Cain is a brilliant businessman. Trust me; I know him well. What he lacks in knowledge of government he more than makes up for in business acumen. He could easily damage most of his fellow GOP contenders with one simple question: “Tell me, what is a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet?” Save Mitt Romney, most would muddle their way through an answer.
Gingrich knows more about government — and in particular how to force a leaning-liberal president to accept concepts such as a balanced budget — than all of the candidates put together. When Rep. Michele Bachmann talks about her “experience” with dealing with liberal Democrats, those in the know cringe. Try shutting down a government, being called the “Grinch” and becoming the “Dr. Evil” of your party, as did Gingrich, just to force a president to balance the budget and end outrageous spending.
Oh, yes, this thing is as rigged as it can be. Cain is the guy with personality and huge business experience, and Gingrich is the only candidate to have served in a position in which he was two heartbeats away from the presidency. Cain called Gingrich “brilliant” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Gingrich has nothing but glowing words for Cain.
Why did both of these candidates serve as either a guest or a substitute talk show host for Neal Boortz on his nationally acclaimed radio show based out of WSB in Atlanta? Do you think they might have the same general philosophy as Boortz, who in turn is close friends with another conservative icon, Fox News’ Sean Hannity? The answer is yes.
Think about their campaign strategies. Both Cain and Gingrich have been relying heavily on the political debates to lift their positions in the GOP race. Neither has a crack, well-paid staff. Yet Cain now leads in polls, including the most recent Newsmax/InsiderAdvantage national survey. And Gingrich very quietly has received the endorsements of at least three major tea party organizations in the past week.
Both Cain and Gingrich are putting to good use in their campaigns their most recent books — and, in Gingrich’s case, DVD — and doing so in ways that do not violate campaign laws. Some foolish pundits claim this a reason to discount the serious nature of their candidacies. Do they not remember Jimmy Carter’s book “Why Not the Best?” — promoted during his successful race in 1976?
One of two things will likely happen as this race develops. Either Cain will continue to rise and, in the process, disabuse the racist elite press of its mistaken notion that a black Republican is not a viable candidate or Cain will start to drop, leaving Gingrich as the last person with a chance to challenge Romney.
Understand that Romney is the only candidate so far not to be damaged by Cain’s meteoric rise or Gingrich’s slow ascension. Romney remains the best-organized and strongest overall candidate in this contest. No question about that.
But make no mistake, either, that blood is thicker than water. Gingrich and Cain are from not only the same region of the nation but also the same political school of thought. And like the great horse Secretariat, neither minds sitting behind the front-runners in order to make a mad, late dash for a win. (Gingrich in recent days has finished in second place in GOP presidential polls in four states.)
Time will tell what happens, but trust me on what I know: These two “Georgia boys” are taking the GOP to an old-fashioned woodshed. If you thought 1994 was something, just wait until they get through forcing Republicans to start another revolution.
Matt Towery of Atlanta is author of the book “Paranoid Nation: The Real Story of the 2008 Fight for the Presidency.” He heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage.