An Evening With Herman Cain
Last night I attended the Lincoln Club fundraiser at the home of former city councilman Larry Stirling. The honorary guest speaker was presidential candidate Herman Cain. It was a fine gathering to say the least, with a good showing of San Diego Republicans and other conservatives.
I have been following Herman Cain somewhat curiously since his insightful speech at CPAC. Before I go too much into detail of the event, I'd like to emphasize that whoever gets the Republican nomination will be a great choice. To paraphrase William F. Buckley JR, I'd take a random name out of the phone book over our current president.
However, focusing on Herman Cain, I was quite impressed. The man has a commanding presidential manner. He effectively delivers insightful commentary on issues. His résumé of turning around businesses is exemplary, and his overall approach to the United States' problems from a business perspective is where he gets his slogan of "common sense solutions."
His speech was passionate and great to listen to. Here are a couple notes on what he said:
- The Obama regime is on a path to Socialism and ultimately Communism ("yeah I said it!"). And their motto is, "stop us if you can." Obamacare, higher taxes, taking over GM, more regulations... "stop us... if you can."
- Iowa straw poll meant very little and he didn't invest the funds that Bachmann and Ron Paul did. He was very happy with his finish.
- The economy won't improve the next 2 years because less taxes and less regulation are, "not in this current president's DNA/
- Has a plan called the 9-9-9 plan, which outlines how we can get the United States back to prosperity. Specifically income taxes lowered to 9% across the board (with fewer deductions), corporate income tax at 9%, and a federal sales tax at 9%. There was a phase 2 which reduced taxes more. And no capital gains tax at all.
- Believes illegal immigration is really four issues. 1) secure the boarders for real. 2) Enforce our laws 3) promote legal pathway to citizenship 4) allow states to enforce their own laws.
- Highlighted that the combination of Medicare and Social Security is a HUGE problem ("elephant in the rooom"). Endorsed Paul Ryan's plan for Medicare and referenced a solution similar to what Chile did to resolve their broken retirement system.
- Foreign policy would need to be revisited with military intelligence. Stop giving money to our enemies. Only send troops to war that he would feel good about sending his own grandchildren to.
- He encourages Californias to help the GOP reclaim the Senate. He's not optimistic of 60%, but 50% is reachable and important.
- Highlighted his "outsider" mentality. As a former successful businessman he doesn't feel he needs to be embedded in the Senate or have been a Governor to gain the experience necessary to lead the country out of fiscal peril. He recognized that Romney used to be a businessman, but that he is now "tainted."
Amusingly, he kind of reminded me a little of Carl DeMaio. On at least a dozen occasions, Cain referenced his 9-9-9 plan which can be downloaded (anyone ever heard Carl mention his "Roadmap To Recovery"?) Also, Cain planned to evaluate employees' performance based on metrics, another theme that DeMaio frequently advocates. And of course, DeMaio has always been regarded as an outsider -- certainly not a "mainstream" political candidate.Extending my own commentary a bit more, I got the impression that Cain may be one of the most electable candidates in the GOP field. Several other candidates tend to come across as second comings of George W. Bush, or have political baggage, or just don't seem that presidential, which unfortunately is a big key to independents. I think if Cain were to go head-to-head against Obama, I sincerely think he can win. He's conservative enough to get the Tea Party support, yet mainstream enough to attract independents as well as Republican support.
Anyway, overall it was a fun evening. Best of luck to Herman Cain and the rest of the GOP presidential field.