Romney vs. the Anti-Romney

In discussing the race for the Republican presidential nomination, my goal has been to be forthright and honest about why I believe certain candidates are not the best options, and I’ve also made it pretty clear where my sympathies lie. What it comes to down to is either Romney or the anti-Romney.

Romney is the establishment’s choice. He will never upset the status quo, and he won’t make them nervous with deeply held convictions. A list of issues where he has changed from one side to the other is rather extensive: abortion; amnesty for illegals; tax cuts; gun control; global warming . . .

About the only thing he’s remained solid on is his support for Romneycare, which included an individual mandate and has kept healthcare costs in Massachusetts higher than in any other state.

Is this really what we want as the standard-bearer for Republicanism? Can’t you just see Obama rejoicing that his own disastrous healthcare debacle will be taken off the table as an issue in the campaign if Romney is the candidate? How can Romney, with credibility, attack that plan?

So, as I said, it’s either Romney or the anti-Romney. Who will take up that mantle? Let’s be honest–neither Santorum nor Bachmann has a chance at the nomination. Ron Paul, as I’ve said before, has ardent supporters [so ardent that they sometimes cross the line into rudeness], but not breadth of support. He’ll never get the nomination. Perry has self-destructed. While his supporters believe he can make a comeback, I’d rate that as improbable. Neither is it desirable, in my estimation, due to his lack of debating skill. He would be trounced by Obama on stage. Gingrich is smart, knowledgeable, and great in debate, but has too much of a history of alienating people to be able to unite either the party or the nation.

That leaves Herman Cain. Yes, I know there are some questions about his grasp of foreign affairs, yet he told Sean Hannity this week that he has devoted himself to studying those issues to the point where he believes he will know more about them than his questioners. He confused people with his abortion comments, but the context in which he stated them was relegated to the rare cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Most seem to miss that point.

What he does bring to the race is a solid and successful business background that emphasized problem-solving. He also brings a spirit of joy and he inspires those who hear him speak. No, this is not an Obama rerun—Cain is common sense and speaks to the people, not down to them. He also has the added promise of drawing black voters to the GOP in numbers no one would imagine possible. If he is the candidate, the racism issue should die a much-deserved death.

Currently, Cain is either tied or ahead of Romney in most polls except New Hampshire. His financial backing is on the rise, which has also allowed him to expand his field team in key states. People are asking whether he’s for real. The media has been slow to pick up on this phenomenon:

Cain’s increased prominence has the potential to alter stereotypical thinking:

It’s still too early to predict that Cain’s upswing will continue. You never can tell what is around the bend in politics. But it would be the height of folly to dismiss him as a serious candidate. The Republican establishment turned its back on Barry Goldwater in 1964 and it ridiculed Ronald Reagan when he challenged Gerald Ford in 1976 and when he ran again in 1980. The establishment got its way with Goldwater, but was stunned by Reagan. May it be stunned again—that is my prayer.