Friday, October 7, 2011

A No from Christie, Cain Surges, Romney in the Lead?

Last week, your wonderful (not to mention humble) blogger, while ruminating on the prospects of a Christie entrance into the Repub primary season, made the NJ governor the focus of a blog post.  Earlier this week, as we inched closer and closer to the filing deadline, we received an answer: a definitive "no."  The rotund governor had decided against entering the race.

I will not rehash some of the obstacles that Christie would have faced if he had decided to enter the race; but feel free to read my blog post on the subject!

The media's attention had been fixed on Christie and his impending announcement.  Certain outlets mentioned how both Perry and Romney (the so-called "front runners") had disappointed the Repub base and that the base was looking for a redeemer--I selected that word for an obvious and sarcastic reason.  Christie had the credentials to mount a significant challenge but decided against launching a campaigning crusade.

With Christie as a non-issue, where does that leave the Repub field?  The Christian Science Monitor, earlier this week, asked this question in a different way: "Who Wins Chris Christie's Campaign Donors: Mitt Romney or Rick Perry?"  It's a fascinating question and one that is, perhaps, the most worthy of investigation.

Rick Perry reported $17 million in donations during quarter three, as compared to Romney's $13 million.    In quarter two, however, Romney registered an impressive $18 million.  Translated, Perry and Romney have war chests roughly equal.  The major Repub donors uncommitted remain prime audiences for the two media recognized "front runners."

This week, Romney secured a not-so-small victory; Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, has announced that he is now backing Mitt Romney.  To be sure, Langone brings deep pockets and some friends who have significant net worth themselves.

Meanwhile, ran an article on Friday discussing Cain's apparent surge in popularity.  The former pizza guy and head of the Kansas City FED has proposed overhauling the entire tax system and replacing it with his so-called "9-9-9 plan."  According to the authors of this FT article, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and James Politi, it is Cain's "9-9-9 plan" that is "attracting voters' attention."  I am confident that his plan has sparked an interest, but I am reluctant to affix complete credit to the plan.  But, then again, who cannot find interest in the statement "Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery."?  This gem was included in a Cain campaign ad from last month.

While we are on the topic of tax and tax reform, why not talk about Ron Paul's proposal?  Abolish the IRS and repeal the tax code!  While we are at it, we might also want to repeal the 16th amendment!  A little revolutionary sentiment is good from time to time.

The FT article observes that Romney remains in the lead and that the Cain surge may be temporary.  After all, Cain does lack "a serious fundraising base" (to quote the article's authors).  And how much money has Romney raised?  And Perry?

Cain is a maverick of sorts and what is a maverick to do?

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