I understand that former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, Herman Cain, is not the only prospective presidential candidate who appeals to tea partiers.  He is however, I believe, the only candidate who is the product of the Tea Party movement having been involved since its inception.

He also has a message that appeals to those who desire common sense solutions and limited government.  While I give former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) credit for coming to the rally and reaching out to the Tea Party;  it was pretty clear that it was Herman Cain who connected with the hundreds who attended the Des Moines Tea Party on Saturday.

It is in this venue he wears his “I’m not a politician” badge with pride… responding to people who question his lack of political experience by saying that people in Washington have political experience, “how’s that working for you?”

He also said that he has surpassed benchmarks that he had set earlier on and that an announcement of his formal candidacy is not months, but weeks away.

You can watch his speech below:

Photo by Dave Davidson

5 comments
  1. Sorry, but Mr. Cain was not involved in the tea party “since its inception.” The tea party movement began with a Ron Paul moneybomb on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party in 2007. Many protests/rallies were held in conjunction with the online donations playing off the tea party theme, often with people in boats tossing overboard barrels labeled with various government overreaches like “IRS”, “Patriot Act”, or “Federal Reserve.”

    In 2008, many of the same people came together to protest the TARP bailouts. Mr. Cain used his radio show to advocate for the bailouts and attack the protesters as “free-market extremists.” Cain naturally endorsed the pro-bailout team of McCain/Palin and loyally supported the Republican Party, as he’s always done. Ron Paul, of course, rejected Herman Cain’s appeals and voted against the bailouts.

    In 2009, the Libertarian Party of Illinois decided to give their annual tax day protest in Chicago a tea party theme, as an homage to Paul’s 2007 rallies. (Yes, I’m sure it will surprise the Republicans who read this to learn that there is a group of people who protest taxes every year, not only when Democrats hold power.) An Illinois Libertarian activist named Eric Odom somehow got in touch with Rick Santelli and invited him to the event. So when Santelli declared in his famous rant, “we’re having a tea party in Chicago. . .” he was referring to an actual event – the long-planned Libertarian protest to which he had been made aware of by Odom.

    With the spotlight now on this previously low-key tea party protest, Odom and others set about making it into a movement. Seeing an opportunity to piggy-back on a popular uprising, big-government Republicans tried to horn in on the event, particularly Micheal Steele, then RNC chairman. Wanting to focus on issues rather than blind, Herman Cain-style partisanship, Odom essentially told Steele to bugger off.

    As the movement grew from that one event, Republicans began to seep in more and more, until the current tea party movement became virtually indistinguishable from the Republican establishment that it was started to protest in 2007. Then along comes long-time party loyalists like Mr. Cain who can speak well enough to distract a certain amount of people from their previously held positions and assume for themselves the tea party label.

    Look, I’m sure Mr. Cain is a nice fellow, but his views that the government should be used to bailout private industry are simply wrong for the country, IMHO and have nothing to do with the origins of the tea party. In fact, Cain does have experience in politics, he served on the Federal Reserve board of governors during the 1990s when the idea of the “Greenspan Put” came into fashion. That was the idea that large corporations could feel safe engaging in risky financial practices because there was an unspoken agreement that the government would bail them out if their bets didn’t pan out. For awhile, feed by the loose and opaque monetary polices of Cain and the Fed, the economy seemed to grow. It wasn’t until 2008 that the bill came due, the housing bubble popped, and the economy collapsed. Of course, us “free-market extremists” (Cain’s term) in the tea party advocated for government to let the companies fail, suck it up and endure the short recession, and let better firms rise to take their place. Ultimately, however, Cain’s view won out, his beloved former employer rushed in, and the country was saddled with both a slow-growing economy and rising inflation brought about my excess liquidity pumped into the market.

    1. “Then along comes long-time party loyalists like Mr. Cain who can speak well enough to distract a certain amount of people from their previously held positions and assume for themselves the tea party label.” – Ouch.

      Great thesis, BTW. I hope somebody has the patience to read it.

    2. Can you cite your source? I looked up “Herman Cain” and “free market extremists,” and all I could find were disparaging comments on blogs. You’ve got a really passionate comment here, so I assume you have the sources to back up what you’ve written.

    3. Can you cite your source? I looked up “Herman Cain” and “free market extremists,” and all I could find were disparaging comments on blogs. You’ve got a really passionate comment here, so I assume you have the sources to back up what you’ve written.

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