Is Herman Cain Running for President, or Governor of Georgia?
1 year ago
In either case, you should be gravely concerned
Give Herman Cain his due: He doesn’t wilt under pressure. Tuesday night’s GOP debate saw him going head up, in the center of the table with his GOP rivals and holding his own. He hit Romney on his abstruse economic plans, and drilled through his “999” tax code plan, which was mentioned 24 times during the debate. The following morning Cain smirked his way through an interview as Chuck Todd tried to grill him on “The Daily Rundown.”
He was important enough for Michele Bachmann to throw a satanic reference his way (though admittedly she hands those out like campaign buttons). And, in another brand of validation, a few days ago, Cornel West told Cain to “get off the symbolic crack pipe.” All those slings add up to him being if not a true frontrunner, then certainly someone who has gotten out of the starting blocks faster than anyone thought he would.
I’m loathed to admit it, but a part of me felt a perverse pride in seeing the black guy hold his own, and perhaps some implicit validation of Morehouse College and by extension the Atlanta University Center where I taught for a decade. There was some element of comeuppance in the fact that an HBCU-educated political novice who ran a pizza chain was skilled enough to outshine most of his more seasoned white counterparts and put a few of them on the defensive. But that sentiment took a backseat to another more considered one: That beneath Cain’s Southern drawl, his stuttering nines and unshakeable demeanor is a regressive sensibility that should concern all of us, not just black voters.