Mark Baisley
Chris Christie just got a new reason to sit this one out: Herman Cain.

The New York Post is reporting that influential Republicans have convinced the New Jersey Governor to give renewed consideration to running for the White House.  As of Saturday, however, the nominating process is no longer predictably insipid.

It is common practice for party patrons to attempt to engineer victory by convincing a marquis name to run for office when they perceive a weak field.  And once the pace has been established in the big races, candidates who believe they can run even faster frequently accept the encouragement to jump in mid-course.  But the 2012 election does not seem to be following the usual route.

While Rick Perry and Mitt Romney were busy engaging each other in a falling eaglet flight fight, Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll.  He won big -- really big.  Cain’s 37% of the vote nearly equalled the next three candidate totals combined.  Perry took a distant second place with 15% and Romney is third with 14%.

Citing thirty-two years of history, Florida Governor Rick Scott predicted, “I believe whoever wins this straw poll on Saturday will be the Republican nominee and I believe the Republican nominee will be the next President.”

Is there any credibility in the candidacy of the former Godfather Pizza CEO?  He has no election experience and the words “Washington” and “Governor” do not appear on his resume.  GOP nominee Herman Cain may be a credible notion if we consider not only the competition, but the national mood.

The prevailing view among conservatives is that Jimmy Carter not only conducted the worst presidency since Woodrow Wilson, but he also got the nation good and ready to embrace the inspirational wisdom of Ronald Reagan.  Based on that reaction, Barack Obama is winding up our springs for a catapult to the right, beyond any safe and traditional talk from so called “first tier” candidates.  Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan may have just the right amount of revolutionary flavor to match American’s urgency for tax reform.

I only began to give Mr. Cain due consideration after seeing his very effective performance in the most recent debate.  Wondering whether he has mettle beyond that of a successful businessman, I researched Cain’s resume.  The guy is no lightweight, folks; Bachelors in mathematics, Masters in Computer Science from Purdue, ballistics specialist for the United States Navy, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and author of four books on leadership.  He also contributes his talents at his church near Atlanta.

I appreciated Mitt Romney’s humble statement near the end of Thursday’s debate, “There’s a lot of reasons not to elect me.”  That certainly seems to apply to most candidates (with the longest list of reasons racked up by President Obama himself).  But I am no longer dismissive of the idea of President Cain.  Much the contrary.  The Florida straw poll was validating.

Mark Baisley

Mark Baisley is a security and intelligence professional