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.