(pic at the right is from after Mr. Cain’s speech)
Thanks to the front desk at the Cincinnati Marriott North in West Chester for providing the Internet passcode, and to State of Ohio Blogger Alliance chief coordinator Matt Hurley at Weapons of Mass Discussion for forwarding the invitation which originated with the Butler County GOP. And here we go.
8:45 a.m. — After a harrowing 25-minute trip through construction sites, two-lane roads, and pathetic drivers, I’m here.
The event is supposed to start at 9:00. The seats are half-full, and there are probably 15-20 media members here with easily a half-dozen professional tripods set up.
If there’s Secret Service around, I don’t see ‘em (of course that may be the point). It was quite uneventful getting into the room. They did have bag-sniffing dogs engaged before one could enter the room.
About 2/3 of the seats have Cain 2012 mini-posters (probably 13″ x 19″).
8:52 a.m. — I’m reading that ADP said there were 206K private-sector jobs added in October. Not bad; it only needs to be repeated about 35 more times.
8:55 a.m. — A person named “Joe LaRue” announces that there will be petitions which will need to be signed for Ohio GOP delegates and alternate delegates. This would not be the step of someone who intends to withdraw.
8:56 a.m. — Chairs are about 90% occupied. Some people standing around who aren’t media. Crowd is probably about 150-200, which I guess isn’t bad considering that as far as I know the appearance wasn’t made known until sometime yesterday.
9:02 a.m. — Still waiting. The invite said that the event would last until about 10; if so, time is truly wastin’, as they say.
9:05 a.m. — During the wait, they’re bringing around clipboards for Hamilton, Warren, and Butler Counties. I signed the related petitions for Warren County. The petitions are to qualify delegates to be able to vote for Mr. Cain at the convention, and for alternates in case the original person chosen isn’t able to perform their duties (sounds like a Miss America riff, doesn’t it?).
9:10 a.m. — The room is basically full. A quick eyeball perusal indicates maybe 175 folks in total.
9:11 a.m. — Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” blares over the loudspeakers.
9:15 a.m. — “Amy” introduces a gentleman who does the Pledge of Allegiance and the “Whom Shall I Fear?” psalm, followed by another gentlemen who leads the crowd through the Star-Spangled Banner.
9:18 a.m. — A roughly 7-minute presentation ensues explaining the current onerous, PITA tax system and advocating Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Cartoony, nicedly-injected humor, and pretty well-done overall. In fact, I will need to find that video. Update: It’s here.
9:24 a.m. — Butler Co. GOP Chairman comes up to introduce Mr. Cain. Butler Co. is “unabashed, unashamed” home of conservatism. Says Mr. Cain is “far different from the community organizer who occupies the White House.”
9:26 a.m. — Cain’s speech (bolds are obviously mine):
- “You are the real patriots.”
- “The spirit of America is alive and well.”
- “We have gotten thru tough times b/c of the people.”
- “the American Dream is under attack, but the good news is we can take it back.”
- “We have become a nation of crises … biggest crisis we have is a severe deficiency of leadership in the White House.”
- “We have to fix our mess.”
- “Too many of them, their priorities are to get reelected and to surround themselves with special rules.”
– “Are you better off today …. do I have to finish the sentence?”
– “the way we fix these messes is with bold solutions.”
- Says national security, the economy, and energy are the top three priorities.
– National security philosophy — “Peace through strength and clarilty.” “Our mission is peace around the world.” “our strategy for achieving peace is strength” — military, economic, moral.
– Two things get respect: military might and strength of economy.
- Criticizes Santorum for saying that “we must make Pakistan our friend.” Cain says no, we have to get their respect, whether or not they’re our friend.
- “Stop giving money to our enemies and stand by our friends like Israel.”
- “This economy is on life support … and two aspirin and a speech in the morning won’t solve it.”
– “Engine of economic growth is the business sector, not the government.”
- “My ideas are bold … because I’m not a politician.” proposing ideas that “will fix the problem.”
- “Throw out the current tax code.” Replace it “with a bold 9-9-9 plan.” TheCainSolution.com. Simple, transparent, efficient. We spend $430 billion per year to comply with and complete forms relating to the tax code.
- Political class doesn’t like 9-9-9 because you understand it and like it. … “If you understand it, you will demand it.”
– “America is an exceptional nation because of the free-market system.” “The countries that hate us hate us because we are exceptional.”
– “We must lead the world in economic growth.”
– “We have the natural resources in the United States of America to become energy-independent and we will become energy-independent” in a Cain administration.
– DC skeptics say you can’t do that. Cain says, “Yes we can, because I will be President.”
- “In a Cain administration, the EPA is going to have an attitude adjustment, along with every other agency in DC.”
- “The United Nations is going to have an attitude adjustment.” “I have consulted with several former UN ambassadors and several former SOS’s.”
– “I will protect the sovereignty of the United States of America.”
- How many years to become totally energy-independent? Nine.
- Fixing the mess “starts with you, we the people, making a choice.”
- “Do you want a president who will be a president of the people, by the people, and for the people?”
“I have been attacked not because I have bad ideas … they’re attacking my character, my reputation and my name in order to try to bring me down.”
“I don’t believe that America is going to let that happen. … We the people are still in charge of the country.”
“My challenge to you:
1. Stay informed. … because, you see, stupid people are running America. … I didn’t go to political correctness school.” “Those who are informed have to outvote them.” “Kick it up a notch.” “I don’t like this national bad attitude that’s going across this country.
2. Stay involved.
3. Stay inspired. “They don’t want you to believe that you can do this.” They’ve been telling me I can’t win since May 21.
Some of them predicted this room would be empty today (there basically are no empty seats). “The people and not the media will elect the next nominee for president” (audience gives standing O).
“Message is more powerful than money.” “Connect with the people, and tell ‘em what you stand for.”
“My journey started in 1999. Happens to be 1-9-9-9 (just sayin’), when my first granddaughter was born. … When I looked into her face, my first thought was … what do I do to make this a better nation and a better world?” “But I didn’t know the answer.”
“As my life unfolded, it unfolded to this decision. … This isn’t something you do on a whim. … When I got my answer, I didn’t look back.”
“This isn’t about us. … I was on my way to cruise control before the country got messed up. … it’s about them.”
(Introduces niece Nicole and her baby.)
“Ronald Reagan knew how to make sure we were working on the right problem.”
“Ronald Reagan understood peace through strength and clarity.”
“The shining city on a hill has slid down the side of the hill … we can move the USA back to the top of the hill where it belongs, and as President I will never apologize for the greatness of the United States of America.”