|Cain in October 2011|
|Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City|
|Preceded by||Burton A. Dole, Jr|
|Succeeded by||A. Drue Jennings|
|Deputy Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City|
|Preceded by||Burton A. Dole, Jr|
|Succeeded by||A. Drue Jennings|
|Born||December 13, 1945
Memphis, Tennessee, US
|Spouse(s)||Gloria Cain (m. 1968–present) |
|Residence||Sandy Springs, Georgia, US|
|Alma mater||Morehouse College (mathematics, 1967)
(masters, computer science, 1971)
This article is part of a series about
Herman Cain (born December 13, 1945) is an American business executive, syndicated columnist, and radio host from Georgia. He is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza from 1986 to 1996. Cain served as deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from 1992 to 1994, and as chairman from 1995 to 1996. Before his business career, he worked as a mathematician in ballistics as a civilian employee of the United States Navy. Cain was president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999.
Cain ran for public office several times, including a campaign in 2000 for President and 2004 for Senator, neither of which were successful. In May 2011, Cain entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Initially dismissed by mainstream media, Cain unexpectedly surged in Republican primary polls in October 2011, and became one of the leading candidates for the nomination.
Herman Cain was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Lenora Cain (née Davis), a cleaning woman and domestic worker, and Luther Cain, Jr., who was raised on a farm and worked as a barber and janitor, as well as a chauffeur for Coca-Cola president Robert Woodruff. Cain has said that as he was growing up, his family was "poor" but "happy". Cain related that his mother taught him about her belief that "success was not a function of what you start out with materially, but what you start out with spiritually". His father worked three jobs to own his own home — something he achieved during Cain's childhood — and to see his two sons graduate.
Cain grew up on the west side of Atlanta, Georgia, attending school and Rev. Cameron M. Alexander's Antioch Baptist Church North in the neighborhood now known as The Bluff. Eventually Cain's father saved enough money and the family moved to a modest brick home on Albert Street in the Collier Heights neighborhood. He attended Archer (public) High School, graduating in 1963.
Cain married Gloria Cain (née Etchison), of Atlanta, soon after her graduation from Morris Brown College in 1968. His wife of 43 years is a homemaker, who also served stints as a teacher and a librarian. The couple have two children and three grandchildren.
In 2006, Cain was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in his colon and metastases to his liver and given a 30-percent chance of survival. Cain underwent surgery and chemotherapy following the diagnosis, and has since reported that he is in remission.
Disclosures filed during his campaign in 2011 categorized Cain's wealth as of that time as being between $2.9 to $6.6 million, with Cain's income for both 2010 and 2011 combined being between $1.1 to $2.1 million.
Education and honors
Cain received the 1996 Horatio Alger Award and has received honorary degrees from Creighton University, Johnson & Wales University, Morehouse College, University of Nebraska, New York City Technical College, Purdue University, Suffolk University, and Tougaloo College.
Cain serves as an associate minister Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, which he joined at the age of 10. The church is part of the National Baptist Convention, USA and is "a bastion of liberal activism", where the church's senior pastor, Rev. Cameron M. Alexander, reportedly does not share Cain's political philosophy.
After completing his master's degree from Purdue, Cain left the Department of the Navy and began working for The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta as a computer systems analyst. In 1977, he moved to Minneapolis to join Pillsbury, soon becoming director of business analysis in its restaurant and foods group in 1978.
At age 36, Cain was assigned in the 1980s to analyze and manage 400 Burger King stores in the Philadelphia area. At the time, Burger King was a Pillsbury subsidiary. Under Cain, his region posted strong improvement in three years. According to a 1987 account in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Pillsbury's then-president Win Wallin said, "He was an excellent bet. Herman always seemed to have his act together." At Burger King, Cain "established the BEAMER program, which taught our employees, mostly teenagers, how to make our patrons smile" by smiling themselves. It was a success: "Within three months of the program's initiation, the sales trend was moving steadily higher."
Cain's success at Burger King prompted Pillsbury to appoint him president and CEO of another subsidiary, Godfather's Pizza. Cain arrived on April 1, 1986, and told employees, "I'm Herman Cain and this ain't no April Fool's joke. We are not dead. Our objective is to prove to Pillsbury and everyone else that we will survive." Godfather's Pizza was performing poorly, and had slipped in ranks of pizza chains from 3rd in 1985 to fifth in 1988. Under Cain's leadership, Godfather's closed approximately 200 restaurants and eliminated several thousand jobs, and by doing so returned to profitability. In a leveraged buyout in 1988, Cain, Executive Vice-President and COO Ronald B. Gartlan and a group of investors, bought Godfather's from Pillsbury.
Cain became a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 1992. He served as deputy chairman from January 1, 1992 to December 31, 1994; and he served as its chairman from January 1, 1995 to August 19, 1996, when he resigned to become active in national politics. Prior to serving on the bank's board, he served as Chairman of the bank's Omaha Branch Board, from January 1, 1989 to December 31, 1991.
Cain left Godfather's Pizza in 1996 and moved to Washington, D.C., to become CEO of the National Restaurant Association, a trade group and lobbying organization for the restaurant industry, on whose board of directors he had previously served. Cain's lobbying work for the Association led to a number of connections to Republican lawmakers and politicians.
After Cain's term with the restaurant advocacy group ended in 1999, Cain returned to Omaha for about a year, moving to his hometown of Atlanta in 2000.
"Imagine There's No Pizza"
Cain performed "Imagine There's No Pizza", a gospel-flavored parody of the John Lennon songs "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance", at an Omaha Press Club event in 1991. A video of this performance became popular during his 2012 campaign. Prior to performing the song, Cain offered the following introduction:
One of the wonderful things about living in America is the freedom we have to laugh at ourselves. In fact, we have so many freedoms that it is easy to sometimes take them for granted. So it is helpful sometimes to try and imagine what it's like if we were to lose some of those freedoms.
Cain performed the song with female backup singers while he wore white preacher's robes. The song begins with the lyrics:
Columns and publications
Cain's notable works include:
- Leadership is Common Sense (2nd ed.). Tapestry. November 2000 [first published 1997]. ISBN 978-1930819023.
- Speak as a Leader. Lebhar-Friedman Books. December 1999. ISBN 978-0867307825.
- CEO of SELF. Tapestry. August 2001. ISBN 978-1930819047.
- They Think You're Stupid. Stroud & Hall. June 10, 2011 [first published 2005]. ISBN 978-0979646270.
- This is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House. Threshold Editions. October 2011. ISBN 978-1451666137.
Cain wrote "The Intangibles of Implementation" in the technical journal Interfaces (Vol. 9, No. 5, 1979, pp. 144–147), published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).
Role in the defeat of 1993 Clinton health care plan
Cain publicly opposed the Clinton health care plan of 1993. As president-elect of the National Restaurant Association, he challenged Bill Clinton on the costs of the employer mandate contained within the bill and criticized its effect on small businesses. Bob Cohn of Newsweek described Cain as one of the primary opponents of the plan:
- The Clintons would later blame "Harry and Louise", the fictional couple in the ads aired by the insurance industry, for undermining health reform. But the real saboteurs are named Herman and John. Herman Cain is the president of Godfather's Pizza and president-elect of the National Restaurant Association. An articulate entrepreneur, Cain transformed the debate when he challenged Clinton at a town meeting in Kansas City, Missouri. Cain asked the president what he was supposed to say to the workers he would have to lay off because of the cost of the "employer mandate". Clinton responded that there would be plenty of subsidies for small businessmen, but Cain persisted. "Quite honestly, your calculation is inaccurate," he told the president. "In the competitive marketplace it simply doesn't work that way."
Conservative politician and former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp was so impressed with Cain's performance that he chartered a plane to Nebraska to meet Cain after the debate. Cain credits Kemp with his becoming interested in politics.
Senior advisor to 1996 Dole campaign
2000 Presidential campaign
Cain briefly ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000; he says it was more about making political statements than winning the nomination. "George W. Bush was the chosen one, he had the campaign DNA that followers look for." However, Cain went on to state, "I believe that I had a better message and I believe that I was the better messenger." After ending his own campaign, however, he endorsed Steve Forbes.
2004 U.S. Senate candidacy
In 2004, Cain ran for the U.S. Senate in Georgia and did not win in the primaries. He was pursuing the seat that came open with the retirement of Democrat Zell Miller. Cain sought the Republican nomination, facing congressmen Johnny Isakson and Mac Collins in the primary. Cain and Collins both hoped to deny Isakson a majority on primary day in order to force him into a runoff. Collins tried to paint Cain as a moderate, citing Cain's support for affirmative action programs, while Cain argued that he was a conservative, noting that he opposed the legality of abortion except when the mother's life is threatened. Cain finished second in the primary with 26.2% of the vote, ahead of Collins, who won 20.6%, but because Isakson won 53.2% of the vote, Isakson was able to avoid a runoff.
2005–2011 work for Americans for Prosperity
Starting in 2005, Cain worked for the Koch family funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) alongside Mark Block. Block would later become campaign manager for Cain's 2012 Presidential run and would be joined in Cain's campaign by several other AFP employees. Cain continued to receive honorariums for speaking at AFP events until he announced his campaign for the Republican nomination. Cain's senior economic advisor during his 2012 presidential campaign, Rich Lowrie, who helped devise Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan, had served on the AFP board. 
Herman Cain has enthusiastically embraced the Koch brothers, who have funded his campaign. According to Cain, "Just so I can clarify this for the media, this may be a breaking news announcement for the media: I am the Koch brothers' brother from another mother; yes. I'm their brother from another mother! And proud of it!" Cain has been accused of violating campaign finance laws by accepting money from a nonprofit affiliated with the Koch brothers and Mark Block. Nonprofits are not allowed to spend money on presidential campaigns.
2006 Republican ad campaign
In 2006, Cain voiced several radio ads encouraging people of color to vote Republican; the ads were funded by a group called America's PAC and its founder J. Patrick Rooney. These ads were criticized for making use of racial stereotypes, such as one in which one black man refers to black women as "ho's". That ad also claimed that Democrats didn't care about black infants because they support legalized abortion. Another ad attempted to link Democrats to white supremacist David Duke, since Duke opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The ads stirred controversy in the communities in which they ran. 
2012 presidential candidacy
In 2010, "Cain addressed more than 40 Tea Party rallies, hit all the early presidential states, and became a YouTube sensation." On September 24, 2010, Cain announced that he was considering a run for president in 2012 on the Republican Party ticket. In December, Cain was the "surprise choice" for 2012 GOP nominee in a RedState.com reader poll. Cain announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee on January 12, 2011, and officially announced his candidacy on May 21 in Atlanta.
A popular speaker, Cain's addresses to conservative groups have been well-received, and in late September and early October 2011, Cain won straw polls in Florida, Illinois, and at the National Federation of Republican Women's Convention. "My focus groups have consistently picked Herman Cain as the most likeable candidate in the debates," says GOP pollster Frank Luntz. "Don't underestimate the power of likability, even in a Republican primary. The more likeable the candidate, the greater the electoral potential."
In July 2011, an advisor suggested that his campaign's tax policy plan be called "the Optimal Tax", but Cain rejected the name, saying "[w]e're just going to call it what it is: 9-9-9." The plan would replace the current tax code with a 9-percent business transactions tax, a 9-percent personal income tax, and a 9-percent federal sales tax. During a debate on October 12, Cain said his plan "expands the base," arguing that "[w]hen you expand the base, we can arrive at the lowest possible rate, which is 9-9-9." An analysis released to Bloomberg News by the campaign claimed that the rate for each of the three taxes could in fact be as low as 7.3%, but "poverty grants" — which Cain has described as a lower rate in targeted "empowerment zones" — necessitated a national rate of 9%. Paul Krugman has criticized the plan, saying it shifts much of the current tax burden from the rich to the poor. Arthur Laffer, Lawrence Kudlow, the Club for Growth, and Congressman Paul Ryan have spoken favorably of "9-9-9". On October 21, Cain told a crowd in Detroit that the plan would be 9-0-9 for the poor, saying that "if you are at or below the poverty level … then you don’t pay that middle 9 on your income."
Sexual misconduct accusations
In October 2011, Politico reported that two female employees had complained about inappropriate behavior by Cain during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association. The women reportedly accepted financial settlements from the association which barred them from discussing their allegations further. Cain's campaign initially refused comment, but subsequently acknowledged that the accusations had been made. Cain strongly denied any impropriety, stating: "I have never sexually harassed anyone and those accusations are totally false." He initially denied being aware of any financial settlement with the accusers, but later accepted that some form of payment had been made by the Restaurant Association. He described the allegations as a "witch hunt". In an interview with Greta van Susteren, Cain further said that the allegations had been investigated and found baseless. He said one of the specific allegations was making a gesture indicating his wife's height by holding his palm flat, which one of the accusers found objectionable. On November 8, 2011, one of the first two women to accuse Cain was identifed as Karen Kraushaar, a registered Republican employed at the US Treasury Department. On November 3, 2011, it was reported that a third woman had stated that Cain had commented on her attractiveness and invited her up to his corporate apartment.
According to The New York Times and Bloomberg News, at a November 7, 2011 press conference, a fourth woman, registered Republican Sharon Bialek, made allegations of a sexual assault in Cain's car in the summer of 1997. At the time, Bialek had recently lost her job at the National Restaurant Association where she had been a subordinate of Cain's, and she was asking him for assistance in either getting her job back or finding a new job. She alleged that, following a dinner meeting to discuss her job search, Cain reached under the skirt of her suit for her genitals and pushed her head toward his crotch. When she questioned his behavior, Bialek said, Cain told her, “You want a job, right?” Bialek has sought legal assistance from lawyer Gloria Allred. At the press conference, Allred showed what she said were two affidavits from people testifying that Bialek had told them of the incident at the time. The affidavits were not released to the press. Cain's campaign team promptly denied the accusations, claiming them to be "completely false", and repeating that he "never harassed anyone". At a press conference on November 8, 2011, Cain said of Bialek, “I don’t even know who this lady is.”
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- ^ First Read – Cain wins another straw poll
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- ^ Kenric Ward, Herman Cain's Revised '9-0-9' Tax Plan Raises New Doubts Sunshine State News October 25, 2011
- ^ Shear, Michael (October 30, 2011). "Report Cites Women’s Claims of Inappropriate Acts by Cain". New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/report-cites-womens-claims-of-inappropriate-acts-by-cain/. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- ^ Shear, Michael (October 31, 2011). "Cain Admits Being Accused of Harassment". New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/31/cain-campaign-prepares-for-scrutiny-of-harassment-allegations/. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- ^ The Economist. "Sex and Pizzas". November 5, 2011. Accessed on November 7, 2011 at: http://www.economist.com/node/21536610
- ^ Shear, Michael; Jeff Zeleny (October 31, 2011). "Cain Calls Harassment Issue a 'Witch Hunt'". New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/31/cain-campaign-prepares-for-scrutiny-of-harassment-allegations/. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- ^ Epstein, Reid (October 31, 2011). "Herman Cain on allegations: I’ve been 'falsely accused'". Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/67233.html. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- ^ http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/67755.html
- ^ "Cain details gesture that led to sex accusation". http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/cain-details-gesture-led-sex-charge. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- ^ NPR. "Earlier Cain Accuser Is Republican, Longtime Government Employee" November 8, 2011. Accessed on 11/8/11 at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/11/08/142134820/earlier-cain-accuser-is-republican-longtime-government-employee?sc=nl&cc=brk-20111108-1313
- ^ BBC News, November 3, 2011, "Third woman claims inappropriate behaviour from Cain" Accessed on November 7, 2011 at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15566388
- ^ Lerer, Lisa (November 7, 2011). "Cain Denies New Sexual Harassment Claims". Bloomberg News. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-07/cain-accused-of-sexual-harassment-by-ex-restaurant-group-employee-bialek.html. Retrieved November 7, 2011. "Cain, she told reporters, reached under the skirt of her suit for her genitals and pushed her head toward his crotch, after a dinner meeting to discuss her job search. “You want a job, right?” Bialek said Cain told her when she questioned his behavior."
- ^ Michael D. Shear; Trip Gabriel (November 7, 2011). "Woman Accuses Cain of Lewd Behavior; He Denies It". The New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/accuser-details-lewd-behavior-by-cain/. Retrieved November 7, 2011. "Ms. Allred said Ms. Bialek approached her last week to come forward and tell her story. Ms. Allred showed what she said were two affidavits from friends of Ms. Bialek’s testifying that she had told them of the incident at the time. Ms. Allred did not release the affidavits to the press."
- ^ http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-08/cain-denies-claim-he-groped-woman-seeking-his-help-in-job-hunt.html
- ^ Washington Post. "Herman Cain: Sharon Bialek’s charges are ‘baseless, bogus and false’". November 8, 2011. Accessed on 11/8/11 at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/herman-cain-addresses-sharon-bialeks-charges-as-he-meets-the-press-in-arizona-on-tuesday/2011/11/08/gIQATeB01M_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage
|Find more about Herman Cain on Wikipedia's sister projects:|
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- Herman Cain, President 2012 official campaign website
- Column archives at the North Star Writers Group
- Profile at Forbes
- Biography at WhoRunsGov.com at The Washington Post
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Issue positions and quotes at On The Issues
- Campaign finance reports and data at the Federal Election Commission
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Appearances at the Internet Movie Database
- Collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
- Collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Works by or about Herman Cain in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Profile at NNDB
- Financial information at OpenSecrets.org
- Watch Herman Cain Battle Bill Clinton on Health Care, Joshua Green, The Atlantic, January 2011, with Profile
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