To all of those readers who say I should give my attention to the rising presidential campaign of Republican Herman Cain, I am happy to announce that he has it.
And to all those who ask, "Who the heck is Herman Cain?" I respond, "You know, the pizza guy."
Known as the business whiz who brought the Godfather's Pizza chain back from extinction, Citizen Cain stole the show at May's Republican presidential debate. A post-debate focus group of the Grand Old Party's voters, led by political consultant Frank Luntz, overwhelmingly decided Cain won and his poll ratings surged upward.
That didn't surprise those who have heard the 65-year-old speak. Cain has his own radio talk show and appears regularly as a Fox News guest commentator, two jobs that recently have become almost a prerequisite for a Republican presidential candidacy.
He tells a stirring narrative as a cancer survivor who solves problems and hates what big government and liberals have done to people. No problem there either, as far as the GOP's right wing is concerned.
Yet Cain has yet to win much respect from Republicans who care about winning elections. He was dismissed as "entertainment" by conservative Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, for example.
But Cain shrugs off the naysayers and double-dog dares the media to look for gaffes, stumbles and "gotchas" in his record.
"And to my critics who are scouting for more of my weaknesses to write about," he wrote, "I will give you three you have not discovered yet. I don't know everything. I don't pander to groups. And I am terrible at political correctness."
I suppose he was referring to his recent appearance on Fox News when he did not seem to know what the "right of return" was, a key issue in the Middle East peace process. "It would have helped if [interviewer Chris Wallace] would have said Palestinian right of return," said Cain in a later Washington Post interview. Cain also is "currently reading a book on Israel," according to the Post article. Good. Better late than never.
And, when it comes to political correctness, I'm sure Cain is talking about such projects as the 2006 radio ad that he placed on black-oriented radio stations to promote voting Republican. Sample dialogue:
Unidentified male voice: "So, I suppose you want me to vote Republican, like you and your soldier buddies?"
Cain: "Not at all, you've got no reason to."
UMV: "How's that?"
Cain: "Well you don't work for a living, so what do you care about keeping taxes low?"
UMV: "Hey that's cold!"
Cain: "You cheat on your wife, so why would you want an amendment to protect marriage?"
UMV (Proudly): "Hey, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do --!"
Cain: "And if you make a little mistake with one of your hos, you'll want to dispose of that problem toot suite, no questions asked."
UMV: "No, now that's too cold! I don't snuff my own seed."
Cain: "Huh? Really? Well maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican!"
Translation: If you don't vote Republican, you must be a lazy, shiftless, oversexed, unpatriotic, soldier-hating, baby-killing, deadbeat parent who makes babies with his "hos."
My comment: With ads like this, Republicans don't need Democrats to sink their image.
And Cain shouldn't be surprised when some fellow Republicans write him off as entertainment, especially when the joke is on them.
At least he has a good career as a radio pundit and motivational speaker to fall back on. Maybe that's what his campaign is really all about.