I'll admit to a bit of bias when it comes to Herman Cain (who doesn't when it comes to politics) but I'm quite willing to defend my conclusions, so feel free to challenge any of my points. My first contact with Herman Cain was when he made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in 2004 for the Senate - finishing second. I was impressed enough with him at that point in time that although I was unable to vote in the primary (I was still too young to vote) I did convince my parents to vote for him.
Fast forward to the present. He is the only candidate who has never held a political office, although to say that he is new to politics would not be correct. He is a no-nonsense problem solver and best of all sounds good while talking about those solutions. I think his normally radical sounding reforms hit the right cords for the current environment which is desperate for a leader who will take charge of our out of shape government.
So yes, I am endorsing Herman Cain for the Republican nomination. I've taken a look at the other candidates, and while I like parts of all of them, I also dislike parts, and the one that I think has the best overall economic plan is Herman Cain. His tax reform plan would really get our economy roaring, imagine how many companies would bring their production and capital back to the US if they knew it would only be taxed at 9%? If you have watched any of the debates you will see a whole lot of back and forth from the "front runners" but you will rarely hear substantial plans for exactly how they will bring forth what they are talking about. Herman Cain almost always follows up his opposition to something Obama does with a solution to replace it. Social Security is a good example, he would do something like the Chilean Government has done to make it solvent. (The link is weird because the actual blog no longer exists, however it is a good explanation of what Cain is talking about.) The current social 'insecuity' system is doomed for failure. Perry had it right, it is technically a ponzi scheme because it depends upon current payers taking care of current receivers. There is no trust fund where your cash is being held for retirement. Everything you are paying into the system now is being spent and being replaced with IOU's.
So, what are my major problems with the other candidates? I'll give a brief overview, I might follow up in more detail later as I see fit.
Romney. He continues to defend Romneycare to this day, despite it's obvious connections to more and more unpopular Obamacare. I understand that it was at the state level and not the federal, which makes the constitutional question much more difficult to answer, but on principle we have the same problem, Government becomes the answer, personal and local (community) responsibility gets taken out of the picture.
Perry. My main issue with him is the Guardisil controversy. Claims of crony capitalism aside, the main thing this reveals about Rick Perry is that he is not afraid to use the power of government to mandate something that he believes is for the greater good. This clashes with a small government view that says that individuals should take responsibility for these things for themselves. It makes me wonder what else he would be okay with mandating if he saw something that he thought needed fixing.
Bachmann. She did awesome in Iowa, and she absolutely flopped in Florida. Going from first to last is a big deal, even if she didn't put energy into the Florida straw poll (neither did Romney who grabbed third place). So what's my problem with her? I don't necessarily disagree with her ideologically, in fact she's one of the best defenders of her beliefs I've ever seen. My main issue is elect-ability and leadership ability. I know that she's taken the lead on a lot of issues in the House of representatives, but I've also seen a lack of judgment in where she focuses her time and energy. She could make a great VP candidate.
Ron Paul. Do I need to say anything other than Iran? Anyone who is okay with the country that wants to wipe Israel off the map having a nuclear weapon is automatically off my support list (although he would make a great economic adviser...).
Rick Santorum. I don't really have a major problem with the guy, although I've not seen any great reason to support him either. He might make a good VP, especially considering that he could help bring Pennsylvania into the red.
Huntsman. This guy is a true 'moderate' republican. He has a attacked the other candidates as being too conservative, and is putting himself as the middle of the road guy. My comment, we tried this already, his name was McCain and it was a disaster. We need someone who is committed to getting government off our backs so we can swing this economy around.
Last but not least, Gingrich. I'm not really sure what to do with this guy. He has the most national political experience of any of the candidates - and let's be honest, sounds really good up there on that stage in the debates... So why isn't he dong better in the polls? My guess is because he still comes off as too much of a politician, too much of a philosopher, and not enough of a simple problem solver, which is what America wants right now. He still has a chance at winning, but I'm not sure how exactly that would work right now.
So - to cap this off, do I think Herman Cain could win? Yes and yes. He can win the primary by staying on message, being creative in how he gets that message out, and hoping for Perry or Romney to have a major fall from grace (this might already be happening). He needs to get the Tea Party on his side instead of Bachmann's as well.
As far as the general election goes, I think just about any non crazy republican has a decent chance of beating Obama, especially in the current economy. But still, think of how delicious it would be to have a Cain/Obama debate. Seriously, anyone who still considers American to be a racist country would have a hard time of it when BOTH parties put up black candidates. Herman Cain is perfecting his debating and sound bite abilities, and I think he could give Obama a real challenge. Here is a nice little opinion piece that I think sums up Cain's appeal nicely.