Tony Katz
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Over the weekend, businessman and presidential candidate Herman Cain won the Florida Straw Poll with a very convincing 37 percent of the vote. He more than doubled his nearest challenger, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and third place finisher, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Quickly, all the usual suspects weighed in on the significance of Cain’s victory. Much of the commentary focused on race. That GOP delegates in order to prove the party (and the Tea Party) isn’t racist, pushed Cain over the top.

Wrong. Is the establishment GOP really that interested in proving to a hate-filled progressive minority that they are good people who should be liked? Are there members of the Tea Party who actually believe that Sen. Boxer, Sen. Schumer, Michael Moore, Janeane Garofalo, Rep. Frank or others will like them because they voted for a black man?

Cain's strong win in the straw poll is not about race, it's about Cain!

Cain offers specific solutions. His “999? Plan has taken hold; he is serious about reducing taxes. They see this in the shadow of President Obama’s $1.5 Trillion tax increase, and his continued attacks on productive society.

People have been leery – disgusted! – with Obamacare. They have heard all the talk about the need to repeal, or at the very least, to defund Obamacare. The personal story of Cain’s fight with Stage 4 colon cancer hit home with voters. They can visualize what their lives will be like under socialized medicine. Cain is alive because of an unencumbured health care system, where patients and doctors work towards success. Cain is clear: He would be dead under Obamacare. America was listening.

There have been some who have used Cain's victory to combat the ignorant words of actor Morgan Freeman. On Piers Morgan's show on CNN, Morgan stated:

FREEMAN: Look at, look, the Tea Partiers...Their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What’s, what does that, what underlines that? "Screw the country. We’re going to whatever we do to get this black man, we can, we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here"

(PIERS) MORGAN: But is that necessarily a racist thing?

FREEMAN: It is a racist thing.

Why would anyone think it necessary to vindicate themselves from the words of Freeman, who did nothing more than reiterate the tired Racer meme popularized by Garofalo and Keith Olbermann? When Cain was asked for his response to Freeman's accusations, he pointed out the problem with Morgan's statement:

"Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Partiers about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party...Name calling is something that is going to continue in this because they don’t know how to stop this movement and this movement is making a big difference in politics..."

Cain didn't mention his race. He didn't mention being black. He didn't mention his skin color. Cain did what Cain does: He focused on the statement, gave a thoughtful, straightforward analysis and moved on.

It is this candid, direct approach that is attractive to the American people. Cain doesn't make excuses; he proposes solutions. He admits his mistakes, talks about what he is learning and focuses on giving America a clear set of rules, policies and procedures. Cain does what Obama can not; walking the walk after talking the talk.

If there is anything to take from Cain's impressive victory in the Florida Straw Poll, it's that the mainstream media will not be deciding who the GOP candidate is. The idea that America's choices are reduced to Mitt Romney or Rick Perry are over. Herman Cain has joined the top tier, and he got there with hard work, an engaging personality and a great message. How long he stays there is up to Cain and the voters, not the MSM.

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Tony Katz

Tony Katz is a radio talk show host, writer, public speaker and cigar enthusiast. His show can be heard on 93.1FM WIBC in Indianapolis, and at TonyKatz.com.