Three months ago, he was almost unknown. Today, Herman Cain, an ultraconservative businessman, is running for the Republican nomination for the 2012 U.S presidential election, and he is on the heels of the favorites. But is it just a flash in the pan?
A businessman with a phenomenal energy, Herman Cain (65 years old) is the new attraction of the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election. Darling of the tea party but a rookie in politics, he pretended to consider a candidacy for the 2000 presidential election and the Senate race in Georgia before giving up. He is now on the heels of Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the two favorites, in the latest polls. To everyone’s surprise, he even pulled ahead of them last month in a straw poll organized in Florida. It was there that he won the nickname of “Herminator.”
Cain, who is rarely seen without his black cowboy hat, is a very good speaker with an electrifying voice. His resume? Chief executive officer of a pizza chain, conservative radio host, director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, gospel singer; son of a driver and a housewife, he grew up in a ghetto in Atlanta. He is a typical American self-made man, but he is also African–American, which is not common. He, who as a child experienced racial segregation and the sections reserved for the colored people in the bus, is not angry at all. America, he says, has the ability to change; why be bitter? In 2006, he grappled with colon and liver cancer that he eventually overcame. According to a witness, he was making jokes during his chemotherapy. Herman Cain, best anti-depressant for an America in crisis.
$25,000 per Speech
However, the seriousness of his political ambitions remains to be demonstrated. Because he is above all a businessman that charges $25,000 per speech, he spent the month of October promoting his book, “My Journey to the White House,”* and neglected to go to Iowa and New Hampshire, early strategic stages of the primaries at the beginning of 2012.
“I am trying to run this campaign like a start-up business,” he boasts. And have no doubts about it, there is a new sheriff in town. A very, very conservative sheriff, who is pleading for a unique tax of 9 percent of all revenues and swears to fight the introduction of Shariah law in the United States. On occasion, he competes with Sarah Palin in this blunder, as when he committed to not hire any Muslim in the White House, only to claim later that he was, in fact, only referring to jihadists.
With his strategy difficult to read, his hungry war chest ($2.5 million against the $19 million of Mitt Romney) and his uncertain credibility, Herman Cain could well be a quickly forgotten episode of the Republican campaign series. But who knows?
*Editor’s Note: The complete title of Cain’s book is “This is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House.”