- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writer Seth McLaughlin, in the story on GOP presidential candidates (“In N.H., ambivalence on Romney,” Page 1, Monday), mentions most of the possible Republican presidential candidates - except for Herman Cain.

This is despite the recent Rasmussen poll that put Mr. Cain in fifth place at 4 percent (with the next highest at 1 percent), as well as the recent debate in South Carolina where the Fox News focus group favored Mr. Cain. Why do politicians, pundits and journalists of almost all leanings ignore him? Is it because Mr. Cain isn’t a political insider?

The self-interest of most politicians and journalists is the preservation of the current political system in which their experience, knowledge and connections give them added value. If Herman Cain wins, they all lose stature and thus, earning potential.

It reminds me of a young man I interviewed for a job almost 20 years ago. He had just finished a degree in Soviet studies, the system guaranteed to never change, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist. At least he realized he needed to look elsewhere for a job, so he began applying for an information technology position.

Fortunately, the only people whose opinions really count in the election are the voters and they really like Mr. Cain because he does not play the politics-as-usual game. A large part of the Tea Party movement is motivated by an anti-politics-as-usual sentiment. The rules are changing and it’s time the politicians, pundits and reporters recognize it or they risk being left behind.

GARY LINDNER

Fairfax