A month before the South Carolina debate, I predicted that Donald Trump’s rise in the polls may be temporary. I said that Herman Cain may be the ultimate beneficiary of the Trump’s numbers, which represented a general anger toward President Obama and dissatisfaction with the more conventional candidates in the Republican primary field. Like Trump, Cain speaks simply and communicates well. His answers do not come across as being cobbled together by a group of wonkish consultants.
When Cain was asked about his lack of political experience, he, in a line he has used often on the rubber chicken circuit, asked the national audience how the experienced politicians were doing.
Quite simply, Cain asked, “And how’s that working out for ya?”
And with that, Cain used his moment under the national spotlight to introduce himself to voters who may have never seen or heard of him before.
This week, on Bill Bennett’s radio show, Cain again displayed why his ability to talk straight in addition to using vivid and lively anecdotes to make a point about current problems Americans face will play well in future debates.
In this interview, Cain recounts grilling a girl who had a lemonade stand about all the bureaucratic hurdles that she would have to overcome and all the regulations that were on the books. In a memorable moment, Cain said the girl looked at him and said she would rather ask her father for some money instead of going out and trying to take advantage of the free enterprise system that has always made America great. It was a powerful anecdote.
Cain will also gain traction in the future once a national audience hears him ask if he is a racist for opposing Obama and using his “big potatoes” anecdote. Cain said that his grandfather took roundabout and bumpy roads outside the mainstream to take his potaotes to the market because, during the bumpy ride, the big potatoes rose to the top.
After telling this story, Cain will dare the audience to be a “big potato.”
Cain will presumably officially announce his candidacy for President at an event in Atlanta, Georgia on May 21st.
All indications are that handicappers should be bullish on a Cain candidacy, and they should be even more so if presumably “top-tier” candidates decide to sit out the 2012 cycle.