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What. if anything, is to be learned from Herman’s Cain’s 2004 Georgia Senate primary loss?

A great deal has been written on Red State about Herman Cain, as his meteoric rise in the polls has caught most in the GOP by surprise. His story is well known to most here… humble beginnings, head of Godfather’s Pizza, his battle with cancer, and now his remarkable run for the GOP nomination.

It’s often listed as somewhat of an afterthought that he lost the 2004 Georgia Senate primary. And most probably have no idea that this is actually his SECOND run for the WH..he very briefly ran in 2000. After he ended his campaign, he endorsed Steve Forbes.

But I find it curious that we’ve yet to have an in-depth analysis/critique of Cain’s 2004 Georgia race. It’s seven years ago, not ancient history by any means, and surely has some relevance. What does it tell us about Cain as a campaigner…the type of campaign he ran back then, and will run in the future.

Georgia back then was turning increasingly red.  The Senate seat came open when Zell Miller retired.  Johnny Isakson ( hardly someone to be called a “movement conservative”) won with 53% of the vote. Cain finished 2nd with 26%,a nd Mac Collins got 20%.

Of course, this was well before Obama attempted to change America, and the Tea party successfully changed the GOP.

Georgia is “home base” of a sort for Red State, and has a great influence in state GOP politics. Surely there is a considerable body of knowledge as to what actually happened in 2004. What worked,  what didn’t, for Cain, and why not.  I think it’s important to understand why he lost.

Cain himself hasn’t said too muich about that race, other than that he got a late start, which he has said he wouldn’t do next time. Yet today he has waged a very unconventional campaign, with minimal, ( if that) staff and organization. If he is the candidate, can you run a  SUCCESSFUL national campaign that way? And if he’s elected president, what does it tell us about how he’ll run the country. The Federal bureaucracy is HUGE, and the liberals have to be weeded out. And as anyone can tell you, weeding is hard, often backbreaking work. But a conservative president will have to focus 24/7 to bend the government to the will of the people.

It’s also been said that had he managed to force a runoff in 2004, he’d have beat Isakson. Was this plausible? Hopefully others will  weigh in. But does this mean that he views a three-way race as his best chance for the nomination?

None of this should be construed as negative about Cain. I’m still undecided between Cain and Perry. I believe that Perry will resurrect his campaign. I hope he does…a vigorous contest is good for the heart and soul of the party. If Perry falls short, then Cain’s my man. But I do think we need to know clearly the caliber of candidate we will get.

Cain, if he’s the nominee, will face an Obama willing to use every tool and trick imaginable to hold ontot he WH. Backed by almost unlimited funds, with a media that solidly supports him, Obama will be a tough opponent.

We need to know that Cain’s up to the task.

 

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