So maybe Herman Cain is the secret weapon the Republican party had all along in the bid to take down Democrat Barack Obama.

Republicans just didn't know it.

They thought maybe it was Rick Perry, the Texas governor who talks a good game but sometimes gets thin between the lines. Or former Massachusets governor Mitt Romney, who's fairly solid between the lines but doesn't talk a good game.

But on Saturday, a humid football late-September day in Florida when Perry expected to further seal his fate as the Republican party's presidential nominee, Cain dropped a first political bomb.

And it may not be his last.

After delivering a speech some observers called rousing before the Florida Straw Poll 2011 vote, in which Cain urged Florida's Republican delegates to the nasty rumor that Herman Cain can't win and send Washington a message, more than 37 percent of the 2,657 delegates put their support behind Cain.

He easily beat Perry, who expected to win. He easily beat Mitt Romney, who didn't think the vote was important enough to show up for. He easily beat everybody else, including Michele Bachmann, who won the Iowa Straw Poll last month but garnered just two percent of the vote in Florida's non-binding Presidency 5 conference on Saturday.

In national polls before the Florida straw vote, Cain has been almost none existent -- like the Republian party didn't even know he was there. Perhaps they thought the fact that he has never held political office before made him too much of a long shot. Maybe they thought an African American stood no chance at winning the Republican nomination.

But maybe they were wrong. Maybe Cain's major upset win in the Florida straw poll showed that he can win the Republican nomination. Maybe a closer look will reveal that he can beat Obama, the America's first African American president, in the 2012 general election.

Consider this: It's the economy, stupid.

Sure, Cain has never held elected office before -- but he's anchored several offices in a leadership role. He was the CEO of Godfather's, the pizza chain. He was a successful and respected CEO at Pillsbury. He served as the Federal Reserve Bank Chairman in Kansas City. He was president of the National Restaurant Association.

He's a leader, with economic sense and a consistent economic strong voice, at a time when America desperately needs economic sense and a conistent economic strong voice.

He may even appeal to many African Americans, who typically vote Democrat but who are downtrodden in America's jobless, slow-growth economy. He certrainly has appeal for business leaders. He certainly has appeal for Tea Party conservatives.

All along, it seemed getting through the Repubilcan nomination would be Cain's biggest challenge.

Obama is beatable because incumbent presidents have a hard time winning when the economy is so shaky, as it is now. America's debt has spiraled, and jobs have dwindled. Times are tough from the middle economic ladder down. And they are getting tougher.

And when the debate has raged in Washington over what to do about the problem, Obama hasn't been able to make enough peace with Republicans to get much done.

But while Republicans have talked a good game during the presidential race thus far, there's clearly been something missing.

That secret weapon -- the thing, the person, the stance, and the voice needed to beat Obama.

But on Saturday in Florida, Cain dropped a bomb.

Boom! Just like that.

Suddenly, he's got the opportunity to change the face of the Republican party, and make a strong run at beating Obama and bringing some economic leadership to Washington.