All Articles Tagged "republican candidate"
By Jay Anderson
With Chris Christie and Sarah Palin wisely choosing to sit 2012 out, there aren’t many “colorful” candidates left vying for the chance to unseat President Obama next year. One exception, literally and figuratively, is former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain. Seemingly left for dead once Tea Party favorites Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry ascended the ranks, Cain has recently seen his poll position improve dramatically. A recent string of straw poll victories has Cain back in the game, trailing only perpetual snooze/frontrunner Mitt Romney in most reputable polls. Of course, given the topsy turvy nature of the race and his frequent bouts of verbal diarheaa, Cain could very easily be back in single digits next week. So what better time to review some of his most infamous statements? After all, nobody will care come January when he finishes 8th in New Hampshire, so why let a perfectly good slideshow go to waste? Shall we?
1. Black Folks Are “Brainwashed”
For a guy who has shouted “I left the Democratic plantation!” to adoring Tea Party crowds, Cain’s black folks “have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view” proclaimation during a CNN interview wasn’t exactly new news. In fact, it’s a pretty standard Black Republican talking point. What’s interesting is that Cain claimed he could salvage the “one-third to 50 percent of black Americans” who are open-minded. Yep, cause as we all know, insulting people’s intelligence is the best way to get them to vote for you.
It’s over. The ‘Big Texas’ wolf in sheep’s clothing has been revealed. Thanks to a report in the Washington Post, the world is now cognizant of the infamous “Niggerhead” rock entrance at the hunting grounds of Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s family.
How insane? Now picture the Perry family discharging firearms near a large rock with the racially-insensitive, derogatory term “Niggerhead” painted on it, and you have a PR nightmare for the ages. As expected, the Perry campaign is scrambling like cockroaches to alleviate the damages.
“A number of claims made in the story are incorrect, inconsistent and anonymous, including the implication that Rick Perry brought groups to the lease when the word on the rock was still visible,” said communications director Ray Sullivan who insists Perry’s family never owned the property.
“The one consistent fact in the story is that the word on a rock was painted over and obscured many years ago.” According to Perry, as soon as his family began leasing the property, his father showed his disgust by painting over the word nearly thirty years ago.
However, several witnesses claim the racial slur was highly visible throughout the 1980s and as recently as this summer. Presidential candidate Herman Cain, whose arguably Perry’s stiffest competition for the Republican nomination, blasted his fellow party member by calling him “insensitive” for failing to step up to handle the matter.
“There isn’t a more vile, negative word than the ‘n word,’ and for him to leave it there as long as they did is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country,” said Cain during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” As far as I’m concerned, Perry should drop out the race. During a time when black unemployment has eclipsed 16 percent, the last thing we need is a prejudiced bigot occupying the White House.
Yes, Perry has appointed minorities to the upper reaches of government. Just keep in mind, good crooks often have alibis. Meaning? It’s certainly not uncommon for bigots to surround themselves with people of opposite color as a measure of racial insurance.
It took me some time to accept the idea that there really is such a thing as a black Republican. I don’t know when it happened, but I imagine it occurred around the time when the Jay-Z/Nas collab song, “Black Republican”, dropped. The song, though mostly tongue and check, made the possibility of a black republican in today’s political climate less laughable. Perhaps a black Republican is just the flip side of the same political principle coin, in which some blacks believe that racial justice and equality could be achieved through the political process.
I try to keep this theory in mind as I try to rationalize the existence of Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather Pizza and current Republican/Tea Party endorsed candidate for president. Cain’s campaign has been making a lot of headlines lately for his “frank,” yet sometimes oddball talk about race and politics. When he is not keeping “it real” by declaring the absence of racism in the Tea Party, he is wowing mostly white middle class audiences with his platform on issues such as eradicating all Muslims from the federal government. Some of the things he says borders on the line of being a live action version of Uncle Ruckus, the cartoon character from the television show, “The Boondocks.”
Although Cain has never served in elected office, he is the fifth favorite in a recent Republican poll, and was declared the projected winner of the recent GOP presidential debate. Not bad for a candidate whose greatest claim to fame is pizza dough. As pointed out by the New York Times, Cain’s ‘positive intensity’ rating, as measured by Gallup, places him in the same field as Romney and Huckabee. This means, assuming his name recognition grows, he may very well start to gain momentum.
Does this mean that we should take his candidacy seriously?
As people of color, our political perspective is just as complex and diverse as our hue. Though many of us do identify with the Democratic Party, there are some of us who are independents, conservatives or – gasp – do not bother to vote at all. This is why it wouldn’t be fair to outright dismiss Cain’s candidacy as just another race traitor lackey for the conservatives, because in an unusual way, many black Republicans feel that they are too addressing issues related to racial inequality and social standing in society, even though their approach to addressing these issues are different. Whereas black Democrats believe that the government is responsible for social issues, and as such, must be the guiding force for change, black conservative argue that economics, along with behavioral pathologies, such as abortion and drug addiction—not so much racism—are the root of current inequalities and that the greatest equalizer is the free market system.
Cain’s candidacy seems to perfectly tap into the frustration that many blacks feel about today’s political landscape. Unlike his ABC (American Black Conservative) predecessor Michael Steele, Cain uses his racial identity to not only win over votes, but to speak directly to the black community.When Cain makes racially charged declarations such as, “the media was scared that a real black man was running,” it echoed, in a sense, similar sentiments that we’ve recently heard from many black pundits and politicians who have been critical of President Obama, including Dr. Cornel West, who, a couple of weeks ago, made statements challenging Obama’s “blackness.”
But sometimes, Cain’s tactics are a little over the top; for instance, during his 2004 Georgia Senate bid when he used stereotypical language and imagery in a radio ad to urge black voters to support Republicans. Essentially, his core message appeals to the conservative nature of the African American community, particularly on social issues. Cain is not the first candidate on either side of the political aisle to use race or stereotypical imagery for the purpose of swaying black voters. In the mid-term election, the Democratic National Committee waged a multi-million dollar advertising campaign, which included the use of civil rights leaders in an effort to reach out to African American voters.
So does this mean that we should view Cain’s candidacy as a threat to President Obama? Herman Cain doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the white house, let alone the nomination. I’m not saying that I agree with his candidacy, but at this point, I don’t agree with either side of the political spectrum. But why should we feel like the Democrat Party are the only ones worthy of being taking seriously – especially when in my politically Independent mind, neither party has the best track record of developing and fostering a black political agenda?
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
If Sarah Palin were a sexually transmitted disease, she would be herpes. Not that I think she is a nasty, scabby wart that comes with a reoccurring itch, but just like the STD, just when you think Palin is gone, here she comes again to seriously mess up your day.
That may sound a bit extreme – and graphic – but so is the attention this woman has gotten from the mainstream press. Point blank—the media is mind-numbingly, compulsively obsessed with this woman. More often than not, this circus surrounding Palin goes beyond inflammatory and lands squarely on absurd. On one hand, those within the so-called liberal media declare that Palin has no credibility, but then on the other hand, they go to great lengths to share with us, the unwilling viewers, every mundane moment of the Palin clan’s existence.
This is no exaggeration—at last count, Yahoo News has printed 972 Palin stories, The New York Times weighs in at 696 articles and CNN outdoes them both with a whopping 3,032 entries on Palin alone. Damn, that’s a lot articles about the latest on what Palin tweeted.
It’s been more than three years since Palin was Sen. John McCain’s vice-presidential candidate. It has been reported that McCain may have met Palin only twice during the campaign season—once in February of 2008 at the governors’ convention in Washington the day before he selected her as his running mate; and a second time at his Arizona ranch on Aug. 28 just four days before the GOP convention.
No one knows for sure why McCain chose Palin as his VP nominee other than to play Vanna White to his public persona as a tough-as-nails maverick and American war hero. At first, Palin was good comic relief. Between her core value cheat sheet—which had been scribbled on her hand—the gaffe about North Korea being our allies and the made up words, Palin was like George Bush, but in a skirt and lipstick.
But after a while, the jokes tend to run their course and it’s time to move on to more important matters. Yet, the hysteria surrounding Palin in the press has not settled down and is on par with the Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan mania we have been experiencing for months. Despite questions about her intelligence and capability to be taken serious as a political figure, we the viewers are still treated to daily news stories about whether or not she is going to run for office. Why is that?
Some could argue that Palin is a populist political figure that is transforming the political landscape. For example, her direct influence has contributed to moderate republicans loosing elections in favor of Palin-endorsed Tea Party candidates such as Allen West. However, her favorable polling numbers are only around 28 percent, suggesting that her support among conservatives may have peaked a while ago.
In my opinion, there is something highly sexual about this entire Palin-phenomenon. She is similar to the Kristy Snow of politics—a pretty woman that says mindless Shyte from time to time, but she looks good in an American flag draped two-piece bikini. Those within the media may mildly chastise her sometimes, but all she has to do is flirtatiously bat her eyes – or in this case, give that trademark wink – and out comes a big puddle of muddled news stories, while reporters drool over – and wait to print – the next dumb thing she says or does.
Whether we like it or not, it’s Palin’s world and we are just the fat plain Janes politically cock-blocking her way to the top. Even Palin is wise to the game—in one moment she is coyly pondering why the press seems so “infatuated” by her, yet in the next moment, she is daring the press to “catch me if you can.” This abnormal relationship between Palin and the press certainly gives new meaning to the term “media Slore,” in which the media acts like a trick willing to pay Palin for a few moments of sensation, and like any prostitute transaction, it’s a win-win situation for both parties. Unfortunately, it’s the rest of us who must consistently deal with the reoccurring itch.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
Here’s an ancient rule: if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. Apparently, Donald Trump has no problem dishing out his extreme theories and inappropriate comments, but he can’t handle being called out and criticized for his actions.
Reuters reports that during an event in Nashua, NH for the Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Trump admitted that it wasn’t so fun being on the receiving end of jokes and ridicule.
“Nobody said it was going to be easy, but I had no idea I would get hammered in the way I’ve been hammered the past few weeks,” he said, referring to the April 30 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, during which President Obama and comedian Seth Meyers mocked the real estate mogul mercilessly as he sat in the audience.
Since Obama released his birth certificate to confirm his citizenship, surveys reveal that Trump has been slipping in popularity. Public Policy Polling, which in April showed Trump leading the Republican field with 26 percent support, this week showed him with just 8 percent support, according to Reuters.
Interestingly, even Republicans have been taken shots at Trump.
Despite all the backlash he’s been receiving, Trump said he is still flirting with the idea of running for president.