Thursday evening I had the opportunity to sit in on the blogger’s conference call for potential presidential candidate Herman Cain, who was in New Hampshire engaging in what he termed “retail politics”.
The call began with his Communications Director Ellen Carmichael informing us that, including the Tax Day Tea Party rallies he had attended, Mr. Cain had made 12 speeches, in 10 states, in 8 days.
In addition she let us know that Cain had won the Presidential Straw Poll held during Congressman Steve King’s Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines, Iowa back on March 26th.
Ms. Carmichael concluded her introduction by telling us that Mr. Cain had been featured on ‘Special Report w/Brett Baer’ earlier in the evening on Fox News Channel and that his “mainstream media star was rising”.
Then the potential candidate himself made his opening remarks, telling those on the line that in his travels around the nation he was getting a very positive response to his message and that he was not simply making speeches and talking to people, but also listening to the people.
What he said he’s hearing is that the American people are frustrated with the lack of leadership they’re seeing from the current occupant of the White House. In particular the frustration with the lack of leadership from the administration on a subject that affects every American, everyday, the price of gas.
He was asked many questions about how bloggers could help get his message out. One blogger asked if he could be sure to get at least one Tweet out per day, which he said he would do. Apparently since the profile on ‘Special Report’ his Twitter following has increased significantly. As of 11:50 PM, April 29th his followers on @THEHermanCain numbered 22,445.
Asked what his message to the youth of America was he said, “Don’t stay on the sidelines because when you become a productive adult, there may not be any sidelines.”
When my turn came I asked Mr. Cain about specific federal departments he would eliminate to cut the budget. He didn’t want to get too specific, saying that he’d like to do a detailed assessment of all the cabinet departments to identify which ones needed improvement or elimination.
Not completely satisfied with that answer I asked him more specifically about two cabinet level departments created under the Carter Administration, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education and I asked him whether either of them had achieved the purposes they were intended to.
To his credit Mr. Cain chose to address the two departments individually, saying of the Department of Education that he’d like to “unbundle it”. He went on to say that any program he identified that had unfunded mandates would be “unraveled” or he would “disband it”. He also said he would ask the States what was working and what wasn’t. I would characterize him as wanting to use a scalpel rather than a chainsaw on the department.
In terms of the Department of Energy, he addressed the EPA. He called the EPA “the most abusive agency in Washington, DC, hindering our economic growth, second only to the IRS”.
He also said that, “We have gone regulatory crazy”. And that he would appoint a regulatory reduction commission to address the EPA, IRS, the Department of Labor and the Department of Commerce.
He closed out the call by thanking the bloggers “for being patriots” and ended the call by saying “It’s not about us, it’s about the grandchildren”.