Skip to comments.Who should lead - Cain as Peyton Manning or Isakson as Herschel Walker?
Posted on 06/22/2004 5:16:40 AM PDT by pdebuss
Cain flies high, but Isakson is well-grounded
Web posted Saturday, June 19, 2004 By Michael Ryan | Augusta Chronicle Editorial Page Editor If you vote in Georgia's July 20 Republican primary for U.S. Senate, you'll have to decide what kind of football coach you might be.
Do you want to win with the running game - or throw the bomb?
That's pretty much the difficult choice between candidates Johnny Isakson and Herman Cain.
ISAKSON, A three-term congressman from Georgia's 6th District, is the political equivalent of Herschel Walker: solid, dependable, light on his feet and a proven winner.
Cain, a political newcomer but a superstar in the business world, is the political equivalent of Peyton Manning: a still-rising talent unafraid of putting the ball in the air.
Also running to replace Sen. Zell Miller is another congressman, Mac Collins, six-term representative of the 8th District. Collins, too, is solid if understated. Yet, at a Columbia County GOP debate I participated in as a panelist June 12 at the Imperial Theatre, it was Isakson and Cain who stood out.
In very different ways.
Isakson has a commanding grasp of the issues and the day-to-day realities in Washington. His cool demeanor belies his passion, and his calm speaking delivery masks a depth of feeling and understanding.
We could not possibly go wrong with Isakson as one of our senators.
CAIN, ON THE other hand, appeals to the emotional side - the one that is looking for a long touchdown and running up the score.
This much is clear: Cain could be a national star on the political scene.
Besides his business acumen - as evidenced by his tenure as head of Godfather's Pizza as well as in other endeavors - Cain is a hard-charging, confident, articulate and flashy man. He embraces change, even radical change - such as scrapping the income tax in favor of a national sales tax, a great idea which is gaining a real head of steam.
And, as a black conservative, Herman Cain has the potential to be the toast of the town in Washington and a tour-de-force someday in national Republican politics.
I suspect that he will be - win or lose on July 20. The guy is that good.
CAIN WAS THE clear crowd favorite at the Imperial Theatre. Yet, as one of three journalists asking the candidates questions at the debate, I thought Isakson won the debate on points.
He sounded like a genetic engineer when talking about stem cell research. On the potential of military base closings, Cain supports delaying the process - but Isakson rightly notes that Georgia is at the ready to fight that battle now, and may have an advantage vis-a-vis other states. "I'm for being prepared, not for putting it off," he said.
I was particularly disappointed in Cain's failure to take my bait when I gave him an opportunity to prescribe sacrifices for the American people: He said the American people had already sacrificed enough, and it was time for Washington politicians to sacrifice a little.
The answer was undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser, but couldn't have been more wrong. The biggest problem in Washington is politicians who keep telling Americans they never have to make any difficult choices or sacrifice anything. That's why the nation's budget is so out of whack - and why there's a Medicare/Social Security train wreck down the tracks.
I WAS HOPING for more from a promising outsider. Going into the debate, I was a big fan; Cain is a most impressive man, and I see superstar potential in him. But I was deeply disappointed in Cain's pandering.
It made me realize we might need a statesman more than we crave a superstar.
At bottom, however, you can't meet these three men without having confidence in all of them.
After meeting them some months ago, I editorialized that what Georgia needs to do is simply ask the other states if we could just have two more senators. It's not a great lot to ask, after all -just two more. That way, we could have all three of these guys and Saxby Chambliss too.
Of course, that was tongue in cheek. But with a point.
With Isakson and Cain running, this is a rare election that will feature, rather than the lesser of two evils, the greater of two goods.
All you have to do is choose between Ground Isakson and Air Cain.
(Editor's note: The writer is editorial page editor of The Augusta Chronicle.)
--From the Sunday, June 20, 2004 printed edition of the Augusta Chronicle
Also telling is Mr. Ryan's attempt at baiting Mr. Cain about sacrifices and then failing to justify why Mr. Isakson is a better choice. Is Johnny a better choice because he *doesn't* think politicians need to sacrifice?
When the game's on the line, who'd you rather have on your team, Peyton or Herschel? I'm going with Peyton.
Odd...the favored of the Three Candidates by most Georgians, is Matt Collins, and not mention of him at all. Although, once again, Cain and Iskason have great presence in front of the voters.
True, Matt Collins is not mentioned, but Mac Collins, who's running #2 or #3 in the polls, is.
Or just stay home as more than 50% will do.
Actually, Collins is running third in the latest polls. I have seen a total of one Collins sign in my area and zero bumper stickers.
One telling sign: Cain is running pretty strong in Cobb, Isakson's home turf.
But, the choice is clear: one either picks a leader (Cain) or a perennial follower (Isakson or Collins).
Something else that people seem to overlook is that Isakson has never won a statewide election. I don't think he can this time, either, because of his historically pro-abortion stance. He may win the primary, but once the general election comes, he'll fail to pull votes from pro-life conservatives and doom himself to defeat against a solid Democrat base.
On the other hand, I believe Cain can pull people together with his vision for America, much like Reagan.
Something else: what motivated Isakson and Collins to run for this seat? Would they be running if Miller weren't retiring? I don't think so. Would Cain be? I think so.
I can not believe I said Matt Collins..hahaha...thanks for the gentle nudge.