If you have already started paying attention to the 2012 election cycle, you will know that Republicans are already campaigning in Iowa and some in New Hampshire. There has been a lot of talk, even by me, about the weak GOP ticket possibility. There as also been some talk about a dark horse arising during the campaign that could make a difference in 2012. I wonder if we already have that type of candidate out there. I want to start the speculation with someone I think is an early holder of that role. Herman Cain from Atlanta, GA.
He comes from a hard-working, middle class family. His father worked three jobs to ensure that they could own a home and put Herman and his bother through college. All this while it was a very difficult time for African-Americans. Herman Cain is well-educated and quite the businessman, taking several companies from the verge of failure and making them into successes. You can read more about his history on his website, www.hermancain.com. He is a Tea Party Republican who pretty much stick to the party line on all of the core issues, and his faith seems to be at the core of what he believes.
He has been polling well in states despite the fact that more nationally known personalities, Sarah Palin, are taking up most of the spotlight. It will be interesting to see if he can raise enough money to stay competitive and relevant as this race heats up. He really believes in his ground game and on a recent interview spoke about that being what sets him apart from other candidates. I think that potentially there is something here. If he can stay relevant while flying under the radar and be competitive in the early primaries he has a shot at making some noise.
I think his true test will come in the south. I don’t think being a black conservative hurts him in the North, but I do wonder how it will help him in the south. Southern Conservatives, bluntly put, like their conservative white candidates. If he can have some decent showings in the racially divisive south, his potential to make some noise increases. I don’t think he would be a strong enough candidate to with the nomination, but he can make it difficult for other Tea Party candidates if he hold is own in the North and can make some noise in the South.
I think he makes his noise as a potential VP candidate to balance out the ticket. One thing that could potentially hurt Republicans is that if the Tea Party crowd does not like the nominee, they spark off and run their own candidate for the White House. Even if Republicans are not ready to admit that yet, I know it has to be in the back of their minds. Herman Cain could be a solution to that problem. Which ever candidate that wins the nomination, is going to need a running mate who can grab a hold of that conservative right vote to keep the party united.
I believe that Cain could play that role. He is very popular in the Tea Party Circles, and if his time as a contributor to Fox News is any indicator, he as some respect from traditional Republicans as well. He could be the piece that links the traditional Republicans with the conservative right. His Tea Party popularity could make him a good running mate if Republicans are nervous about a split vote in 2012. I mean, let’s be honest, if a split vote does happen between a Republican Candidate and a Tea Party Candidate this would be devastating for their chances to unseat Obama in 2012. If Cain can continue to be a player over the next year, he could be the solution to the problem.