Herman Cain is able

The former head of Godfather’s Pizza is spicing up the Republican presidential campaign

This Cain is able

Danny Wilcox Frazier/Redux

Herman Cain is the rare presidential hopeful with a healthy sense of humour about himself. The former CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain recently quipped: “If you vote for me, America, I will deliver.”

Now Cain is becoming less of a punch-line. He has soared from barely registering in the polls to a tie for second place in the Republican race. The 65-year-old African-American businessman from Atlanta has drawn support away from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has ceded his front-runner status back to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

One-quarter of Republican primary voters still prefer Romney, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week. Meanwhile, Perry has dropped from 29 per cent to 16 per cent, leaving him tied with Cain, who has surged from a mere four points as recently as early September.

Cain’s new-found support is coming mostly from conservative voters as they abandon Perry. Just a month ago, Perry led the pack among voters who “strongly” back the Tea Party. But the new poll suggests his support has imploded, from 45 per cent to 10 per cent among that faction. The shift has been to Cain, who, among these voters, jumped from five per cent to 30 per cent in a mere month, as the Texas governor showed himself to be a weak debater and not quite the rock-ribbed conservative some voters believed him to be.

Meanwhile, it seems the more voters see of Cain, the more they say they like him. He is the only contender who has never held public office—a distinction that he wears as a badge of honour in this anti-establishment environment. And he has a compelling personal story: his mother was a maid and his father a janitor, barber and chauffeur in the segregated South. Cain pursued degrees in mathematics and computer science, and rose from computer systems analyst at Coca-Cola to oversee the turnaround of Godfather’s Pizza. Cain headed of the National Restaurant Association and, in 1994, he appeared on a televised town hall to tell Bill Clinton that his proposed health care reform would be a job-killer. He made failed bids for president in 2000 and the Senate in 2004, but in September he won the Republican straw poll in Florida.

Still, he’s got a long way to go. While Cain can talk policy details about his “nine-nine-nine” tax plan (it would slash income and capital gain tax rates to nine per cent, and introduce a nine per cent federal sales tax), he has had less to say on foreign policy. Cain has claimed that he could garner one-third of the African-American vote, depriving Barack Obama of crucial support. But he offended some black voters by claiming they are “brainwashed” by Democrats. He’s said he would not be comfortable appointing a Muslim to his cabinet or as a judge. And he has sometimes seemed more interested in promoting his book, This is Herman Cain!, than campaigning.

Cain may be the latest favourite of the Anyone-But-Romney movement, but the front-runner can take heart. In the fall of 2007, Rudy Giuliani and actor Fred Thompson were polling far ahead of a certain Arizona senator who was under fire from conservatives. In the end, the party still nominated John McCain.


Herman Cain is able

  1. The left is going nuts with fear of Cain. They are trying to label him an Uncle Tom and an Oreo. Not going to work.  Cain’s story is undeniably attractive. He is a cancer survivor  and he is unafraid. He is a conservative through and through and like your story says he is FUNNY. With all his money, Romney is pale ( no pun intended) in contrast.  The rise has been steady ; Cain will be the next President of the United States.

  2. The left must be getting pretty worried.  They are now trying to attack him for not playing a more active role in the civil rights movement, so obviously they ARE concerned he will cut into the african american vote.   Who would have thought that a successful black man who fought his way up from poverty and has lived the american dream would be attacked and called such offensive terms.  They even attacked him on MSNBC last night as a “draft dodger” because his local draft board deemed him more important in his role as a weapons analyst in the Department of the Navy than being enlisted.  Is there nothing the left wing media won’t do?  Go 9-9-9!  Go Herman Cain!

    • Cain takes away the race card ; Obama can’t run on his abysmal record. Cain went right into the belly of the beast with Lawrence O”Donnell, a socialist at NBC. Watch the interview and see who gets pwned!http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/07/msnbcs-odonnell-lectures-herman-cain-on-fighting-for-civil-rights-service-in-military/
      Another thing which could have hurt Cain, his never holding political office, may be a virtue in many voters eyes. He has risen because of his ability to get results. And the country needs results right now not empty speeches.  Go Cain Go, indeed!

      • There were actually some legitimate questions brought up in that interview, especially the timing of the civil rights movement (and the fact that originally Cain simply lied about how old he was and then backtracked). People can say that Obama has done a poor job, and that they want someone else to win in 2012, but let’s be real. This article makes the argument that Cain isn’t merely a ‘punchline’ anymore. But the reason given is simply because he’s getting more support. He’s still largely a punchline in my books. There’s no way he was what it takes to be President. A step up from Palin or Bachmann? Sure. But it would still be laughable if the American people voted Cain in.

        • I wonder if Reagan was a punchline in your book too.

        • So the implication is that if you didn’t march and protest you are less black then those who did? You are defacto against Civil Rights? Well then ltes start lining up all those who did not and explain to them that they really cannot be considered African Americans and certainly their experience or values cannot mean anything. It sounds like you need a does of common sense yourself!

  3. Cain exudes confidence which is something America is in short supply of.

  4. I remember 1979, with the country in the doldrums and with the malaise of a failed Presidency, that a candidate came forward that was “too old” and “nothing but a Hollywood actor” to be President. How did that work out? Ronald Reagan uplifted the American spirit and brought it to heights never seen before. He is still not only loved but revered by the country at large. Herman Cain has the ability to be the next person to do exactly that. I fully support Herman Cain as the next POTUS.

  5. ” In the end, the party still nominated John McCain.” Wow . That is some kind of conclusion.

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