I'd like to hear folks here at Ricochet react to Byron York's interesting piece on Herman Cain's straw poll victory in Florida. In particular, the following dynamic that York highlights provides an almost ideal context in which to discuss what 'electability' amounts to:
- Cain is unelectable, so I won't vote for him.
- Wow, Perry blew it.
- Cain's speech was brilliant. (Don't dare compare this to President Obama. The difference between rhetoric and empty rhetoric is categorical. The former moves one to a particular point of view; the latter excites enthusiasm about nothing in particular.)
- I don't care if he's unelectable, I'm voting for Cain.
- Cain wins; most are happy.
- Republican commentariat spins it as a win for Chris Christie, express desire to get rid of straw polls, &c.
Of course, straw polls can be meaningless. This one isn't. Cain will now get much more media attention, at least for a few days. And one of the obstacles in the way of electability is, after all, lack of media exposure. Another obstacle that many will argue is insurmountable is lack of political experience. Cain's response is one that in these days of Tea Party influence proves effective with a noteworthy lot: how's that whole electing experienced politicians working out for you so far?
I'd elect Cain in a heartbeat. While I'm still young enough to at times maintain a two-fisted grasp on naivete, I'm at least wise enough to consider the wisdom of others. Is there anything that makes Cain matter-of-fact unelectable? Or is it possible that the national electorate could mirror the evolution of the Florida straw poll delegates without that being a gross error?