Herman Cain’s Leap From CEO To CIC

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Herman Cain ran a pizza company. He was chief executive, after working his way up, of a Fortune 500 company.

Imagine this:

I’ve decided that tomorrow, I’m going to be CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. But, Melissa, you protest, you have no experience! I beg to differ. Consider:

1. I like pizza. A lot.
2. I run a business. Sure, it’s a small business with a couple of employees, but…what?
3. I know people who own stocks. Heck, I own a little myself. Dealing with stockholders should be no sweat.
4. I know what franchises are.
5. I’m a people person.
6. I work hard.

I figure that if Herman Cain can be a CEO of a company so can I.

Absurd? Of course. Being the CEO in the food service industry doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, Herman Cain himself says that he started at the bottom and worked his way up.

It’s arrogant on my part to think that I could just jump into the job and more importantly, succeed, from day one. It diminishes the hard work, skill and understanding that’s imparted from being immersed im the business.

Herman Cain wants to be President of the United States. He has never done these things:

1. Held elected office.
2. Served diverse constituencies with conflicting demands.
3. Run a successful campaign.
4. Hired ground game campaigners in any state, even now.

Here’s the thing, I don’t think so little of Herman Cain’s role as CEO at Godfather’s Pizza that I believe “anyone can do it”. That’s simply not true. Not anyone can do it. Otherwise, anyone WOULD do it.

I also don’t think so little of the United States Presidency that I believe “anyone can do it”. Exhibit “A”: Barack Obama.

This is where some people wax philosophical and say things like this to me, “Melissa, I don’t think the presidency should be out of reach for the average person.”

Newsflash: Our Founding Fathers were not “average people”. They were extraordinary people. Accomplished. Seasoned. Leaders in thought and action and political philosophy and acumen.

I understand that the Presidency has been diminished by some of its holders. That doesn’t mean that standards for office holders should be thrown out. No, we should expect more.

Some of you will think I’m picking on Herman Cain, but really, executive elected leadership is so important that my criterion eliminates people like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and even Newt Gingrich.

It is easy to appeal to a district who is often relatively homogenous ideologically. And yet, Herman Cain hasn’t even done this. He hasn’t run a small campaign–and even small campaigns can be fraught with difficulty.

Governing is not the same as being a boss at work where people are being paid to do what you tell them to.

I wouldn’t be so hard on Mr. Cain if I felt that his campaign was being run efficiently or seriously. I am getting increasingly pissed off, though, because a lot of people I like and admire are being played by the Cain campaign.

When I see that Herman Cain is in Texas to do his book tour (he’s been in my neck of the woods twice in the past two months that I know of and will be here next week again), I’m incredulous. This is the most important election in a lifetime, maybe more, and he’s fooling around giving inspirational speeches and selling books in unimportant primary states?

When I hear that key activists in battleground states haven’t been reached out to by the Cain campaign, that tells me that he’s not running for President. He hasn’t even wrapped up Tea Party folks who know and love him, to work for him?

I see the charming smile and the easy way Herman Cain has with people and see a natural politician. His lack of experience and, based on his actions, lack of desire for the presidency, angers me.

Too much is at stake to be fooling around during a presidential campaign so you can get more speaking engagements and sell self-help books.

Cain followers, please demand answers of your candidate. He shouldn’t be just talking the talk, but walking the walk. That means setting up a nationwide network that will help him win the election should he get the nomination.

Either Herman Cain gets serious, or admit this: He is the perfect foil for Mitt Romney.

As it stands, a vote for Herman Cain is a vote for Mitt Romney. And, as far as I can tell, that’s exactly the opposite of what Cain backers want.