Why Cain Can’t

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Our family met Herman Cain several years ago, and I subsequently had several business contacts with him. I’d love to have him as a neighbor — he’s genuine, a family man (he even played with our baby daughter), and a great motivational speaker. However, politically, as Howard Baker used to say, “deep down, he’s shallow.”

Surprisingly, Herman admits it — witness his promise to rely on “the experts,” since he knows nothing about foreign policy. But that candor, combined with his admission that he’s “not familiar with the neoconservative movement,” disqualifies him. He not only knows nothing about foreign policy, but he’s not prepared to confront the perverse ideology that has informed it for the past ten years.

Herman tells debate audiences that he knows how to identify the problem and solve it. Well, the one problem our company had with his organization was easily identified, but he wouldn’t solve it: He was unwilling to overrule one of his incompetent subordinates. He apologized to me for it, which is more than I can say for most politicians — perhaps that’s why Herman insists that he is not a politician. And I repeat that he is indeed a gentleman.

Herman’s disappointing reliance on “experts” reminds me of the startling testimony of a witness we had at a senate hearing some thirty years ago. He told the shocked panel something along these lines: “Never trust the experts, senators. They will always advocate more funding of their area of expertise. Without that funding, they will have to find work elsewhere. Without that funding, many of them would probably wind up having to drive a truck.” (Of course the panel ignored him).

So: Herman Cain — a great guy and a good neighbor. But when confronted with the Leviathan’s “experts,” he’ll flinch. And eventually, as they say in the pizza business, they’ll eat him for lunch.

1:57 pm on October 17, 2011