Herman Cain Rises As Tea Party Favorite
Georgia businessman, conservative radio host, and sometimes Fox News guest Herman Cain is gaining steam among Tea Party circles, according to a straw poll released Sunday by the group Tea Party Patriots, which picked Cain as the first runner up to longtime libertarian favorite Ron Paul, Reuters reports. Paul picked up 36 percent of the votes, while Cain, a political newcomer and noted YouTube sensation, received 22 percent.
Cain, former CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza franchise, is little known to those outside conservative circles. As early as December 2010, thought, Politico’s Ben Smith called him a likely choice to fill the role of the “ideological purist and debate champ” -- sort of the Tea Party’s Dennis Kucinich.
The Atlantic’s Joshua Green, in a recent profile of Cain, wrote that, whether he is a viable candidate or not, Cain would spice up the debate on the Republican side, adding that, “to a bland field, he’d add charisma, a compelling story, and some craziness”:
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. At a GOP confab in New Orleans last year, Cain railed against liberals, who, he said, slander conservatives as “racist, redneck tea-baggers.” He paused for effect, then brought the house down: “I had to go look in the mirror to see if I missed something!”
Last year, Cain addressed more than 40 Tea Party rallies, hit all the early presidential states, and became a YouTube sensation. He pops up regularly on Fox News. He has devoted followers—on Twitter, on the radio, and in the real world too. He calls himself the “dark horse.” People love it. In December, he was the surprise choice for 2012 GOP nominee in a reader poll on the conservative Web site RedState.com, narrowly edging out Palin. “I’m 70, 80 percent there,” he told me. The only question is money. If he can raise enough, he’ll get in the race.
Cain is a full-throated critic of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law and has championed the House Republicans' attempts to repeal it, calling the law a “complete disaster” at this year’s CPAC.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin came in third place in the poll, and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty came in fourth.
Reach us here.