...You have to understand that Herman Cain is convinced that the citizen's Tea Party movement has changed everything. (He has even inserted "citizens" into the name of that movement lately.)
And when everything is changed, nothing is more useless than conventional wisdom.
Conventional wisdom is missing this shifting of several electoral tectonic plates beneath our feet. A man like Cain would never stand a chance in any cycle prior to 2012.
Wisconsin sent a good man to the Cain campaign; The Other McCain's been on-board for quite some time.
There's a certain romanticism in the "non-Gummint" label--and a lot of cachet, too.
As to "experience", discounting the Godfather's work is inane. Successfully navigating upward in an organization as big as Pillsbury, which is a political exercise par excellence, was capped with this:
...intense competition within the pizza business and the failure of many of its stores to open in prime locations resulted in declining sales and profits. In 1986 Pillsbury appointed Herman Cain, an employee of Pillsbury Company since 1977, as the new Godfather's president. Cain had earned an impressive reputation previously with the Burger King restaurant chain division in the Philadelphia region, where he had rescued several of their operations. At the outset of his efforts to enhance stability for Godfather's, Cain worked to settle several lawsuits filed by franchise owners, disposed of money-losing units, arranged for many of its units to provide home-delivery service, and introduced new products such as bacon-cheese-burger pizzas. Under his management the company showed profits for the first time in three years, according to Stephen Madden of Fortune.
In other words, he did a lot of things at Godfather's which SHOULD be done wit the US Government.
Read the linked story to understand that swimming with the sharks is Cain's natural habitat, and why that may propel him to Shark # 1.
Herb Cain may have invented the bacon cheeseburger pizza, but apparently is clueless about the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps that's what helps him connect with those citizens in the tea party.
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