In our continuing series of profiles on the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, we take a closer look at Herman Cain. He used to be the candidate with the worst name recognition, but now he’s flying high after a big win in the Florida straw poll and a corresponding surge in poll numbers.
Cain would be an interesting choice for the candidacy – he’s never held public office before, a fact he frequently cites in campaign speeches. He’s spent the last few decades in the business world, holding high-level positions at Pillsbury, Burger King and working as CEO of the Godfather Pizza chain.
His roots, however, are far more modest. He grew up poor in Atlanta, Georgia; his father worked three jobs to put food on the table and eventually buy the family home. Cain credits his upbringing for giving him faith in the "American Dream." He eventually led the National Restaurant Association and hosted his own talk show. He was an early supporter of the Tea Party movement and is now counted as one of its rising stars. But the question remains…is Herman Cain ready for prime time?
Who is the man behind the catch phrases? Will his stated policies hold up under scrutiny? And does he have what it takes to unseat Barack Obama?
Jim Galloway, political reporter for The Atlanta Journal Constitution; writes the “Political Insider Blog” for AJC.com