2012's potential dark horse: Herman Cain

With the Iowa caucuses — the first stage for candidates seeking the nomination to become President of the United States — taking place in less than a year, presidential candidate speculation is already running rampant. While Barack Obama is still popular within his party, the recent news that Hillary Clinton would not serve a second term in Obama’s cabinet is suggesting to pundits and voters that she may be launching a primary challenge against Obama. In the Republican Party, the big question is whether former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will launch a bid for President, and, of course, how viable a candidate former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be in his probable campaign. Palin and Romney both bring their baggage, and, while the GOP has plenty of great choices for 2016, the 2012 field seems light at best.

Unfortunately, most of the (few) candidates who could pull off a reasonably successful campaign are less-than-optimal choices to represent conservatism: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and while he doesn’t stand a chance, Texas Congressman Ron Paul. While this may be discouraging news for many Republicans, it opens up the field for candidates who come from outside the political arena. While the most successful non-political candidate to launch a bid for the presidency was, of course, business mogul Ross Perot in 1992 (arguably Dwight D. Eisenhower wasn’t a politician, but had a long-standing military background,) we’re at a time now where Americans are so fed up with politicans that a candidate truly of the people, not the Beltway, may have the best shot at running the country.

This brings us to Herman Cain. Despite an unsuccessful bid for the United States Senate in 2004, Cain has demonstrated time and time again his ability to overcome the odds. As Jimmie Bise writes, “[Cain] took over Godfathers Pizza when it was on the verge of bankruptcy and helped turn it around into a profitable business. He’s used to taking on long odds and winning. I’ve a feeling that attitude is going to be very necessary in our next President, whoever that may be.”

Unlike Donald Trump, who seems to be toying with the idea of running for President as a publicity stunt, Cain’s exploratory committee has been testing the waters for quite a while now, and has even witnessed independent groups such as the “Draft Cain” movement pop up, which has representatives in every state attempting to recruit the successful businessman to run for President. As well, he was the winner of the Tea Party Straw Poll in February 2011, 6 points above runner-up Tim Pawlenty (as well as 12 and 15 points ahead of Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, respectively.)

On an private call with conservative bloggers and representatives from right wing news outlets, Cain said of his ambitions, “My toe is no longer in the water. It’s all the way up to my neck.” And clearly, he’s been taking this potential candidacy quite seriously, as over the past few months, he’s made over 30 trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida, early caucus and primary states in the nomination process. While name recognition may have been a problem last year, Cain has been shaking hands with the right people, speaking at the right events, and appearing on Fox every week it seems, which is more than can be said for any other potential candidate, save for Sarah Palin.

Herman Cain’s story and motivation for running for President is both moving and logical. Citing the birth of his first grandchild in 1999 as being when the seed of running for higher office was planted, Cain claims he asked himself “What do I do to make this a better world?” Further to that, he added that ambitions for one’s country are not about us, but about our grandchildren. As well, Cain overcame Stage IV cancer in 2006 when given a 30% chance of survival. After chemo, surgery, and more chemo, he stands today cancer free, his resilience, his wife of 42 years along with their children, and his faith in God having guided him through it all.

In terms of policy, Herman Cain is an unashamed conservative, and an unapologetic Christian. He is the only potential presidential contender to 2012 to have stood publicly in support of Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) and he’s been a favorite at CPAC, and consistently within the Tea Party movement. As far as specific platform ideas, Cain not only said he would lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, but also pledged to, if he ever becomes president, eliminate the Capital Gains Tax all together. This is strong talk that hasn’t been heard from anyone in the GOP establishment, nor outside of it.

Given his blatant conservatism, I think a Cain candidacy could finally put to bed the myth that electability is more important than ideology when it comes to political candidates. Herman Cain has yet to officially put his hat in the ring, and whether or not he will remains to be seen. However, Mr. Cain is a refreshing personality who remains diametrically the opposite of the one thing Americans don’t need at this time: A politician.

Andrew Lawton is Landmark Report's founder and publisher and a North American radio and television personality. In addition to hosting The Andrew Lawton Show on AM980 in London, Ontario, he is also a contributor on Canada's Sun News Network. Andrew, the King of Canadian Social Media, tweets as @AndrewLawton.

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36 Responses to “2012's potential dark horse: Herman Cain”

  1. tom says:

    at the risk of sounding completely ignorant, i've never heard of cain now. i hope to god he runs for president though. i'm gonna look more into him, but he seems like EXACTly what america needs. not the fricking socialist we have now who's to busy snorting arugala to care about america.

  2. Steph says:

    His race doesn't matter, but God knows it would make things MUCH easier for the GOP given what the obvious media accusations will be.

  3. Jerry says:

    I cant stand all these people saying that because he hasnt been in office before he cant be president. look at the mess of a country we have under obama and had under Bush and Clinton and stuff. They all held office before!! Cain is a true conservative who has a chance. Buckley would approve :)

  4. SARAH says:

    WOOT! I'm on the CainTrain!

    • G.S. says:

      I think people are jumping the gun here. Yeah, he's great and all and what he says makes sense, but there's still a long way to go until 2012, and he doesn't have any political experience. Let's wait it out before we board any "Trains".

  5. Matt says:

    He seems so real. Refreshing for a politician. (I mean i know he's not really a politician, but still.) I wouldn't hesitate to cast a ballot for this dude.

  6. G.S. says:

    He's good, but he's just a fad right now. Let's let the primaries play out.

  7. shelly says:

    What, the GOP now thinks it needs to do a "Plantation to Presidency" candidate to compete with Obama in 2012? That's pathetic. This man is a wolf in sheeps clothing to abandoned his race and became a slave to the almighty dollar. Obama is a true reprentative to minorities, not this monkey.

    • You're a class act Shelly. The fact that you judge President Obama OR Herman Cain by their race shows that you're no better than the team that used to follow around Robert Byrd wearing sheets on their heads. The irony of you criticizing the Right for being racists for looking up to a man who beat the odds in life and became successful, regardless of his lineage, is amusing, but scary. Idiocy knows no bounds, you pathetic slime.

      • shelly says:

        How dare you call me racist. I'm a hispanic minority, and my family wouldn't have had such problems getting here if it weren't for racist, anti-immigrants like you and your right-wing buddies.

        • just a conservative girl says:

          And? Are you saying that someone of Hispanic heritage cannot be a racist? If so, does that go for blacks as well?

          You don't even realize how racist your comments sound. You may very well believe that you are not being a racist, but you certainly are more than willing to judge Cain by the color of his skin. He isn't a race traitor simply because he isn't a liberal and the fact that you can't see it is quite sad.

        • Mike Testani says:

          Shelly, in all honesty, those were some really sad comments you made. We do not care about colour, race or ethnicity, we care about values. You may differ with us values and that is okay. But please don't confuse our views with race. 

    • G.S. says:

      Nothing but a racist, leftist piece of shit.

  8. deuscaritas8132 says:

    i'm on the Herman Cain Train and it's going all the way to the WH.

  9. ED says:

    Well, he’s got a voter here. I just saw his comments on Islam today and was impressed. this piece sealed the deal though.

  10. […] Contessa has a teeny tiny PR problem.The Landmark Report, edited by my friend Andrew Lawton, profiled Herman Cain on its first day of full operation. It’s a good, broad-strokes look at a guy I’m convinced will shake up the 2012 […]

  11. Laurel says:

    "shelly" seems to be no better than the people on AlterNet who posted the most racist thing I"ve ever seen about Herman Cain. I'm sure that she and Hitler can have some nice Bridge games when she kicks the bucket.

  12. Marcus G says:

    Shelly is right. You guys think you can just vote in Uncle Tom and people will forget about how racist your party is? Idiots.

  13. кран балка продажа says:

    In Soviet Russia, candidate selects you for president.

  14. OC says:

    He seems like the opposite of everyone else. Which, naturally makes him good.

  15. Brez says:

    He doesn’t stand a chance. We should all back the TRUE conservative who can win this…MIKE HUCKABEE!

  16. Mr Peace says:

    What a wonderful world!

  17. […] Andrew Lawton is the editor-in-chief of Landmark Report, and the host of Strictly Right Radio & Strictly Pop Radio. No stranger to the media, he is a frequent contributor to various television & radio programs in North America. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @AndrewLawton. The preceding column is syndicated from Landmark Report. […]

  18. Peewee (not Herman) says:

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I had to get in on this one and just say WOW about Herman Cain. I’m on the “Cain Train”!!!

  19. oc says:

    awesome information about an awesome guy.

  20. Mures says:

    We need a businessman running the country, not a community organizer!!!

  21. JIDF says:

    Until he takes a position on Israel, it’s pretty clear he’s just a standard Republican anti-Semite.

  22. Chia says:

    Does he have a chance? If so, how can I help him?

  23. […] chicken’s are being counted just yet, but Andrew called it back in March. Herman Cain is looking more like he will be the Republican who will take down […]

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