The Corner

Herman Cain’s Performance

For a couple weeks I’ve been hearing from people that I have to take a fresh look at Herman Cain.  I was happy to do so.  I watched his appearance on Fox News Sunday.  From his answers on the budget and flat tax to his clearly flummoxed response on the Palestinian “right of return,” I have to say I was underwhelmed.

Update: As I expected, Herman Cain supporters are emailing me asking me to give him a “fair chance.” I am at a loss as to how I’m not. If he did great, I would say he did great. But he didn’t.  Here’s PresterJohn in the comments:

Yes, let’s just toss him overboard based on one interview. Instead, let’s listen to the establishment GOPers dazzle us with their brilliance as they say absolutely nothing as to not offend the Washington Post or New York Times editorial boards.

When did I say he should be tossed overboard based on this one interview? More important, my objections to his performance have nothing to do with his ability to appease the editorial boards at the Post or the Times. If a candidate you didn’t like — or didn’t know well — had given this performance, what would you think of it? Not much, I’d bet.

I don’t think he should be thrown out of anything. All I’m saying is that if he wants to convert the as of yet unconverted, he needs to do better. That’s as fair an appraisal as I can muster.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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