Herman Cain is a business executive, politician and talk radio host who was a candidate for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination.
Herman Cain was a successful executive with a number of companies, leading to his appointment as the President of the Godfather's Pizza chain. He was also the President of the National Restaurant Association, and headed the Kansas City Branch of The Federal Reserve. His involvement in business led to an active role in politics, and one of his first open political positions was questioning Bill Clinton's first health care plan. He also briefly ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2000, and for Senator from Georgia in 2004.
In the 2012 cycle, Herman Cain became a spokesperson for the tea party movement. The tea party had been trying to find a candidate to express their conservative, populist views against the mainstream Republican Party, as represented by Mitt Romney. For a while, Herman Cain seemed to be that nominee, with his populist ideas, non-governmental background and "9-9-9" tax plan gaining popularity. His signature issue was his "9-9-9" plan, which would stand for a 9 percent national income tax, a 9 percent corporate tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. While there was quite a bit of debate about the feasibility of this plan, the real blow to Cain came when allegations of both sexual harassment and adultery came from a number of women. Although he never admitted to the allegations, they caused enough controversy that he had to leave the race.
It is a great "What If?" scenario to look at what would have happened if the sexual misconduct allegations had not surfaced when they did. At that time, Cain was running ahead of other candidates in polls. It could have been that he would have maintained that lead throughout the primary, but from watching the primary process, I am inclined to think that he would have come into difficulty. Although an "outsider" candidate can quickly pick up a vocal base of support, they often also lose it as their policies and positions are looked at more thoroughly, and by a wider cross-section of the electorate. While Cain did gain some immediate support, it is probable that it would have eroded as his background in other areas would have come under more scrutiny. Thus, even without the scandals that ended his campaign, I feel that he would have, like Newt Gingrich, not have the endurance to make it through a full primary calendar. However, this is just my opinion in hindsight, and it is always possible he would have gone far.