September 29th, 2011

Romney’s the guy for 2012…

says David Frum.

The question is: does anyone care what David Frum thinks at this point?

[ADDENDUM: And the WSJ's Daniel Henninger asks why not start taking Herman Cain's candidacy seriously? He's got private sector experience up the wazoo, and what's more:

When Mr. Cain talked to the Journal's editors, the most startling thing he said, and which he's been repeating lately, was that he could win one-third of the black vote. Seeing Herman Cain make his case to black audiences would be interesting, period. Years ago, describing his chauffeur father's influence on him in Atlanta, Mr. Cain said: "My father gave me a sense of pride. He was the best damn chauffeur. He knew it, and everybody else knew it." Here's guessing he'd get more of this vote than past GOP candidates.

Does a résumé like Herman Cain's add up to an American presidency? I used to think not. But after watching the American Idol system we've fallen into for discovering a president—with opinion polls, tongue slips and media caprice deciding front-runners and even presidents—I'm rewriting my presidential-selection software.

I dunno. There's something sort of loose-cannon-y about Cain. And besides, as I've noticed in many articles (including Henninger's), when you read the words "Mr. Cain" quickly, they look suspiciously like "McCain"---and we've got PTSD for McCain's candidacy.

And yet, and yet...]

28 Responses to “Romney’s the guy for 2012…”

  1. Occam's Beard Says:

    The question is: does anyone care what David Frum thinks at this point?

    That would be a “negatory.”

    These clowns trying to get in front of a parade and pretending they’re the drum major are getting old. Very old.

  2. Bilwick Says:

    Frum and Brooks are the polite, docile “house” conservatives, who pose no real threat to the Plantation. I call them “Uncle Daves.” If Frum had to desert his beloved Massa ‘Bama and vote for a Republican, he would infinitely prefer a “resposible” (i.e., unthreatening) type like Romney than one of those uppity tea-party troublemakers.

  3. Brad Says:


  4. Stark Says:

    At this point I am all for raising Cain. When everyone is disgusted with DC, “go along to get along” politicians
    have very little appeal. A loose cannon on the proper side of the issues would be a refreshing change.

  5. Susanamantha Says:

    Yes, we Cain!

  6. Occam's Beard Says:

    Frum and Brooks also have oddly similar and peculiar biographies (in being Canadian and Jewish, IIRC). Not exactly representative conservative demographic groups. How about choosing a British Muslim, or a Japanese Buddhist, while we’re at it?

    While I don’t generally subscribe to the premise of identity politics, it’d be nice if those purporting to speak for a group actually had something in common with that group. Nationality would be nice.

  7. Tom Says:

    Let’s see how he does when the gang-banging starts.

  8. Tom Says:

    ^^^^^Cain, that is.

  9. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Cain=Sec. Commerce
    Palin=Sec. Interior
    Bolton=Sec. State
    None=Sec. Energy
    Vice president=Santorum
    President=who cares just as long as its not Obama

  10. Tom Says:

    By any standards, Romney’s flip-flopping makes John (s)Kerry look like a rank amature! Is there something in the water up there? It’s curious that the one position that Romney should flip flop(Romneycare), is the one he refuses to.

  11. michaele Says:

    I have watched all the debates and it will be interesting to see Herman Cain taken more seriously by the questioners. I am starting to be more interested in him as a serious contender and I am giving consideration to his 9 9 9 plan.
    And, yes, what he has to say to blacks are certainly things they should hear.

  12. physicsguy Says:

    After watching the debates, I thought at the very first one that Cain was impressive. It’s early, and sh*T happens, but for right now I’m definitely in the Cain camp. I like the outsider status also, and his line about America getting back it’s sense of humor is great. That is especially true given that all the faculty (ie libs) I work with are lacking in that area.

  13. expat Says:

    I’m still worried about Cain’s lack of international experience. Has he paid enough attention to the European financial crisis? What does he think about Pakistan and Putin’s new bid for the presidency? You can’t just jump in when that 3 o’clock phone call comes. You have to have at least been aware of the complications of international affairs for a while to train your instincts. (Just look at Obama now being called arrogant by Germans.)

    I don’t think Cain is there right now. I do think he could bring a lot to a team with regard to our own economy and in bringing out the can do spirit in Americans.

    As to Frum: who cares?

  14. Don Carlos Says:

    A team is only as good as its leader.
    I respect Cain’s instincts, judgement and experience.
    He should be taken seriously. We can do a whole lot worse, e.g. Romney. Cain’s resume is a whole lot better than Mittens’.

  15. holmes Says:

    I think Cain would scare people because of his lack of experience in government. I know conservatives see it as a plus, but it really does matter that you’ve had to make deals with people and understand how the machinery works. I think the electorate wants to feel safe and normal again- it’s been quite a ride the last 8 years. I don’t think a flyer will do it, though I do like Cain personally.

    Romney 11. Hold your nose and do it.

  16. I Callahan Says:

    Romney 11. Hold your nose and do it.

    Nope. Not gonna do it. We’ve been getting the safe & normal candidates every time since the early 60′s (Reagan excepted, of course), and I’m tired of it. I don’t want a squish, and I won’t vote for one.

    If Ryan were in, he’d be my pick. As long as Cain is in, he’s my guy in the primary. If it’s just Romney and some other squish, I’ll vote third party.

    No more.

  17. Don Carlos Says:

    The argument favoring “experience in government” is really an argument in favor of the Ruling Class. Read the book of that title by Angelo Codevilla. We of the Country Class need to stop thinking like that.

  18. Parker Says:

    I’ve liked Cain since he first announced he was running. Cain is weak on foreign affairs, but Cain is a proven manager in the private sector and good managers select accomplished advisors and lieutenants. Good managers know that they don’t have all the answers and seek sound advice. And, if elected he will motivate the public a la Reagan.

  19. rickl Says:

    Romney 11. Hold your nose and do it.

    Screw that.

    If this weren’t a family blog, I’d say it more emphatically.

    I have serious misgivings about Cain, but if Palin doesn’t get in, then I guess I’ll be supporting him.

  20. AlanR Says:

    Why not Cain? He deserves serious consideration.

    No foriegn affairs experience? Yeah, the guys we’ve had running things didn’t see the fall of the Soviet Union coming, and didn’t understand the threat of Al Queda. And why not return Israel to its 1946 border — likely Obama’s next peace initiative.

    Doesn’t know how the machinery works? That’s not all bad, because the government bureaucracy is out of control, and it would be really good for someone like Cain to ask tough questions like he no doubt did when running a company.

    I think Cain’s personal experience as a manager and executive have given him the skills to solve the problems. Romney is an investor/vc. Herman Cain is management and gets his hands dirty solving problems.

    He’ll rise or fall on his merits if we give him a chance.

  21. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    I like Cain, but I don’t like the 9/9/9 plan. It would be a tax increase for me and would drastically affect consumer spending habits in states with high sales taxes. It would be a 17.5 % tax (9% + existing 8.5%) on most consumer items here in Washington state. Want to pay that on an new car or other high ticket item? 17.5% on even small items can add up over a year. We are trying to increase economic activity. High sales taxes will not do it. I don’t know who advised Herman on this one, but when people start looking closely at it, I think it will not get much traction.

    His lack of international experience is an issue, but not insurmountable. He can learn a lot over the next six months and he seems the sort of man who knows how to surround himself with good talent. Let’s face it, no one is really qualified to be President. A good executive knows how to pick good advisors, listen to them, define the problems, consider the possible solutions, and then make decisions. It is that quality that I’m looking for most of all and that is hard to judge unless the candidate has a record that can be examined. That and the steel in the spine that it takes to send our warriors into harm’s way. So far, I think Cain has those qualities – except for the 9/9/9 idea. But can he get the nomination? It takes bucks and people willing to work at the grass roots to do that. We’ll see. After all, it’s 10 months to the convention. A long time in politics.

  22. Promethea Says:

    No candidate has sufficient international experience. That unbelievably huge area is a learn-on-the-job subject. I would never pick an isolationist because they are, by definition, ideologues. A good Chief Executive will listen to various advisers, and then make the important decisions. Bush was an excellent executive in that area, whether or not you agree with his conclusions.

    Right now, I’d pick an outsider like Cain over any existing politician, except maybe one or two state governors. I heard Cain speak at a Chicago Tea Party, and he was very refreshing. He radiates a positive spirit and appears to be a man who loves his country. I will never ever vote for any politician who doesn’t like America (Gore, Kerry, Obama–3 recent examples).

    We all need to remind ourselves that no individual is perfect, and we want to elect a good executive, not a god.

    I often think we have unrealistic expectations about what any President can do. Right now, I think Cain is best person out there. He’s probably a bit more palatable to the average voter than Palin, because people don’t like her accent. I personally adore Palin.

    If I had to choose between Cain and Palin, I’d look at both of them more closely.

    In the Chicago Banana Republic where I live, the primaries are always held after the vote has already been decided. I wonder why that is! ? ? ? ! !

  23. Beverly Says:

    I like Cain, too. But he’d better pick a solid veep: isn’t he a liver cancer survivor? bad stuff, that.

    I still think Rick Perry could do the job, if he could get serious about the immigration deal. What bothers me about all the candidates who don’t “get” that issue is that they don’t realize we’re sick and tired of being swamped with freeloaders and people who are hostile to America and Americans (La “Raza,” La Reconquista, and other assorted shite), and Paying for them and their spawn.

    To hell with that.

  24. Jim Sullivan Says:

    I’m in Cain’s camp too. There’s so much mush out there. But Cain’s solid. I won’t say I agree with him about everything, but I respect his abilities and right now, he’s the man getting my support.

  25. SteveH Says:

    I like Cain too. If he were President there might actually be periods of a week or two that i wouldn’t have to pay attention to politics for fear of commies in high office trying to destroy the country.

  26. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Romney? the author of the first draft of Obamney Care?

    David Frum, are you being serious?

  27. Scott Says:

    The reforms Cain is talking about happen once in a lifetime. They are on a scale of the New Deal and Great Society. And the odds currently favor the GOP retaining control of the House and taking control of the Senate, so the stuff he’s talking about could happen if he wins.

    Replacing the income tax, FICA tax, and capital gains tax with 9-9-9 will finally get the incentives for investment, capital formation, and savings right. I bet sometime soon Heritage or Cato or some other think tank will crunch the numbers and bear this out.

    And his proposal to privatize social security ala the Chilean model is equally transformative. It will get the government out of provding a defined benefit pension altogether. IBD has a report saying Chilean retirees are now collecting penions 4x larger than their old system provided. It will forever eliminate one gigantic government bureaucray.

    I agree Cain lacks foreign policy expertise. That’s my biggest reservation with him. But if he wins and gets his tax and social security reforms passed, I think he has the potential to be the best economic president since Coolidge.

  28. BurkeanBadger Says:

    First off, I could care less that Cain lacks foreign policy experience. This “concern” has been trotted out against past Presidents of both parties and it gets tiresome. John Steele Gordon offers a succinct rebuttal of this lame argument here:

    That being said, Cain is not my first, second or third choice. Neo is right: he is a loose cannon and his lack of political experience is a concern. It is a concern not because it indicates he won’t be an effective president, but rather because it strongly suggests he would be an ineffective candidate. Keep in mind that whoever is nominated will be going up against the Obama juggernaut, and its fellow travelers in the media,. They will go to extensive lengths to paint whomever the nominee is as an insane, mentally incapacitated, hate filled extremist who who too scary, too radical, too hateful, too mean, too psychotic and too ignorant to be President.

    Unfortunately, Cain would give them plenty of ammunition. I envision him making at least a few genuinely offensive comments and plenty of statements which, in context are rather banal, but are easily twisted to sound horrible. And they will be twisted. Cain’s background and his past controversial statements (about Muslims for instance) strongly suggests that he is not adept at handling the media. Yes, this could change, but I don’t see it happening to the degree that would be needed in the small amount of time available.

    If you support Cain do so realistically and honestly: Acknowledging the fact that barring a Watergate-level scandal in the Obama administration or a Greek-level meltdown in the U.S. economy, Cain will never be elected defeat Obama. Personally, my number one goal is to see the most radical, incompetent and destructive President in my lifetime (although Jimmy Carter is a close second), removed after one term. If that requires a “Country Class” Republican, so be it.

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