Governor Mitt Romney and Herman CainLEE’S SUMMIT, October 11, 2011 – Mitt Romney and Herman Cain had a strong showing in tonight’s Bloomberg /Washington Post debate held in New Hampshire.  Romney’s polished speaking style and economy based questions gave him a good forum to show off his achievements.  Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan was center stage throughout the debate.

Ron Paul’s constant reminder that the Fed is part of the problem, and that Washington is not working as it is resonated with his Libertarian supporters, while Newt Gingrich made some very good supporting points about the Dodd-Frank bill having to be repealed as well as the Sarbanes-Oxley republican bill that is over-regulating banking and the investment community.

Michelle Bachmann continues to remind all of us that she was the lone voice against ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and that she was the key to launching the repeal of ObamaCare.  All valid and important points; yet points that we all know: She simply lacks the fire she had prior to the Iowa Straw Poll and until she gets that back she’s going to continue to fade.  She will fade not because she’s not a good candidate, but because she’s not advancing her position in a way that we can all understand what she will actually do.

Rick Santorum did not hurt himself but at the same time did not help himself either.  His performance was rather neutral at best and a repeat at worst.

The only one that did very poorly in the debate, and truly could not afford to do so, was Rick Perry.  His posture during the debate, juxtaposed to Herman Cain, was stiff as were his answers.  While Cain proposed actual solutions (his 9-9-9 plan in case you had not heard about it) Perry continued his attack on Obama, and how badly the economy is doing because Obama is out of his depth as a leader of our Economy.  This may be valid, but just like Pawlenty his fighting the wrong battle at the wrong time.

Cain took more of the heat from the other candidates simply because his numbers are coming up.  He defended his 9-9-9 plan as being “a bold plan” that “throws out the old tax code (the problem) and replaces it with something that is simple, fair, and transparent”.

When Herman Cain was challenged on his assumption that the 9-9-9 plan was revenue neutral he countered with “your analysis is simply wrong” and he went on to explain that with a 9% income tax that had no loop holes the base would be larger, that with a 9% sales tax that took into account all the purchases, the base would be larger, and when one takes into account “a larger base, as you should, the revenues are neutral.”

Cain’s answers were quick, understandable, and his confidence made you believe he knew what he was talking about.

Mitt Romney handled again the RomneyCare versus ObamaCare issue and clearly stated that “on the first day he would sign wavers for all 50 states.” He was immediately challenged by the others and his added “on day two, I will ask congress to repeal ObamaCare” so he is now on the record as to what he plans to do regarding ObamaCare.  Where I cringed was his follow up: “unlike my opponents, I have laid out a plan for what I’m going to replace ObamaCare with, because the American people still have a problem with medical insurance.”  It is rhetoric like that, that in my opinion move Romney out of the “Fiscal Conservative” side and into either the Moderate camp, or the Liberal camp and I get flashbacks of McCain.

Last weekend my wife and I visited with some friends and the conversation turned to politics as it is known to do around me – imagine, a political blogger talking politics (will wonders never cease).

During the conversation a good friend of mine kept arguing that Romney had to be the one because “it is his turn” and I vehemently disagreed.  The President of the United States is not a selection of the two candidates “whose turn has finally come up”.  That is how we end up with people like Bob Dole, John McCain and President Obama: People utterly unqualified to lead this nation.

On the way home my wife put it most succinctly: “This is the time for Republicans to elect the person most capable of leading this country, not the safe person, not the person whose turn it is, but someone who can lead us out of this mess.”

I thought about it for a long time, and I have to agree with her.   This country is in serious trouble.  Our debt is rapidly climbing to $16 Trillion, our economy is growing at an anemic rate, our banks are more focused on new regulations that lending money, our investors are taking a “wait and see” position, and entrepreneurs have difficulty finding the financial backers to create the next big employer.  Taking the safe candidate is going to give us small changes around the edges – regardless of what they promise on the campaign trail.

Politicians are successful by winning the margins, not taking bold steps that could set your career back.  Businessmen know that sometimes, when a business is in deep trouble and headed to bankruptcy you have to take drastic measures because if you fail you already know the outcome, but if you succeed then you can right the ship, save jobs, and keep families employed: as well as make a good profit and name for yourself.

Rush Limbaugh said it best when questioned by a caller about Newt Gingrich, when he said “Newt is 90% brilliant, but the other 10% makes you wonder what he was thinking.” I have to agree with him on that.  Newt is the guy who led the Republican comeback that took the House in 1994.  He is also the same person who spoke about Global Warming with Nancy Pelosi.

Looking at the forum set up for today’s debate, Newt showed his 90% brilliance, but I still worry about his 10%, Romney continues to remind me that he was a Massachusetts Republican and has some “Social or Liberal” thinking that will get in the way of doing what must be done.  Santorum, Paul, Huntsman, and Bachmann did not show me anything new, and Cain continues to show that he has the courage of his convictions, and is not going to back down.

The only question I have about Herman Cain is whether he can make the transition from CEO of a company where at best it is a Benevolent Dictatorship to the Political Arena and succeed.  He certainly knows the value of a strong team around him, so he may be able to bridge the gap by putting in people who can help him bring forth his agenda and fix the mess we are in.

Respectfully Submitted,
The Lee’s Summit Conservative