In search of…somebody to beat Obama

The Republican demolition derby continues in this weekend’s Florida straw poll as The Herminator comes crawling from the wreckage.

Former pizza executive Herman Cain surprised rival Rick Perry with an upset victory on Saturday in a Republican presidential straw poll in Florida, dealing a disappointing loss to the Texas governor two days after a shaky debate performance.

Perry, leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, had needed a victory in what was an early test of strength to salve the wounds left over from a debate with his rivals on Thursday in which he struggled.

Instead, former Godfather’s Pizza executive Cain, who is far behind the two top-tier candidates Perry and Mitt Romney, won with 37 percent of 2,657 votes cast.

Perry was a distant second at 15 percent, just ahead of Romney, who won 14 percent despite not participating in the poll. Further back were Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann.

Florida’s straw poll is a nonbinding popularity poll and is significant only in terms of showing a candidate’s strength in the state. The state contests to determine the Republican nominee do not start until early next year.

Cain, an African-American who promotes himself as a pragmatic problem-solver with a clear tax reform plan, eagerly welcomed the victory.

“This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored,” Cain said after his win.

Most political analysts give him no chance of winning the nomination.

But Florida’s Republican Party had noted that since 1979 every winner of the Florida straw poll has gone on to become the party’s nominee. Senator John McCain won it in the 2008 cycle and defeated Romney to become the nominee.

"Pack your fudge for you, sir?"

As Scooby Doo might say, “R’uh-oh!”

Will the GOP really try to pull an Obama and make an African-American unknown their nominee? Hey, if all else fails,  send a Black guy to get rid of a Black guy.

Thing is they tried that once before in Illinois when the GOP recruited Alan “Carpetbagger” Keyes to knock off a young Democratic up-and-comer. That didn’t turn out so good.

Here’s what winning a straw polls means.  Nothing.  No delegates.  No states.  No nuthin’.  It’s just for bragging rights and ego strokes.

Because nobody really believes a pizza company CEO is going to be the Republican standard bearer next year.  Nobody.  The nice thing about Cain’s meaningless win is how it embarrasses Perry and Romney while emphasizing their considerable weaknesses as national candidates.

Despite the media’s desire to make it seem like the president doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning a second term, Obama was right when he said, “the odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.”

That’s true and Republican insiders know it.  This is why they continue to look for still more candidates to get in the race.  The hope is someone will turn to be The One to beat Obama.  They thought it might be Governor Goodhair, yet despite vaulting Mittens as the presumed front-runner, Perry has begun reminding everyone why the more there is to learn about him the less there is to like about him.

Somewhere in New Jersey, Chris Christie is brushing pizza crumbs off his shirt and picking up a desperately ringing phone as a near hysterical Karl Rove on the other end begs, “please, baby baby, PLEASE!”

It’s a mighty long way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and until someone emerges Obama is still poised to use and abuse any and all of these chumps.

Cain: "Hey baby. I heard you dig the sexual chocolate." Palin: "Duuuuuhhh."

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