Guest Blog: Herman Cain a different kind of candidate

By Lee Gleiser

Herman Cain is not a politician, he is a successful businessman. He wants to bring common sense to Washington. His upset victory in Saturday’s Florida straw poll may finally bring him the media attention he needs.

Herman Cain is an American success story. Cain grew up in Atlanta, Ga. during segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. His father held three jobs, janitor, barber and chauffeur. His mother was a domestic worker. He graduated second in his class from high school. He earned a college degree from Morehouse College. He earned a master’s degree from Purdue. After great success working for Coca-Cola and Pillsbury, Cain became the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza Company. He brought it to profitability from the brink of bankruptcy in just 14 months. He later went on to become the Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. He also became a successful radio talk show host. Herman Cain for President provides this story in greater detail.

Cain is a black conservative, two words not often found together, especially in the case of a candidate for the White House. Cain’s 9-9-9 tax reform plan is a precursor to his Fair Tax. The plan entails replacing the existing tax code with a 9 percent flat tax on business, a 9 percent flat tax on individuals, and a 9 percent sales tax. His goal is to level the playing field. He wants to end a system where few pay the majority of taxes, while many pay none at all. He is committed to boosting economic growth and reducing government spending. During the recent Florida debate, Cain attacked Mitt Romney’s tax plan for being “hooked to the current tax code.” Cain declared“that dog won’t hunt!”

In his Washington Post blog, Aaron Blake assessed Cain’s chances for success. He called Cain a “modern American success story.” As a cancer survivor, Cain is in a unique position to talk about healthcare. Cain is a powerful speaker whose gift has been honed through his years on the radio. He’s been credited with taking down “Hillarycare,” after he challenged Bill Clinton at a town hall meeting during the 1990’s health care debate. Chris Cillizza of The Fix credits Cain with having the “best speech without question of any candidate” at the Iowa straw poll. Yet Cain only came in fifth.

So why does a candidate with so much business savvy and personal success only come up with such low poll numbers according to Real Clear Politics? Wasthington Post blogger Rachel Weiner points out that Cain is still relatively unknown. Cain is struggling to overcome lack of name recognition unlike Perry, Romney or even Bachmann. Another issue is that he doesn’t have enough personal money to fund his entire campaign. With such a crowded field of candidates Weiner believes fundraising will be more difficult. Aaron Blake suggests most donors will sit on the sidelines waiting to see how well a candidate does. The fact that Cain lost his 1994 bid for a Georgia Senate seat won’t help. According to Blake, the only non-elected-office-holders to ever become President have been military generals.Cain also needs to have better success organizing and growing a strong grass roots movement behind his campagin. Although he’s become a favorite among some Tea -Party voters, it will take more than that to win the nomination.

Cain has been traveling the country at an exhaustive pace. Clearly his efforts in Florida paid off. He won the Florida straw poll by 37 percent. That is way ahead of front-runners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney who came in with a distant 15 percent and 14 percent respectively. During the recent debates, the media seemed to focus on the candidates that went after each other on camera, made outrageous statements or provided interesting sound bites. That hasn’t been Cain’s style. He’s not a politician. But one thing the Florida straw poll shows is that “his dog CAN hunt!”

Posted by on September 26, 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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