The GOP needs Herman Cain

Welcome to the big stage, Herman Cain.

The seemingly unimportant fringe candidate generated positive buzz after performing well in last month’s presidential debates. He isn’t having his few months of fame, he does actually have political potential.

The GOP is in dire need of a serious candidate with political promise and finesse. Cain could be exactly what they need.

Think about the other candidates that could represent the GOP: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has his failed health care disaster, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry can’t debate to save his life.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., has too many personal problems, while Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has some unorthodox, libertarian foreign policy.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and former Utah Gov. John Huntsman probably aren’t serious contenders.

That leaves the relatively unknown Cain, an African-American businessman who some consider to be the “dark horse” of the Republican primaries.

“Cain’s biography has an inherent appeal — especially in these tough economic and fiscal times when faith in government and political leaders is at a low,” wrote CNN’s Martina Stewart.

Cain certainly has appeal.

Obama boasted nearly all the African-American vote last election; Cain could, however, be a potential roadblock for Obama’s most stark voting base this time around.

Cain is also a successful businessman — a man who understands economics and who knows how to succeed within capitalism.

Former Burger King CEO Jeff Campbell, Cain’s old boss, commented on Cain’s business experience, “This guy made a payroll. This guy had to solve problems. This guy had to deal with and energize people … We don’t have enough of that kind of thinking represented, and that’s what it’s going to take to get us out of the mess we’re in — train wreck.”

He’s already shown he’s creative enough; his “9-9-9” economic plan, which he recently proposed in an effort to transform the tax code, has certainly gathered support from many conservatives, though the GOP presidential candidates have been less then accepting of it.

The plan involves the use of a fair tax, something that I’ve supported for some time and something that I believe would revolutionize capitalism in America.

Cain isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

When asked about the current protests regarding Wall Street, Cain responded, “It’s coordinated to create a distraction so people won’t focus on the failed policies of this administration.”

Though these outspoken remarks could draw heat, they could also turn heads — a somewhat strategic political endeavor, since Cain is still not considered the GOP front-runner.

So could Herman Cain be the candidate the Republicans have been so desperately searching for? Only time will tell, but so far he’s got my vote.

Reach the columnist at spmccaul@asu.edu

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