Well, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal have got something hard to top, even if you’re in the pizza business: Herman Cain is now leading the pack of Republican presidential candidates in their poll with 27 percent, besting Mitt Romney by four points and trouncing the narcoleptic, unfortunately named-ranch-leasing Rick Perry. Public Policy Polling has Cain ahead by eight points this week as well.
We’ve been to this rodeo before, and have seen a great deal of hype that one Republican candidate (Michelle Bachmann, Perry) and non-candidate (Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie) will undoubtedly be the nominee. Through each one’s rise and fall, it’s been obvious that Romney has the money and organization to ride through their highs and lows.
Still, it’s pretty remarkable that Romney hasn’t profitted from Perry’s flame out, confirming that after running for President for the better part of a decade, Republican primary voters just don’t like him all that much. But even more stunning, is it possible that Herman Cain could win the nomination? It’s pretty shocking to read the words “fueled by the Tea Party” in reference to a black candidate, and to even consider the possibility that the heads of the two major parties could be sending African American candidates up for the Presidency of the United States.
There’s no doubt that Herman Cain knows his dough (both literal and figurative) as the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. His “9-9-9” plan was one of, if not the most, discussed items at the Dartmouth Economic Debate last week.
But while Bachmann (who the Voice has had to admit has at least one bright idea worth considering) suggested that the “devil is in the details” when you look at Cain’s upside-down 6-6-6 plan, we have to wonder if she is on to something of Biblical proportions coming. Given our nation’s history with race, if the Republican party were to nominate an African American candidate for President, and the Democratic party were to renominate the first black President, could the locusts be far behind?
And no matter how big the anti-government sentiment of the Tea Party might be, will a candidate who has never held any elective office be able to pull off the mechanics of retail campaigning in different state races controlled by the Republican Party?
Curiously, Cain took Perry to task over “Niggerhead” Ranch, and no less powerful a conservative voice than Rush Limbaugh chided him for unfairly piling on Perry over what he thought was a non-issue. But Cain has not had any blowback from Rush’s admonition; instead, he’s risen to the top of the field.
Regardless of who the Republican nominee eventually is (and there will be countless highs and lows in the many, many, many months of primaries ahead), these polls with Cain coming out on top are historically significant. As NPR points out, “It is the first time an African American who is a declared candidate for the Republican presidential nomination tops a national poll from a reputable public opinion organization.”