So Herman Cain, a man with few if any qualifications for the presidency, will suspend his campaign. I would like to see several other candidates join him by exiting gracefully, but I shouldn’t be too demanding. For now, I will enjoy this small bit of good news.
“I’m going to dance, make love, and fix snacks for the highlander marathon. That’s right!
The Washington Post is now reporting that Herman Cain will reassess his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, with a decision made by late in the week. Battered by sexual harassment allegations, and now a new allegation of a 13-year-long extra-marital affair, the businessman has reason to doubt his chances. Intrade lists his chances at 1%.
If Herman Cain is truly a businessman who, as his deputy campaign manager explains, “looks at the entire landscape before making decisions,” then he will exit the race. He will come to the same conclusion if truly wants to “make this nation stronger.” If his goal is to promote the issues and solutions to strengthen the nation, he can do so as a radio host and spokesman for conservative causes.
More important, Republicans should encourage him to leave the race. Cain has few qualifications for office, other than corporate executive experience. That experience is not to be mocked, but neither is a lack of experience in Washington something to be desired. Republicans argued (correctly) that Obama had no executive experience prior to running for the presidency. Has that lack of experience helped him enact his legislation? Honest democrats have admitted that it hasn’t.
In what other line of work is not having any direct experience a plus? Surgery? Carpentry? Investment banking?
Republicans would be wise to look for a candidate who has relevant experience, whether in Washington or in state governance. Private sector experience, foreign policy exposure, and honorable military service should be welcome additions to a candidates resume, but not the sole substance of it. Generalship perhaps is an exception, but relevant political experience should be foremost in the litmus test for the GOP presidential nomination.
Perhaps of the entire campaign. Or ever.
Why exactly is Mark Block the spokesman? He is not a nationally recognizable figure, nor is he particularly handsome or eloquent. And why is he smoking???
I wish there were a class called China 101 that every member of Congress had to attend. This would be the first lesson: If you really want the Chinese to do something, never pressure them about it in public. Loss of face is anathema in the Middle Kingdom. Which is why when the U.S. Senate passed a bill hinting at tariffs on Chinese goods if Beijing doesn’t let the value of its currency rise, the People’s Bank of China promptly and defiantly responded by pushing the value of the renminbi lower.
It’s ironic, because Beijing had been doing just the opposite until politicians like Chuck Schumer decided to start posturing and make China’s currency a proxy for a highly politicized discussion about globalization and unemployment in the U.S. The idea is that if Chinese money were worth more, American firms wouldn’t export so many jobs to China (because labor there would be more expensive) and the Chinese would be able to buy more U.S. goods and services, thus cutting trade imbalances between the two nations and helping put the global economy back on track.
It is a good diplomatic lesson to be remembered during future dealings with China: praise in public, reprimand in private. But it’s also unfortunate in that the lesson need not have been learned. China had already allowed the value of its currency to rise.
Many of the changes the Schumer bill argues for are already in the works. The Chinese, who know they desperately need to rebalance their economy in order to maintain longer-term growth, have already let their currency appreciate 30% against the dollar since 2005 and a full 10% last year. Wages are rising; in fact, that’s the reason there’s a nascent trickle of higher-level manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., as Chinese pay hikes (coupled with higher energy and transport costs) make it less profitable to do business in China relative to the U.S. What’s more, American exports to China are actually increasing. Andy Rothman, a China expert at CLSA investment bank in Shanghai, recently pointed out to me that despite all the rhetoric about currency, U.S. exports to China rose 468% in the past decade. The next fastest growth rate to a major market was 64%, to Germany.
Which of the presidential candidates know this? Probably only Huntsman. Which are willing to say it? Probably only Huntsman. Romney may know it, but he’s gone the opposite direction by confronting China and campaigning to wage a trade war. Obama has been too soft, he argues. Does Obama know this? I assume he does, but also assume he’ll ignore the reality. His campaign will be based on two arguments. (It can’t be based on his record.) First, that things would have been much worse without him. Yes, there is 9% unemployment, but had we done nothing like the Republicans wanted we would now be looking at 13 or 14% unemployment. Second, he needs to spread more of the blame. He’s already blamed Bush, the Tea Party and Republicans in Congress, the EU, the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring… Blaming China is easy, especially since neither Romney, Perry, or Cain would care to challenge him on this. They will only up the blame placed on China and escape discussing our own faults for our ailing economy.
Filed under China, Economics
In the mustache ranks.
Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is the only 2012 Republican presidential candidate with a mustache. For that, he’s being recognized by the nation’s premiere mustache organization, the American Mustache Institute (AMI).
Cain has been named a finalist for the 2011 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Award. Voting is now open.
Cain is described on the AMI’s website:
Without a Mustached American President of the United States since William Howard Taft, nor even a major party candidate for president since Thomas E. Dewey in 1948, Herman Cain’s potential candidacy represents a shining beacon of freedom and hope for people Mustached American heritage everywhere. A conservative businessman, syndicated columnist, and radio host, the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank board member has the hopes and dreams of Mustached Americans everywhere riding on his broad shoulders.