This Is Herman Cain:
My Journey to the White House
by Herman Cain
236 pages, Illustrated
Book Review by Kam Williams
“I didn’t grow up wanting to be President of the United States. I grew up po’, which is even worse than being poor. My American Dream entailed working hard and… I became a corporate CEO, a regional chairman of the Federal Reserve, a president of the Restaurant Association, an author, and a talk show host before retiring at 65.
And then I became a presidential aspirant… I’m a leader… When all the votes are counted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, we will be free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty! This nation will be free at last--again!”
Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. 1-2)
One criticism leveled at Herman Cain by a lot of TV pundits is that he isn’t really a serious presidential candidate because he’s devoted so much time during the campaign to promoting his autobiography. Well, anybody who’s actually bothered to read the book would see that it really devotes as much attention to his political platform as it does to his private life.
One thing’s for certain, whether he’s reflecting on his childhood or addressing the issues, the charismatic businessman has a knack for driving home his point in readily-digestible layman’s terms. In fact, he’s able to break down any topic of conversation into a slogan with 3 simple tenets.
By now everybody knows about his 9-9-9 economic plan. But this opus reveals that he identifies himself as A-B-C, meaning American, first; Black, second; and a Conservative, third.
Then there’s his 3 steps on to success: R-O-I, which refer to Removing barriers, Obtaining results and Inspiring yourself. And how did the former CEO turn around the Godfather’s Pizza chain when it was on the brink of bankruptcy? Why, with Q-S-C! Quality, Service and Cleanliness.
According to Cain, “There are generally 3 types of people in the world. People who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who say, ‘What in the heck just happened?’” And when it comes to appointing Supreme Court Justices, he says, “I have 3 criteria: conservative, conservative, conservative.”
You might be surprised that despite the apparent obsession with triads, he devotes an entire chapter to his lucky number, 45, in which he reveals that not only was he born in 1945, but that he expects to be the 45th President of the United States. If you’re superstitious, you might appreciate the other coincidences he cites, like recently writing an article with exactly 645 words, and eating at a restaurant named Table 45.
Numerology aside, I do recommend This Is Herman Cain for 2 (not 3) reasons. First, as an excellent reference articulating the Republican nomination contender’s positions. For, in a chapter entitled “The Cain Doctrine,” he elaborates on what his Administration’s policy would be on everything from the Economy to Abortion to Energy to Immigration.
Secondly, even if you’re not persuaded to embrace his right-wing point-of-view, you still might enjoy the rest of the text, a loving memoir crediting his late parents who labored as a maid and a janitor in Jim Crow Georgia to raise a black boy who beat the odds by growing up to become a captain of industry.