Second, a good politician needs to know how to unify the nation and even, dare I say it, compromise with the opposition. Politics is at its heart the art of compromise. Nothing more, nothing less. The trick is knowing when to compromise and on what. Obama has shown little ability in this area. His radical legislative proposals – including massive stimulus spending and constitutionally doubtful health-care legislation – have helped charge Washington with an air of hostility and rancor on a scale rarely seen. This is not good politics. And it’s not good compromise.
And love it or hate it, Cain’s 9-9-9 plan won’t foster the spirit of compromise either. It is just too radical – Obama-style radical. Even if you think this plan is brilliant, which I don’t, you can’t escape the fact that it would turn Washington into a war zone if it were presented to Congress as a serious legislative proposal. Cain’s campaigning on such a divisive platform (even conservatives can’t agree on whether or not the 9-9-9 plan is a good thing) has shown me that he will likely promote further division and will therefore accomplish very little. He will be yet another polarizing influence contributing to the deadlock that currently paralyzes Washington.
Finally, I find it worrisome that Cain’s campaign is largely marketing driven instead of issues oriented – just like Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. “Hope and change,” Obama delivered with a smile, and America swooned. What kind of change, nobody bothered to ask. It sounded so wonderful, it had to be right. Well, as many Americans have now seen, this wasn’t quite the case.