When Herman Cain convincingly beat the field in the P5 Straw Poll here in Florida, the initial reaction by many was to discount any meaning behind the results and pass it off as a ‘protest vote’. After all, people couldn’t be serious… Herman Cain?
Going into this event, Rick Perry was riding high. He had only been in the race a short time, had quickly overtaken Romney as the front runner in the polls and the love affair with the right was going strong.
Then, right before our very eyes he commits an unforgivable act of infidelity by questioning the compassion of those who ask only that we, as a nation, enforce our laws.
At the time, there was not a lot of surprise that the now disillusioned Perry supporters outright rejected Romney as a possible new beau.
But there was a lot of uncertainty. Where would conservative voters go if Perry is out, Romney is not appealing and Herman Cain is… well, Herman Cain?
And that’s when the name Chris Christie started surfacing again in the media, despite his many previous rejections of any possibility of running. It was clear the political class was now genuinely worried and tried every way possible to court the round mound of conservative pound.
And once Christie spurned these renewed interests, the inevitable sank it for the ruling elite – it’s Romney or bust.
At the same time, something started happening that many feared. In the weeks following the Florida straw poll, Herman Cain began rising in the national polls. As Perry slowly faded from memory, as rejected lovers typically do, Romney had reclaimed what he sees as his rightful place as front runner.
Once Cain’s numbers began showing that he was now competitive with Romney, we began hearing from the chattering class that ‘well, Cain cannot beat Obama in a head to head match up and if we want to win, we have to stick with Romney’.
And the polls at the time were reflecting as much. Fast forward a couple of weeks, as Herman Cain took advantage of all the national attention he was getting, and guess what? Rasmussen comes out with a poll this week that shows Cain beating Obama.
So what to do? The political class simply cannot sit idly by and allow a true outsider to win the Republican nominee for president.
Here’s a good possibility of what we might hear if we were to sit in on a strategy session;
I’ve got it, let’s just go with the assumptive sell… we’ll plaster the media with the idea that it’s already accepted by anyone with any intelligence that Romney wins the GOP nomination. Hell, we can even get the Democrats to play along with this since they’d prefer that match up over Herman Cain any day of the week.
(Right on cue, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod goes on a blistering offensive against Romney.)
And we dismiss Cain by stressing that he’s not really serious about his candidacy. Despite the fact that he has been on the campaign trail non-stop since declaring and now leads in most polls, we’ll point out how suspect his campaign strategy really is. I mean, it’s not like he’s campaigning in the same manner as we political elite do so it should be an easy sell.
And since he’s the only candidate in the race idealistic enough to actually put forth a plan bold enough to address the problems in this country, we pick it apart as not being realistic and use it as another example of him just being too politically naive.
Seriously speaking, much like Sarah Palin, Herman Cain has the GOP establishment in this country back on their heels. Conservatives now find themselves on a very similar path that they were on in 2008, except this time around there will be no Sarah Palin to step in and drive the enthusiasm of the grassroots.
The difference is that conservatives are far more awake today than in 2008. The question is are we now savvy enough to see past the political strategery of the political class and follow our instincts. Or do we once again allow the elite to control the game that first ensures no risks to their personal gains before taking on the challenge of winning the future.
Cross-Posted at Florida Political Press