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Mike Root

I Vote for Herman

October 3, 2011

I rarely, if ever, like to talk politics. But frankly, the next election will be important as our country tries to shake off a lethargic economic environment. I am not going to discuss whether the Buffet Rule is good or bad or if the amount of regulation strangling business is the cause of the malaise.

I have watched two out of the three Republican debates to try and figure out if there will be a meaningful candidate on that side of the ballot. There is one man who few in the media are paying attention to, but whose message is one that the American public should at least consider. That's Herman Cain, a businessman, not a politician.

I met Mr. Cain in the late 1980's when he lived in Omaha as President of Godfather's Pizza. That in itself is refreshing to have a guy who is a businessman interested enough in the country to run for office. Godfathers was a business in trouble when he came and he turned it around by getting people all on the same page pulling in the same direction. Think Iacocca at Chrysler and you have Herman Cain at Godfathers. Frankly, that's what our country needs right now is a turnaround specialist.

I heard Mr. Cain speak at the ICAN (Institute for Career Advancement Needs) conference. I liked his message then about hard work, common sense, and shaking things up if they are not working, and I like it now. A positive self reliant attitude much like he had when he turned around Godfathers is exactly what we as a country need now. Instead of telling people how bad things are or stoking the class warfare card, and instead of picking on individual issues that are written in ones book, his no nonsense message of running the country like a business and hold it accountable for results is quite refreshing to those of us who actual have to make a payroll.

I am by nature one of the disinterested electorate who take my right to vote seriously, but realize deep down that our political leaders have little or no interest in the people that actually elect them. But ever since Mr. Cain threw his hat in the ring, I actually find myself hoping that other disinterested constituents take notice of his message. I was encouraged to see the results of the Florida straw poll putting Cain on top of the other GOP contenders.

There was a good editorial written by Daniel Henninger in the September 29 Wall Street Journal. In it Mr. Henninger says about Herman Cain "The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain's life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality."

Mr. Cain is said to be unelectable because he has never held an elected office. In my mind, that is the very reason we should look at him seriously. The politicians we have now are not doing us any favors. My guess is that there are lots of folks just like me who think having a businessman instead of a politician run the country might be a good thing.

Whether or not Mr. Cain gets the Republican nomination is a long way off. And you may have your own favorites for other reasons. But the fact of the matter is that we as a country need to have some real serious discussions this next election season as to how to get people back to work and the economy moving again. Without that, there won't be a lot of houses sold or people buying furniture.