There has been a good bit of ‘presidential’ buzz about Herman Cain in the right online community, and in the conservative camp in general. He’s not been shy about admitting that he’s considering it. Now he’s taking the next step. I had the privilege of speaking with him for a half-hour last night after he was done with his nationally syndicated talk show, and I am pleased to make the following announcement on RedState.
Moments ago, Herman Cain announced on FoxNews’ Your World Cavuto that he is forming an exploratory committee to determine the feasability of a run for President of the United States in the 2012 election.
That Godfathers Pizza thing - big deal?
Everybody knows he was the head of Godfathers Pizza, and rescued it from the brink of failure. Do you think he fell off the turnip truck one day after dropping out of high school and was hired as a CEO?
In 1977, at age 29 he had a MS in Computer Science. He joined Pillsbury, and within 5 years became VP of Corporate Systems and Services. He quit that post after 2 years, and joined Pillsbury’s Burger King division, learning from the ground up as a burger flipper. Nine months later, he was in charge of 400 stores in Pennsylvania, BK’s worst performing region. in three years, it was the company’s best.
THAT is when Pillsbury sent him to the rescue of their failing Godfathers Pizza chain in 1986. In fourteen months it was profitable and in another year he led his executive team to a buyout of Godfathers from Pillsbury. It gets better but I’ll stop there. You get an idea of the kind of man we are talking about.
So I am curious. In terms of leadership, problem-solving, just plain old hard work, how does that resume stack up against Barack Obama’s life of privilege, pot smoking, crooked real estate deals, multiple auto-biographies, guest lecturing at the University of Chicago, and “community organizing”?
Yeah. I didn’t think so either.
The big weakness is his political experience. He ran for Senate in Georgia and lost in the primary to Johnny Isaakson. Redstate addresses it.
How’s all that political experience working out for you?
The obvious knock on Herman Cain as a presidential candidate is his lack of political experience. For starters, he’s not all that inexperienced (see next section). And second, as he says to voters, “How’s all that political experience working out for you?” Seriously, name me a government system that is not bloated, broke, or broken. The entitlement system? No? OK, how about those bureaus. Are you pleased with the EPA, FEC, FCC, FDA? How about the Education Department. State Department? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?
Call it a stretch, but maybe Washington DC crammed full of career politicians and bureacrats is not made of pure awesome. Maybe bold, hard-nosed, results-oriented, problem-solving business sense is the kind of thing you want at the top.
Imagine a president with the grit, the tenacity, the pragmatic, practical, no-nonsense, clear-thinking approach that Cain took with Burger King, Godfathers Pizza, and cancer. Then imagine the same guy is a movement conservative. Then imagine the guy actually ran for president.
Cain has a good business background and is by all accounts that I have heard going back to his senate race, a conservative. Would I vote for him in the primary? It depends on who the other candidates are. I'd vote for someone like Pence before I'd vote for Cain. I'd vote for Cain before Romney or Huckabee or the 2008 retreads. Over Palin? Probably. Over Barbour or Pawlenty? Less apt to do so. Over Mitch Daniels? Maybe. His tax comments scared me. Governors tend to win, and I want to support the best conservative who can beat Obama (which I'm not sure Palin can do....because she quit her first term as Alaska Governor before it was up).
Whether Cain is a plan B or Plan C candidate will depend on how he runs this campaign. Right now, politicians aren't popular, but at the same time, candidates with or without experience need to convince the voters that they are who they say they are. Voters need to be able to count on their candidates. That can be Cain's strength. He has some money. He has a radio talk show. Can he get on the trains, cars, and buses, and go out to places he's less known like Iowa and New Hampshire and become a strong candidate? I don't know. I would like to see a good "business" candidate alternative to Mitt Romney, who I think is nothing more than a chameleon.
At worst, Cain can make the debates very interesting over the next year and put his issues on the table. Fiscal responsibility for one. At best, he helps knock a retread out of the race. I'll give Cain a chance to earn my vote around this time next year. He's got a better chance than some of the other suspected candidates, that's for sure.