Bill Clinton

Herman Cain Could be the Next U.S. President

With Republicans still not having a clear frontrunner for President in 2012, Herman Cain could capitalize on this reality and give Republicans a person to rally behind all the way to sealing the Republican nomination for President in 2012. I know that many people reading this piece may not be familiar with Herman Cain. This piece will help you to get to know who Herman Cain is a little better by offering you some background information about him. Moreover, this piece will present arguments about why he could win the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination in 2012 and why he could defeat President Obama.

Herman Cain was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is 65 years of age. He graduated from Morehouse College, one of the leading historically Black colleges in the nation, with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and minor in Physics. While working for the United States Department of Navy, he earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from Purdue University. Cain is a highly accomplished businessman and proven leader. He has served as a business analyst for Coca-Cola, Vice-President of Pillsbury, and Chief Executive Officer of Godfather’s Pizza. Herman Cain managed 400 Burger King stores in Philadelphia and took this region of stores from being the least profitable to the most profitable in the nation in just three years. Cain has also served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurants Association.

Herman Cain has never held a political office. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004 in Georgia and did exceptionally well, but was not able to defeat the strong name recognition of now Senator Johnny Isakson.

Is there any early credible evidence to suggest that Herman Cain even has a chance to win the Republican nomination for President in 2012? In the first state to vote for the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination, Iowa, Cain won a straw poll by a large margin. Look at the results of the Iowa straw poll here:

In the 2010 Midterm Election, we witnessed the significant influence that the Tea Party had on the outcomes of elections. The Tea Party was instrumental in helping Republicans to take the U.S. House from Democrats, aided Republicans in picking up the most new U.S. House seats in history, helped closed the gap between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate, and assisted in the winning a number of new Republican governorships. Unquestionably, the Tea Party is a force to be reckoned with in the current national political milieu. The Tea Party will certainly have a tremendous influence on who will receive the Republican nomination for President. With the Tea Party’s demonstrated success in the 2010 Midterm Election, the fact that Herman Cain is one of the Tea Party’s favorite candidates for President greatly increases his chances of becoming President in 2012.

Ten years ago, the fact that Herman Cain has never held a political office would have prevented him from having a chance to win the Republican nomination and become President. However, there’s a strong anti-incumbent and anti-establishment political mood all across the country. Cain’s great business experience and his marketing of himself as a “problem-solver could help him to capture the Republican nomination for President. Of the Republican candidates who are running and who may run, he’s among the most inspiring and charismatic.

If he’s able to secure the Republican Party’s nomination for President, he can be a formidable candidate against President Obama. Cain has the anti-incumbent and anti-establishment political mood in his favor, the support of the Tea Party, experience as an accomplished business leader, and the ability to communicate in a way that enables him to go toe-to-toe with President Obama. I really think that his marketing of himself as a “problem-solver” is going to become as powerful as messages of “hope” and “change” were for President Obama in 2008. Messages of “hope” and “change” are not going to work for President Obama in 2012. If Cain is his opponent, he will not be able to enjoy the advantage of people wanting to vote for him just because they could make history by voting for the first Black President of the United States, considering Cain is Black.

Herman Cain’s strategy of building a strong grassroots movement in support of him in the early voting states is proving to gain him some serious support in those early states. Many people vigorously oppose President Obama’s healthcare reform bill. Cain led the fight against HillaryCare during President Clinton’s tenure in office when he led the National Restaurants Association. This opposition to HillaryCare, which shares many affinities with President Obama’s healthcare bill, can assist Cain in garnering more national support.

Don’t simply discredit the possibility that Herman Cain can win the Republican nomination for President and defeat President Obama in 2012 because you don’t see and hear about him all of time. Guess what? We didn’t know much about President Obama when he was running for President in 2008. Remember that?

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Dominant Message of the 2010 Midterm Election Results: Change Course

At both the federal and state level in the U.S. 2010 Midterm Election, we experienced a political tsunami as Republicans won races at a historic level. The American people have spoken and they have rejected the failed policies of President Obama. Republicans, however, should not be tremendously happy because the American people were not simply voting for them; they were voting to make a statement about their  unhappiness with incumbents. It is not like they are so happy to vote Republicans back in either. Let’s be honest, however, it is not just the struggling economy that resulted in historic gains for Republicans, but it was also a repudiation of the failed policies of President Obama.

President Obama is going to have to recognize that the people did not just vote Democrats out because of the economy—they voted them out because of his policies. I was glad to see him accept a significant amount of the blame for this too, but what I want him to acknowledge is he must change course from the failed policies that have significantly decreased his popularity. Obama is losing his appeal as a different type of politician. Each day it seems that he is becoming more and more like all of the other politicians he claims he is not like. He needs to find a way to work with Republicans to get things done for the American people. Republicans also will need to be willing to work with President Obama to get things done. The American people did not vote to give Republicans all of the power to do everything they want to do. If that would have happened, then they would have won the U.S. House and Senate and more state races too.

People are really exhausted with Democrats and Republicans. They want these politicians they elect to do real things that are going to significantly ameliorate their lives. I really think that by 2012 people are really going to be looking more toward true Independents at all levels, including for the President of the United States of America. If you are a Republican, I want you to feel happy about the fact that your party won historic gains at all levels, but you cannot allow your party to simply do more of the same. You must demand more from your party leaders. Democrats, you must demand more from your party leaders. We need a new awakening to spread across the land that communicates that we will no longer accept the status quo, business as usual politics. People are hurting and we need elected politicians to help them to be healed.

If President Obama wants to be re-elected in 2012, he will need to show a serious willingness to listen more to the American people, and some of that listening means being willing to support more things that the Republicans support. President Obama will really need to take a chapter from former President Bill Clinton’s book if he wants to have a better remaining two years of his presidency than his previous two. Republicans will also need to understand that America is not so in love with you all either. It was many of the policies that you all created that contributed to the problems we face today. President Obama, however, cannot continue to keep using this as an excuse—he must lead.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mixed Feelings about Senator Robert Byrd’s Death

For some reason, I am having a difficult time feeling much sorrow about the recent passing of Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving United States senator in American history. I know that many people from West Virginia will not like the fact that I am struggling with my sorrow about Senator Byrd’s death. I would, however, just like to remind them that this man was a former member of the KKK and a man who repeatedly used the word “nigger” in an interview to refer to Black people. Although he has apologized for being a member of the KKK and for carelessly using the word nigger, his apologies never took the pain away for me. It is not that I do not forgive Senator Byrd for his past wrongs, but I have to be honest that I cannot forget what he has done in his past that has had negative consequences for Black people.

Although he had a vexing past, one of the great aspects about him that I deeply respect is his commitment to the U.S. Constitution. No politician in Washington, D.C. has had a greater commitment to the Constitution, since the Founders, than Senator Byrd. He was such a lover and protector of the U.S. Senate traditions. I love Senator Byrd the historian, but I struggle with my affection for Senator Byrd the man.

When people die, we cannot simply get all emotional and forget about the full history of the people. Yes, Senator Byrd has done some great things but he has also done some terrible things that have had a negative impact on Black people that may last a lifetime. I do want God to take care of his family, relatives, and friends during this tough time for them. I am sure that my article is not what they need right now or at anytime, but the American people need to lose any romantic notion about Senator Byrd and explore the full range of his life.

One thing that I will not miss about Senator Byrd is those long speeches that he would deliver on the floor of the United States Senate. His speeches were so boring and consumed so much time. He would go on and on talking about random things. Again, I have to be honest because I will not miss those speeches as I watch the proceedings of the U.S. Senate on C-SPAN.

Former President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden tried to suggest that his “fleeting association” with the KKK was not really significant. Well, it is quite important to many African-Americans who have been so traumatized and harmed by the legacy of racial discrimination that this group helped to engender. Even a “fleeting association” with the KKK is harmful to Black people. So you will just have to pardon me if I don’t shed one tear for this man, and you will have to just pardon me if I am not going to participate in this love fest for him just because he is now dead.

This man is a former member of the KKK! Many Black people have died because of this group of racist haters and he participated in it—no matter how long he did participate. He died—oh well! So did many of my Black people at the hands of American terrorists—the KKK.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison