Herman Cain for President?

The popular, charismatic conservative businessman and radio host announced today that he’s forming an exploratory committee to assess his electoral prospects. At RedState, he’s a hit:

In 1977, at age 29 he had a MS in Computer Science. He joined Pillsbury, and within 5 years became VP of Corporate Systems and Services. He quit that post after 2 years, and joined Pillsbury’s Burger King division, learning from the ground up as a burger flipper. Nine months later, he was in charge of 400 stores in Pennsylvania, BK’s worst performing region. in three years, it was the company’s best.

THAT is when Pillsbury sent him to the rescue of their failing Godfathers Pizza chain in 1986. In fourteen months it was profitable and in another year he led his executive team to a buyout of Godfathers from Pillsbury. It gets better but I’ll stop there. You get an idea of the kind of man we are talking about […]

“How’s all that political experience working out for you?” Seriously, name me a government system that is not bloated, broke, or broken. The entitlement system? No? OK, how about those bureaus. Are you pleased with the EPA, FEC, FCC, FDA? How about the Education Department. State Department? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

Call it a stretch, but maybe Washington DC crammed full of career politicians and bureacrats is not made of pure awesome. Maybe bold, hard-nosed, results-oriented, problem-solving business sense is the kind of thing you want at the top.

Imagine a president with the grit, the tenacity, the pragmatic, practical, no-nonsense, clear-thinking approach that Cain took with Burger King, Godfathers Pizza, and cancer. Then imagine the same guy is a movement conservative. Then imagine the guy actually ran for president.

What I know about his views on the issues is all promising. And Cain certainly interests/excites me more than the rest of the assumed 2012 field (well, with one exception). But I’m not endorsing him yet. Why? It’s simply too early.

As I’ve discussed extensively before (see here, here, here, and here), the Right has an annoying, counterproductive tendency toward anointing heroes prematurely, and getting burned and making fools out of ourselves when the reality falls short of our high expectations.

We’ve got about two years ’till the next election; can we at least wait until after a debate or two before issuing endorsements for anyone? Instead of latching onto someone right away and making him the standard-bearer for all our hopes and dreams, let’s discuss the qualities and principles our next president should ideally have, and then strive to impartially compare all of our choices (including how they campaign and what they promise) to our ideals, to each other, and then make a commitment.


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