By Alex Brown, Editor in Chief
Murmurs spread through the Jackson crowd Oct. 14 when a generator failure knocked out the speakers amplifying Herman Cain’s stump speech.
The Republican presidential hopeful waited for his staffers to restore power, then recaptured the crowd’s attention as he launched into “The Impossible Dream” — a song political pundits might consider a fitting anthem for Cain’s long-shot campaign.
“When it’s your rally, you can do what you want to do,” Cain said as the crowd cheered its approval.
Cain, to the surprise of many, has found himself near the top of the GOP field in recent polls due in part to a catchy tax plan that has supporters touting its simplicity and opponents questioning its feasibility. The Georgia businessman’s trademark “9-9-9” plan would eliminate the current tax system and implement a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent corporate income tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.
The plan has been a hot topic at recent GOP debates, and Cain’s rivals have questioned its fairness, effectiveness and likelihood of being passed by Congress.
“The bull’s-eye on your back gets bigger (when you move up in the polls),” Cain said.
The “9-9-9” plan — which Cain hopes to implement within the first 90 days of his administration — will generate 6 million jobs, Cain claimed, because it is “simple, transparent, efficient (and) fair. … Everybody gets treated the same — no loopholes for anybody.”
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO told the crowd his business experience is what the country needs to get out of its economic crisis, and while he is lagging behind the more established frontrunners in fundraising, he has equaled them in the polls while running a debt-free campaign.
“No debt. What a novel idea,” Cain said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who says in the State of the Union address, ‘For the next fiscal year, no debt.’ That’s the kind of president I want to be.”
Later in the rally, Cain took a shot at Obama as he advocated Second Amendment rights.
“I kind of like my guns and Bible,” Cain said, drawing a roar from those assembled.
As he wrapped up the rally, Cain compared his improbable candidacy to a bumblebee, which flies despite an aerodynamic structure that scientists say should not support flight.
“There’s only one reason the bumblebee flies,” Cain said. “He didn’t get the memo that said he can’t fly. I didn’t get the memo that I can’t be president. I believe I’m going to be your next president.”