The more I see and hear Herman Cain, the more I like him and the more I’m amazed by him. By any metric known to political science, his candidacy should have imploded long ago: he has zero political experience coupled with a tendency to say out loud what he’s thinking – a combination that has consistently proven to be lethal for most experienced candidates. Not Herman: like the bumblebee that supposedly violates the laws of aerodynamics, he refuses to stay grounded. Over at the American Spectator, Aaron Goldstein rattles off nine reasons the GOP ought to send this man to the White House. Eight of them are excellent:
1. He Has No Sense of Entitlement
Cain grew up with the knowledge that the world doesn’t owe one a living. He has earned his place in the world.
Unlike Obama, who has been pampered, spoiled and made to believe he’s the center of the universe for most of his life, Cain had to fight tooth and nail for everything he has achieved.
2. He Worked at Burger King
Cain was assigned to manage some of the least successful Burger King restaurants in the country and turned them into the most profitable. It would be remarkable if Cain could do for the federal government what he did for Burger King.
He was also the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, taking the helm at a time when the beleaguered chain was foundering, turned it around and made it a hugely successful enterprise. Unlike Obama, who never worked in the private sector, has positively zero experience in the business world and who is responsible for destroying millions of jobs but has never signed a paycheck, Cain knows what it takes to turn disaster into triumph.
3. He Has Never Held Elected Office
In the food service industry, Cain had to take risk and innovate or go out of business. At the risk of sounding clichéd, Cain thinks outside the box. He isn’t constrained by conventional political wisdom and will do what it takes to ensure this country doesn’t go out of business.
Some consider this to be his greatest weakness and, perhaps, the single biggest reason for passing him over. But Goldstein correctly observes later in his article that “…Cain is a quick study. He possesses the diligence necessary to turn whatever weaknesses he might possess into strengths.”
We’ve seen what experienced politicians have done to this once great republic. We’ve also seen what an inexperienced politician with zero private sector experience has done. How much worse can it get if we elect a man with no political experience but an enormous wealth of real-world, private sector experience and a track record of success that would make Donald Trump blush?
4. He Is a Mathematician
Cain majored in math at Morehouse University. He is in the rare position of being able to tell President Obama, “I am a trained mathematician. I have looked at your numbers and can tell you that they don’t add up.”
If he were a CPA it would be a daily double, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be able to count correctly. A degree in math tells me that he has a precise, meticulous and disciplined mind.
5. He Was a CEO
He earned his way to the top. Cain could tell President Obama a thing or two about what CEOs really do.
More than this, he was a hugely successful CEO who left Godfather’s Pizza in far better shape than he found it. As such, he understands the fundamental principles of leadership – and there is no position of power that cries more loudly for leadership than the office of President of the United States.
6. He Is The Adult in the Room
In an Obama-Cain debate, President Obama would come off like a petulant son who thinks he knows everything while Cain would tell Obama that he has a lot of growing up to do. Frankly, as a black man, Cain could speak to Obama with a candor the other candidates could not get away with without being called racist.
I’d give a month’s pay to sit in the front row at an Obama v Cain debate. Herman would mop up the floor with the Man-Child and, yes, would be able to talk down to him in ways none of the other candidates could.
7. He Would Make Liberal Charges of Racism Look Really, Really Stupid
Actress Janeane Garofalo infamously said that the Tea Party was “about hating a black man in the White House” and was “racism straight up.” Yet Cain would end up as one of the most popular figures in the Tea Party movement.
Right on, right on, right on…except that Garofalo recently made this absolutely insane claim:
Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party. Conservative movement and tea party movement, one in the same. People like Karl Rove liked to keep the racism very covert. And so Herman Cain provides this great opportunity say you can say “Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look we have a black man.”
Good grief, she sounds like she’s channeling Rob Eichmann.
8. The Content of His Character
Herman Cain has demonstrated that he is a man who carries himself with a sense of humor, dignity, modesty, responsibility and gratitude towards the country that allowed him an opportunity to succeed.
In a word, Herman Cain has integrity, an attribute I discussed at length a couple of months ago:
A man of integrity is first and foremost true to himself – and if the reflection in the mirror of his own mind is not identical to that which he knows he truly is, then he has become a liar – and worse, he knows he is a liar because the very first falsehood is silently uttered to himself.
A man of integrity does not fear following the dual pathways of empirical and moral truth to whatever destination they lead him – for truth is reality and the denial of such, a corrosive fantasy that further damages an already disfigured visage in the mirror of his own mind.
A man of integrity is willing to engage the hard choices that he inevitably encounters while traveling the pathway of the truth and, upon encountering a fork in the road, does not recoil when asked to make a decision based on the facts in a sincere effort to do good and avoid evil. If his decision is demonstrated to be erroneous, he will have the humility and spiritual fortitude to admit the error and choose the correct road.
A man of integrity does not dwell on the proverbial fence, trying to have it both ways in an effort to avoid making hard choices or to benefit from either playing both sides against the middle or one side against another. He accepts that it’s a far better thing to make a decision and live with consequences that may lead him to the pasture of obscurity than it is to be everything to everyone and don a plastic laurel wreath of shallow public acclamation or indulge himself in the rotted fruit of personal aggrandizement.
It is the difference between a man who, if asked to choose between two radically different flavors of ice cream, declares, “My favorite flavor is this one because it is sweet and pleasing to the palate while the other is rancid and tastes like crap” from the man who says, “You are asking me to choose between two flavors of ice cream, and I won’t because I like them both.”
The former is a man of integrity. The latter is a weasel.
Herman Cain may very well have myriad flaws that will reveal themselves in the fullness of time during the primary season. But lack of integrity won’t be among them.
Now you didn’t think I was going to leave this out, did you?
I was hoping Goldstein would. The 9-9-9 plan may be a good springboard for discussion in a brainstorming session, but it would be a disaster if ever implemented. Fortunately, theere are enough level heads in the Conservative Movement to convince Mr. Cain to bring his plan back to the shop for some major tweaking.
That said, I find myself more and more inclined to endorse this man.