Herman Cain, 65, is a businessman, radio host, minister and author from Georgia. This was his his second run for the presidency. Cain ended his campaign on December 3, blaming media attention to allegations of improper sexual conduct.
Cain, whose mother was a cleaning woman and whose father was a chauffeur, is a self-styled conservative and champion of limited government. In 1994, as president of Godfather’s Pizza Inc., he challenged President Bill Clinton at a forum on the administration’s proposed health-care overhaul, arguing that its employer mandate would hurt small businesses.
Armed with degrees in mathematics from Morehouse College in Atlanta and computer science from Purdue University in Indiana and the can-do zeal of a preacher (he is an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta), Cain established a business reputation as a turnaround specialist.
He began his career as a business analyst at Coca-Cola Co., moving to Pillsbury Co. in 1977. Several years later he left his job as a corporate vice president to join Burger King, a Pillsbury subsidiary, where he led the revival of the chain’s struggling outlets in Philadelphia. He achieved similar success with Godfather’s, another Pillsbury subsidiary, in the mid 1980s. In 1986, he became president and chief executive officer of the pizza chain, a position he held until 1996, when he joined the National Restaurant Association, an industry trade group, as its chief executive officer.
Politics has proven more challenging. In 1996, after serving as a member and chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City, Missouri, Cain joined the campaign of Senator Bob Dole, the Republican presidential nominee, as a senior economic adviser. Until early this year he was the host of “The Herman Cain Show,” a conservative talk show on WSB
Radio in Atlanta.
Cain briefly sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, and four years later he finished second in the primary for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia. He announced the formation of an exploratory committee for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in January and won the Florida Republican straw poll on Sept. 24 and the Illinois Tea Party straw poll on Oct. 3.
Cain, who has written four books, lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife, Gloria Cain. They have two grown children.
L. Lin Wood, an Atlanta defamation attorney, was supposed to contain the damage Herman Cain’s Republican presidential bid sustained as a result of sexual harassment allegations. Instead, Wood may have contributed to the opposite.
An Atlanta woman said she had a 13- year extramarital affair with Herman Cain, an allegation the Republican presidential contender denied and called the latest in a string of attempts by women to derail his candidacy.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Americans in poverty would be exempt from his so-called 9-9-9 tax plan, days after an independent analysis found the proposal would mostly benefit high earners.
The former pizza executive who's surging in polls for the Republican presidential nomination wants to replace Social Security with what he called the “Chilean model” of private pension funds. Full adoption of that model may push the U.S. deeper into deficit than Greece.
Herman Cain is the latest avatar of a recurring phenomenon in American politics: The usually short-term appeal of the nonpolitician, the outsider who vows to be different and not play the game by the rules.
Watch what happens if any of the women who have been cited as claiming to have been sexually harassed by Herman Cain goes public. The investigative spotlight will shine on the details of her every romantic liaison. That will be a teaching moment to even more women that it pays to zip your lip.
The 9-9-9 plan can’t be ignored, nor brushed aside, because it taps into powerful sentiments among Republican primary voters. In a year when anti-government feelings are running at an unprecedented intensity, there can be no underestimating the power of that message.
The candidate is correct in claiming that his plan is simple and efficient. But here's where he misses the mark: It’s not transparent, fair or neutral. Still, he’s on the right track, and we encourage him, along with those who call 9-9-9 unworkable, to come up with a better plan.
Herman Cain, the beguilingly personable pizza mogul and Tea Party sweetheart who is showing well in the so-far uncompelling Republican presidential nomination campaign, threw a flag early in an interview I conducted with him last week. I had made the dire mistake of referring to him as African-American.