Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Wasted Opportunity Of Herman Cain?

Among his other jobs, Herman Cain has been a radio talk show host.  This is not, in itself, a qualification to be President (though being a talk radio host strikes me as a hard job), but it was an opportunity for preparation to be President.  This is to use Ross Douthat's definition of preparation as "the hard work of scaling up one's understanding from state-level challenges [or in Cain's case the opinions of a politically interested businessman] to national issues that any aspiring candidate needs to do."

As a talk show host, Cain was, in a sense, paid to think about public issues and then talk about them for three hours a day five days a week.  From my limited understanding, talk radio show prep tends to focus on the day-to-day, but Cain could have immersed himself in the best conservative policy thinking.  He could have worked at making this thinking accessible to his audience.  Cain seems not to have done that.  Maybe he did and we just haven't seen it yet, and he is going to surprise us.  

Categories > Politics

Discussions - 4 Comments

The fat lady hasn't sung yet.

Cain's a novelty candidate. Newt's candidacy has been eaten by Callista's hairdo. TPaw is too plain a bowl of oatmeal. Increasingly I'm thinking it's gonna come down to the Mittster versus Michelle.

Pete, your persistent hope that GOP politicians are someday going to live up to your expectations seems rather unjustified by past experience. Applying Occam's Razor to the case of Herman Cain, isn't the most likely reason for his shallow rhetoric to date is that he is, well, just shallow and - whatever his business and public speaking skills - lacking in the patience to educate himself about the issues facing the country on a more than superficial level? If he had more to offer, wouldn't we have heard it by now?

djf, I don't think about it in terms of hope or expectations rather than in trying to describe what I see. In this case both the opportunity that was there for Cain and Cain's inability to take advantage.

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