDonald’s, and we’ll be out of business.’

I’ve been a fan ever since.

I think Isakson would be a perfectly adequate senator if he wins, but the guy just drips “politician” to me. If I were worried about the markup on Senate bill S-2112 in the Subcommittee on the Dilbertication of Cubicle Living, I’d want Isakson as a senior staffer, but given a choice, I’d rather have somebody with a bit more vision in that Senate seat. It helped make up my mind enormously when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and local Leftie alt-rag (Creative Loafing) both endorsed Isakson and went out of their way to dis Cain. Anybody those two papers dislike that much can’t be a bad guy.

Isakson has led in all the polls to date, thanks to his name recognition and gigantic campaign fund. The race tomorrow should come down to Cain vs. Isakson (Collins hasn’t generated much interest to speak of). If Isakson can’t get to 50 percent, he and Cain will go to a run-off, and Cain will have a fighting shot. Based on some nasty anti-Cain talking-points comments that popped up in pro-Cain blogs over the weekend, it looks like Isakson’s staffers are getting nervous about tomorrow’s vote.


12 Responses to “Raising Cain”

  1. PoliBlog Says:

    The Georgia Primaries are Tomorrow

    Will Collier has some interesting things to say about GOP candidate Herman Cain. I have heard Cain interviewed on the Michael Medved show a number of times (including today) and have been favorably impressed. He seems to be the kind…

  2. Frank Martin Says:

    Cain is on the Michael Medved show this hour……

  3. McGehee Says:

    I’m predicting Cain forces a runoff. If the undecideds were going to break for Isakson, who’s been the frontrunner all along, I think they would have done so long before now.

    I think Isakson tops out in the 48% range.

  4. Dummocrats.com Says:

    Great story about Herman Cain, Republican candidate for Senate in Georgia (VodkaPundit)

    Great story about Herman Cain, Republican candidate for Senate in Georgia (VodkaPundit)

  5. MattJ Says:

    I’m voting Cain tomorrow.

    As a student from out-of-state living in Fulton County, I wish I had some idea of who else to vote for. Here in John Lewis’ district, the primaries between the Democrats are the ‘real’ races, it seems. (When I voted in 2002, most local offices didn’t even feature a Republican candidate) I went looking at the Fulton County GOP website, and it was no help at all.

    Your Herman Cain link needs a leading ‘www’ to work, by the way.

  6. Alice Says:

    Let us know what happens.

  7. Feddie Says:


    Thanks for the link. I’ve been meaning to permalink your site for some time now, and I finally got around to it. I really enjoy your blog quite a bit.

    BTW, do you have a “bourbon” category for blogs? 🙂

  8. MarkD Says:

    Just please, please, PLEASE tell me Cynthia McKinney isn’t going to get her seat back. I’m still in complete disbelief that her political career has risen from the dead like a monster more gruesome than anything Bram Stoker or Steven King could have dreamed up.

  9. Tom Says:

    Vote for either Collins or Cain tomorrow, just as long as we force a run off. Once that happens, the local media goes into a frenzy and typically the underdog gets a huge lift.

  10. Russ Goble Says:

    Collins is a protectionist farm subsidizing tool. I’ll take Isakson any day of the week. But, Cain is the best of the bunch, though he has the benefit of no legislative record to analyze. I have some further long winded thoughts at my site as well.

    Cain looks to have good legislative priorities as well (social security reform and school choice). And get this, he’s AGAINST the prescription drug benefit. If he makes the runoff, I imagine he’ll be pilloried for that but it just makes me want to vote for the guy.

    As to whether or not Cain has a shot or can make a difference where Republicans need it, in the black community, I saw several Cain for Senate signs in downtown Atlanta last night when I went to the Braves game. Several parking attendants at gypsy lots (those run by local black residents not affiliated with Turner Field) had Cain for Senate signs sticking out of the orange traffic cones. It’s anecdotal, but I can tell you it’s a rare thing indeed to a Republican for Senate with signs in that part of town.

  11. Vince Says:

    Will, Thanks for answering my questions. I understand your position but I’m not very impressed with Cain. His overly business attitude toward politics,” I know what it means to meet a payroll”, strikes me as naive. In business there are rules and fixed standards, in politics nothing matters but staying in power. I don’t think anyone who is going to bring a business approach to politics has got a chance. Like communism it looks good on paper, but it isn’t practical to implement. That why I voted for Isakson.

  12. Earl E. Appleby, Jr. Says:

    Apparently Isakson’s “half-truth” squad missed my blog, Times Against Humanity. Should we feel slighted?

    We’ll raise Caine again, I’m sure.

    From the hills of West Virginia,


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