Byron York has a wonderful interview with Herman Cain, keying off the South Carolina debate:As Stacy points out, people just plain like Cain. He is the anti-Obama. One rightful criticism of Obama is that he has never done anything in his entire life. Cain took the flailing Godfather's Pizza and turned it in to a national success.He is former deputy chairman and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He exudes honesty, integrity and forthrightness. Seen those qualities in the White House lately?
Republican pollster Frank Luntz conducted a focus group on Fox News and found near-unanimous agreement that Cain was the winner. “I’ve done maybe 35 or 40 of these debates for Fox, and I’ve never had this kind of reaction,” Luntz said. “Something very special happened this evening.”Well, I may not be one of those “political insiders,” but having predicted Cain’s South Carolina debate victory in advance, I’m surprised that Byron York didn’t give me a call to say, “Stacy, how did you know? What is the secret of your insightful prescience?”
Many political insiders viewed the debate mostly as an opportunity for former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty to move up into the first tier of GOP candidates. Instead, people left Greenville’s Peace Center talking about Herman Cain — a result that few participants, including Cain himself, could have predicted.
Never mind the un-asked questions, however. Byron then whips out the Rorshach inblot analysis:
A mostly unspoken but possibly consequential factor in Cain’s appeal to conservative voters is his race. Cain is a black Republican — a pretty rare thing in itself — seeking to challenge the nation’s first black president. .Byron, you’re thinking too hard, man. Leave the psychobabble to the liberals, who specialize in that kind of stuff.
[M]any Republicans have internalized the Democratic/liberal criticism that they oppose Obama because he is black and that whenever they attack the president on this or that issue, the real motivation behind it is race. Herman Cain, they believe, could take it to Obama without all that racial baggage.
Yep, Cain is black. Successful blacks may be a novelty act as far as Democrats are concerned but Conservatives have long been acquainted with successful black men and women. Plainly put, we just aren't as shallow as our brethren on the Left.
I haven't picked my candidate for 2012 yet, though I quickly scratched a few names off the contender list. I'm waiting until all the announcements have been made before I get down to brass tacks but as it stands now Cain is at the top of my list. Like Stacy says, I like him.