Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shermichael Singleton: The Case for Herman Cain

By Shermichael Singleton

The Republican Party is often referred to as the GOP (Grand Old Party). Established in 1854, this party has grown to build a reputation as one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States. With a dedicated platform reflecting American conservatism, the GOP has been considered center-right in contrasts to the center-left Democrats.

Such an astounding party has built a strong foundation for themselves within the U.S. political spectrum and is seeking individuals to carry on its legacy. The GOP needs someone who can excite the party and contribute to its growth. Individuals such as Romney and Gingrich have been seen as promising contributors to the GOP and in no way is it my attempt to favor one candidate over the other, however I felt an obligation to come to Cain’s defense.

Many should take into consideration that Herman Cain could bring a new flavor to a dying and rustic party. There is something refreshing about the edginess of Herman Cain, he’s different and it is this prominent factor that will swiftly move him to the front of the line and allow him to capture a victory.

Washington Post writer Rachel Weiner pointed out that Cain stumbled on foreign policy, saying that when it came to Afghanistan he would rely on “the experts and their advice and their input.” I’m not certain about Rachel but I would like a president who’s willing to listen to experts before making important decisions. I should add that none of the candidates have backgrounds that specialize in international relations. So in a debate with more seasoned candidates the gaps in his experience will be NOT be more apparent as Weiner mentioned. She along with many other pundits and analyst have cast Cain as a long shot with no chance of winning, I humble disagree.

In my opinion, to count him out as many others have wouldn’t be in the best interest of the party. There are a few things that Mr. Cain needs to work on to further his progress and growth but no individual is perfect and perfection is not what this country is built upon. His approach being number one, at times causes individuals to see him as a bit fringe which is not an image people want when considering someone for the highest office in the land. Additionally, he needs to continue to develop his base, of course we all know he’s a Tea Party favorite – which undoubtedly will give him a rather large grassroots coalition. However it is my hope that he keeps in mind that the Tea Party is only a fraction of the voters when considering the entire scope of things. Thus far, he ‘appears’ to have only targeted the Tea Party. Perhaps the strategy of Cain’s Team is to first solidify a strong support group and then branch off to a more mainstream audience, which would be a wise decision from a strategic standpoint.

In addition to his approach, some of his statements have been quit controversial at times. As a presidential candidate he has to enhance and clarify his image and his statements so that there is no room for error or misconception. It’s perfectly okay to not be ‘politically correct,’ Cain’s problem is that he has not been able to do it with style and grace.

Furthermore, Cain should seek to broaden his line of issues. Although the economy is the number one pressing concern for voters at the moment, however a candidate shouldn’t be regulated to just one issue. He needs to develop a plan that details more issues not limited to foreign policy and education.

With all of this said, Herman Cain has a real opportunity to be a major candidate. To assert that his flaws, this early in the game, will be his down fall is simply foolish. He already has a massive base of strong supporters (Tea Party), who will undoubtedly go door-to-door canvassing on his behalf. If he can work on his approach, raise the capitol, broaden his scope of issues and do well in future debates with those who are deemed major candidates – he may be able to pull this off.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shermichael Singleton is the co-founder and spokesperson of the College Republican Chapter at Morehouse college. He is a Political Science Major, who’s currently the CEO of Singleton Strategies a consulting firm, specializing in communication, coalition building, crisis management and interview preparation.


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