Sure, Herman Cain is such a horrendous candidate for president that people are invoking the mercy rule because he has no fucking clue about anything foreign affairs. Granted, if the category on Jeopardy! were “Wars the United States has Fought in the Past Year,” the one about Libya would probably appear no sooner than the $600 question. That said, anyone who’s ever been called on in class only to have no idea what the answer is can really empathize with Herm’s situation. Only back when I didn’t know the answer I couldn’t just mumble and blame Obama. #regretsivehadafew
So that’s Herman Cain at his worst. When’s Herman Cain at his best? Why, when he’s eating pizza of course!
Chris Heath: What can you tell about a man by the type of pizza that he likes?
Herman Cain: [repeats the question aloud, then pauses for a long moment] The more toppings a man has on his pizza, I believe the more manly he is.
Chris Heath: Why is that?
Herman Cain: Because the more manly man is not afraid of abundance. [laughs]
Devin Gordon: Is that purely a meat question?
Herman Cain: A manly man don’t want it piled high with vegetables! He would call that a sissy pizza.
Here’s the thing about the last line. It’s the type of thing that the President of the United States should or would never say. George Bush at his most unstatesmanlike would never say that. But… he is right, and it’s kinda satisfying to hear someone say it. Why would you get vegetables on pizza? It’s the health equivalent of watching Wild Wild West on an IMAX screen.
[I’m going to digress into a nonsense analogy for a second, so hang on]
Lots of White People love Tyler, the Creator (Click the link on his name to read a glowing review by those indie tastemakers at Pitchfork) in spite of the ways that he regularly and openly transgresses against some of their most cherished beliefs. And these are good beliefs–misogyny and homophobia are bad, y’all!
Sure his “Yonkers” video is just fucking weird, gross and yet totally alluring and compelling on its own merits. But… I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he’s been successful with (sometimes belligerent) people in large part because he is angry and doesn’t play by the shitty rules of political correctness that the rest of us have to. If he wants to say something homophobic, racist, or whatever, he does it.
Whether reasonable people approve of the content of the statements (they don’t), they understand the impulse and wish they could be the one who didn’t have to worry about conforming to society’s bogus rules. Even better is the suggestion that Tyler’s activity is a window into a society where the rules are different, where White People rules don’t apply. Where there are bitches, hoes, chickenheads and tricks as far as the eye can see. How very authentic that place would be!
Which, kinda is the deal with Herman Cain, isn’t it? For all his shittiness at running for president, dude’s appeal is that he’s real. Check out his stock over the past few months. Sure, it’s been in decline, but not precipitous “Monkey Business” decline. Not Joe Biden stealing that Welsh guy’s life decline. Just, kinda steady decline. And like, he’s been reduced to touting how many women he hasn’t sexually harassed, which is rarely a good sign.
There is definitely something very appealing about Herman Cain. He seems like a really likeable guy. You should read that whole pizza interview with him. It’s not that long, I swear! And besides, he finally explains his love of the theme song from Pokemon 2000: The Movie.
Chris Heath: Completely different subject. I’m interested in this Donna Summer song that you quoted in the debates and you quoted in your book.
[In an August debate, in his closing statement, Cain quoted a favorite lyric sung by Donna Summer in “The Power of One,” though he described her only as a “poet.”—CH]
Herman Cain: I heard the song in a collage that NBC put together following the 2000 Olympics. And as it turns out, the song comes from the Pokémon movie, and I didn’t know that.
Chris Heath: It’s the theme of the movie.
Herman Cain: That’s what I’ve been told. And so I fell in love with this song, fell in love with how she sang the song, and fell in love with the words. Committed it to memory. Now, why did I commit it to memory? Because one of the things that I did before I ran for president is I was a professional speaker. Not a motivational speaker—an inspirational speaker. Motivation comes from within. You have to be inspired. That’s what I do. I inspire people, I inspire the public, I inspire my staff. I inspired the organizations I took over to want to succeed. I love the song: [almost singing] Life can be a challenge / Life can seem impossible / It’s never easy, when there is so much on the line / But you can make a difference. [laughs]
Oh, and he calls Mitt Romney “vanilla,” is afraid of Muslims and believes the number 45 is magical. Say hi to your next President, America!
Herman Cain: The man pizza! The manly pizza! That was great. It was loaded; it had the great sausage on it.
If only they had invited The Todd.