After watching Herman Cain “win” the GOP debate in South Carolina last week, I’ve been doing a little research into the Republican Party’s newest up-and-comer. The Atlantic has published an excellent bio which highlights Mr. Cain’s first foray into politics — a 1994 smackdown of Bill Clinton’s healthcare plan:
His entrance into national politics was a fluke—albeit, if he runs, an enormously beneficial one. In 1994, Cain, then still CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, participated in a town-hall meeting that Bill Clinton held to drum up support for his flagging health-care plan. He challenged the president’s claim that restaurateurs would bear only a marginal new cost. Clinton objected, but Cain wouldn’t relent. “I’d had my financial people run the numbers,” he told me. The Wall Street Journal published them, and after Clinton’s plan collapsed, Newsweek identified Cain as one of its “saboteurs”—a badge of honor, especially among conservatives today.
National Review Online aptly describes the exchange:
In 1994, Cain was chairman and chief executive officer of Godfather’s Pizza, an Omaha-based chain. Pres. Bill Clinton was peddling his health-care plan at town halls. At one televised session, Cain calmly argued with the president about the cost to restaurateurs. “Mr. President,” he said, “with all due respect, your calculation on what the impact would do, quite honestly, is incorrect.”
Clinton, after a long day of softballs, was rattled. Cain, a black, southern business leader who could out-folksy Clinton, had fingered the central flaw in the administration’s proposal: the potential for increased insurance costs to eliminate jobs.
It was more than a splash of cold water; it was a punch to the gut of Hillarycare. The reaction to Cain’s critique was immediate. The exchange was featured on the CBS Evening News and ABC’s World News Tonight. Major newspapers, including the New York Times, highlighted the moment as a thorn in Clinton’s side.
Herman Cain’s factual (and teleprompter-free) refutation of President Clinton’s snake oil helped kill HillaryCare. Now America needs him to kill ObamaCare!
The more I look into this gentleman’s background and accomplishments, the more I’m liking him.
Cain was born to working-class parents in Georgia and earned a degree in mathematics from Morehouse College, then a master’s in computer science from Purdue. He got a job doing work for the Navy on fire-control systems for ships and fighter planes, but gravitated to business—Coca-Cola, Pillsbury, and Burger King—and eventually became CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, which he ran for 10 years.
Cain is a born talker, with a rich baritone that sounds uncannily like the actor Samuel L. Jackson. He’s also a showman, and utterly uninhibited. Recently, he survived Stage 4 cancer, and claims he wouldn’t have under Obamacare. Although often outrageous, he has a shrewd sense of his appeal.
“The Hermanator” most definitely has a gift for communication. At CPAC 2011 back in February, Cain made a blunt assessment of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress: “stupid people are ruining America.” Check out his speech below, it’s 28 minutes long but worth every second:
Some people (including some within the GOP) are wondering whether Cain is electable since he hasn’t held elected office before. Given his success as a leader and a chief executive, I’m not at all concerned. I’m quite confident that his experience in restoring failing companies and running them successfully would translate very well to the role of our nation’s chief executive. Besides, there’s a saying: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” And clearly, what we’re getting from politicians has been progressively craptacular. It’s time for some real change from a proven leader with real-world accomplishments.
“I’m proud of the fact that I haven’t held public office before. Most of the people that are in elected office in Washington DC, they have held public office before. How’s that workin’ for you? We have a mess. How about sending a problem-solver to the White House?”
We don’t need more of the same from Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin or Ron Paul. In my opinion, they’re all too damaged as candidates to gain enough votes to win. Herman Cain is a solid conservative and is by far the best candidate for 2012. Republicans need to rally behind him, support him financially, and make him the nominee. With enough fundraising, he could easily upset the Obama house of cards. Even better, we should draft Allen West for veep to balance Cain’s business savvy with military expertise and make 2012 a slam dunk for the GOP!
In summary, here’s the short list of Cain’s accomplishments:
Radio Talk Show Host, “The Herman Cain Show”, News Talk 750 WSB – Atlanta, Monday – Friday, 7pm-10pm EST
FOX News Business Commentator and Columnist with World Net Daily
Chief Executive Officer and President of THE New Voice, Inc., a business consulting company, and Head Coach of HITM
At a nationally televised Presidential Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform (1994), challenged President Bill Clinton’s health care proposal when he said, “Mr. President, with all due respect, your calculations are incorrect…”
Former Chairman of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. after serving as CEO and President for ten years, 1986 – 1996. In 1988 he bought the company from The Pillsbury Company
Past Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Former Chairman and President of the Tax Leadership Council, the public educational component of Americans for Fair Taxation
Past Chairman of the Board of the National Restaurant Association (1994-1995), and former full time CEO and President of the Association (1996-1999)
Member of The National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform (1995), chaired by former Republican Vice-presidential candidate, Jack Kemp
Serves on the Boards of Directors of AGCO, Inc., Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Hallmark Cards Inc., Whirlpool, Inc., and Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia
Recipient of eight Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Morehouse College, New York City Technical College; Suffolk University, Johnson & Wales University, Creighton University, Purdue University, Tougaloo College and the University of Nebraska
Recipient of a 1996 Horatio Alger Award and the 1991 International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s Operator of the Year/Gold Plate Award
Graduated from Morehouse College with a B.S. in Mathematics in 1967. Earned his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Purdue University in 1971
Author of four books, Leadership Is Common Sense (1997), Speak As A Leader (1999), CEO of SELF (October, 2001), and They Think You’re Stupid (May, 2005)
A native and current resident of Atlanta, Georgia. Married for over 40 years with two adult children and three grandchildren
If your interest in Herman Cain has been piqued as mine has, be sure to check out the entire 7-page article in NRO. It’s quite substantial. Much like Mr. Cain himself.