Herman Cain, aka the self-described Hermanator
has launched a presidential exploratory committee: a step
toward challenging for the GOP nomination in 2012. Cain is a former CEO
of Godfather's Pizza (which gets mixed reviews
in taste testing) and may currently be heard as talk radio host on weeknights
in Atlanta. Although he readily admits that he's up against a "strong field
of Republican contenders and clarifies that he hasn't officially thrown
his hat into the ring, he is still quite confident in his own
abilities. "People aren't just looking for someone that can win," Cain
was quoted saying by The Hill
"They're looking for someone who lead and the winning will take care of
itself." Here's how his announcement has been greeted by politicos:
- Tea Party 'Lecture Circuit' Appeal 'Doesn't Scream "Presidential Frontrunner,"' writes Mark Hemingway
at the Washington Examiner. "Whether or not Cain will gain any traction
remains to be seen," he writes. Looking at the scenario optimistically,
"the whole point of the Tea Party is to encourage people with real
world experience to get involved and lower the barriers to entry in
politics. No matter what happens, Cain has the potential to add a lot to
the political debate."
- 'A Dull Campaign? Not If the Hermanator Has His Way' The Atlantic's Joshua Green
profiles the Pizza company CEO, finding that "what distinguishes Cain’s
message is less its content...than the person supplying it. Cain is a
65-year-old retired African American pizza-company CEO who sits on
several corporate boards, including Whirlpool’s, and entered politics
only as a late-life hobby. But he’s serious about running for president.
To a bland field, he’d add charisma, a compelling story, and some
craziness." Green hedges on the question about whether Cain is "for
real" (answer: "maybe") but figures that if the "born talker" Cain can
raise enough money "he’ll get in the race." In conclusion, "Get ready,
America, for The Hermanator Experience®."
- Name Recognition Is a 'Daunting Obstacle,' writes The Hotline's Tim Alberta,
and fundraising is another. Alberta reports that Cain is not planning to self-finance his "long-shot"
bid. The candidate will be spending time in Iowa in the upcoming months
("I might need to rent me a condo") and will spread his message of
fiscal conservatism through grassroots "word of mouth" means."In fact,
he argues that being a political novice actually works in his favor,"
writes Alberta. "I think it helps me--it's a net positive," Cain told
- He's 'Confident' That He Can Beat Obama "If I
didn't think I could--if I didn't think I could win the Republican
nomination, No. 1, and if I didn’t think that I could beat, in a
political competition, President Obama, I wouldn't be doing this,"
Herman Cain told ABC's The Note.
Cain explains that his confidence, however, shouldn't be taken as
arrogance: "I had a new acquaintance ask me: Was I arrogant enough to be
president. And my response was, I am confident enough to be
president....after I go through this phase and the decision is yes,
trust me, I'm running to win. Not for a consolation prize."
- 'I Don't Hear Much About the Reason He Got Into Politics,' blogs David Weigel
at Slate, who notes: "Cain became a GOP star and joined a flat tax
study group after the 1994 elections. Unfortunately, the first people
I've contacted about the group--which didn't quite get a flat tax
passed--don't remember much about it, or about Cain. His political star
sort of hung there until his 2004 U.S. Senate run in Georgia."
- Possible Strategy:
Appeal to the Tea Party, But Don't Rely Solely on Them "While Cain is
well-known and popular among Tea Party activists, he said relying on
them to coalesce around a presidential candidate isn't a path to victory
and it won't be his strategy in 2012," writes The Hill's Shane D'Aprile
quoting the potential candidate. Here's an abbreviated version of Cain
remarks about the Tea Party: It's "a citizens movement of multiple
groups. They're not going to get behind a single individual because it's
not what they do. They're out there with the goal of educating people
about the Constitution and our founding principles."
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