October 22, 2011

Herman Cain and debate prowess

Herman Cain  is a likable guy.  He has momentum on his side right now.  He's charismatic and he's thinking outside the box.  In fact he's running outside the box.

With a buildup like that, you know there's a BUT coming...

Herman Cain will make a terrific standard bearer for the GOP, and at this point I'd be happy to support him if he were the nominee.  BUT, he does not come without some concerns that need to be addressed.

(1)  He's not polished.  While that can be a part of the appeal, it also leads some problematic missteps, as evidenced in this clip on abortion, where he's lost credibility with Charles Krauthammer.  We know Krauthammer is likely on board the Romney train, but this is not a good clip for Cain.

He may or may not be winging it, but he sure needs to sharpen up and fast.  Consistency is critical in a long campaign.

(2) He's not debate proofed yet.  What passes for answers that need clarification or better prep work in the primaries against GOP opponents will not fly against Obama.  Those debates will need to be won not just stylistically but he has to bang the nail on the head on substance.  He has to explain his points simply, clearly and in a bullet proof way.  He seems unready to do so at this point.

Herman Cain had a point to make but got tripped up on his own apples and oranges analogy.  Perception is reality and it looked like he was not prepared, or not understanding Romney's point.  That's not good.

(3)  Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure.  Leading in Nevada, Iowa and Florida will not last without sufficient staff and money to invest in the battles in each state.  The perception, true or not, is that he does not have either.  Via Politico,
Few people in the establishment think Cain, who has no campaign infrastructure and has stayed mostly out of the early states while promoting his book, will be the nominee.
Herman Cain might be doing well now, but he has to get better if he wants to win.  I'm not saying he won't, but what has got him this far, will not carry him all the way. 

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