2012 Contender Series: Herman Cain
In this corner… is an ongoing series looking into the viability of potential candidates for the 2012 Presidential race.
(Updated December 7th, 2011: Amidst multiple sexual harassment and infidelity scandals Herman Cain withdrew from the Presidential race)
(Updated, May 21, 2011. Cain Officially enters the Presidential campaign. Is it the end of the world?)
Herman Cain emerged as the favourite potential presidential candidate at the first Republican debate held in South Carolina last Thursday according to an informal exit poll conducted by Frank Luntz. He is also gaining in popularity in several straw polls across the country. Cain is expected to officially announce his candidacy on May 21st. He is most noted as the former Chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza but he has also been Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Until this past February he was a radio talk show host on WSB in Atlanta. He also serves as a commentator for Fox News Business and is a syndicated columnist.
Cain has a BA in mathematics from Morehouse and an MA in computer science from Purdue. He has successfully turned more than one restaurant chain to profitability and he thinks that will translate into a success for the US Government. Here are the five “Cainesian Economic” steps he would take to do that:
- Lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent.
- Take the capital gains tax rate to zero.
- Take the tax rate on the repatriation of foreign profits for US companies to zero.
- Cut the entire 6.2 percent payrolls tax for workers and employers for 1 year.
- Make the tax rates permanent or indefinite.
He is also a supporter of cutting government spending, a strong national defense, and, not surprisingly, for repealing the Obama Health Care Reform. He is anti-abortion and is for a return to the gold standard. He recently made some controversial remarks saying he would not consider Muslims in his cabinet citing that the might subscribe to Sharia Law.
His first foray into national politics was a significant one. In a town hall meeting in 1994 in Kansas City, Missouri he directly challenged the Clintons’ health care reform plan criticizing the employer mandate telling President Clinton his plan wouldn’t work in the competitive marketplace. Cain’s only other political aspiration was a second place in a three way race for Zell Miller’s Georgia Senate seat.
A Zogby Poll out today shows Cain in second place (14 pts) behind New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (17 pts) who has adamantly proclaimed he will not run for the office this time. Ron Paul follows (10 pts) and the rest of the field is split with single digits. It should be noted that the same poll shows that 31% of respondents expect Mitt Romney to actually get the nod.
While it’s not unheard of for businessmen to run for political office (Ross Perot), it is unusual for them to become the nominee, much less win. Cain himself acknowledges that he is a “dark-horse candidate” and many political pundits agree that he is a long shot for GOP nomination in a weak field of potential candidates. But that may just give him the edge.
- “Herman Cain 2012 Presidential Announcement Coming Soon” and related posts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Herman Cain’s 5 step plan to create US jobs (International Business Times)
- Herman Cain Makes Splash At First GOP Primary Debate (huffingtonpost.com)
- Herman Cain announcement near on possible presidential bid (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)