Friday, January 14, 2011

Don't underestimate this guy.

There's a man in Georgia named Herman Cain, and he's probably running for President.

I've actually seen him in person many times.  Back in 2004, I worked on a Democratic Senate campaign in Georgia while he was seeking the Republican nomination.  I was our candidate's personal assistant and driver, so I went out on the road to most events  Most "meet the candidates" events sponsored by civic groups were bipartisan, so he was frequently speaking while we were present.  He's personable and telegenic, yet hyperbolic and bombastic.  He's beyond right-wing on all social hot-button issues. 

He's like Sarah Palin without the massive disapproval ratings.  Oh, and did I mention he's black?

Normally, we could right him off as just another rich conservative running a vanity campaign (like a href="">Morry Taylor or Hugh Cort).  But Cain knows one big rule of politics is timing.  To that effect, he's putting himself out there in advance of the first debate of the campaign, an event at the Reagan Presidential Library being held this spring.

All he has to do is make a scene and look more conservative than any of the other early birds who've made early announcements.  If he does, he could become the Howard Dean of 2012 (remember, Dean rocketed to popularity on the heels of a widely circulated video of a California speech given in March 2003).

Is that enough for Cain to win the nomination?  Almost certainly not.  My memory isn't great, but I don't think either party's nominated someone for President who wasn't a current or former elected official since Wendell Willkie in 1940 (excepting, of course, the Man Who Won WWII).  But this could be Cain's coming out party, a chance for him to burst onto the national stage in a shower of confetti and political insanity.

Keep an eye on him.

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