ANALYSIS, GOVERNMENT

My Take: A Quick Review of “This is Herman Cain”

1 Comment 14 October 2011

Photo by John Trainor.

by Dan Webb

Herman Cain has an amazing life story: A black man raised by hardworking parents in the segregated south. They taught him the valuable lessons of diligence and of no excuses. Cain applied these lessons throughout his life, specifically while climbing the corporate ladder at Coca Cola and Pillsbury.

At Pillsbury he worked his way up to Vice President. After a while, knowing that he would need more managerial experience to be a CEO, he changed course in his career and moved to a fast track program with Burger King (a subsidiary of Pillsbury). Over a 15 month period Cain worked just about every position imaginable, from a line manager in the back of a local Burger King all the way to regional manager for the Philadelphia area.

With his success as the regional manager Pillsbury invited him to be the CEO of the struggling Godfather’s pizza chain. He led Godfather’s away from the brink of bankruptcy towards profitability in about a year.  After that year, Pillsbury decided to sell Godfather’s pizza despite the turn around. Cain and his Vice President took the bold step and successfully negotiated a buyout of the pizza chain from Pillsbury.

Throughout Cain’s book he fights the notion that to overcome an obstacle you play the victim card, something that I believe many American’s can learn from. Cain’s optimism & trust in God is a constant reminder to the reader and serve as a great motivation. I learned practical leadership lessons as well as goal-orienting techniques (Cain’s refrain of being the CEO of self is a great self-motivational tool).

In addition to Cain’s tale of corporate success, the story of his fight with colon cancer is one hope for those who have any experience with that hardship. Throughout Cain’s truly inspirational life story, he explains how he would fix the ills facing the nation.

After I finished the book, I went through some self-denial. I wanted Cain to be the nominee based on how he carries himself. I want to prove the “Republicans are racist bigots” meme wrong with a strong Conservative black candidate. His honesty when answering questions is a breath of fresh air in the smog of politics (For political smog see Romney). But when it came down to it, his depth of knowledge on the issues facing the United States seem to be lacking. Though bold in his proposition of ideas, they often skate the line of Constitutionality. I don’t want this to be true but I cannot deny that his book led me to this conclusion.

Is it bad that I was less inclined to support Cain after I read his book? I answer that question with a very big “yes!” The purpose of a presidential candidate writing a book is to allow the candidate to expand on his campaigns themes. A five minute cable interview or a thirty second debate talking point is just not enough. He failed to convince this reader (and I was REALLY trying to be convinced) that he has a deep grasp on the issues facing us today.

Granted, knowledge can grow and he certainly has the intelligence to learn the information. I hope he either proves me wrong or takes to learning the subjects deeply. If not I’ll have a hard time supporting his nomination. That’s just my take.

  • http://twitter.com/medbob Bob Kellum

    Being a Systems Analyst, if you would ask me something regarding an SQL query, I might not have an immediate answer for you. I would know where to go to find the answer. In the same way, I find that our expectations (as Conservatives) are much greater than any one individual can encompass. I believe that Romney doesn’t have a better grasp on the breadth of issues, but he’s better at sugar coating and sliding around thru the subject. Herman is too direct for that. Let’s take BHO for example. Was he really vetted with regard to his views and experience? No, he set the tone and the content of his deliveries. He was “handled” much in the same way that his entire career was “handled”.
    I think that it is very telling that Herman (dangerously) states in questions about foreign policy, that he does not yet have all the facts.
    A CEO, much akin to a President, must rely heavily on information provided by others. Instead of shucking and jiving, Herman gives a technically correct answer even in spite of the fact that it is factually unfulfilling.

    I would argue that he has 1000% better grasp of the facts than our current President.
    And is also (in contrast) being tested by fire.

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