A month ago, he was a punchline. Now Herman Cain is laughing. Meet the rising GOP star who is confounding the pundits and much of black America.
Herman Cain had last been at the Hyatt Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, in July as a ridiculously unlikely Republican candidate for president, a man who summarizes himself as an “ABC.”
“American black conservative,” Cain says.
Now, by the magic of his personality, a preacher-bred speaking style, a bootstrap personal narrative, and a catchy name for a tax overhaul, the ABC was back at the hotel as a frontrunner against the perpetually unexciting Mitt Romney. Sitting down for a breakfast interview with Newsweek on Friday morning, following a strong debate performance earlier in the week that helped propel him to the lead slot in several polls, Cain was suddenly the great black hope of the GOP, the anti-Obama. “I believe he’s a decent man,” Cain says of the president. “But he’s a terrible leader.”
Cain seems determinedly undaunted by political practicalities, however heavily they weigh against his chances. He remains a black Republican in a predominantly white party who has only a fledgling organization and no ground game in the crucial early primary and caucus states. And until very recently, he didn’t seem to have much of a sense of urgency about his own campaign, wandering off the trail to do a book tour for a time–which caused the departure of several staffers who were concerned that he wasn’t serious about running for president.
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SOURCE: The Daily Beast
David A. Graham