The Washington Post

Herman Cain’s ‘fascinating’ reliance on race crutch

Failed former front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination Herman Cain was one of Barbara Walters’s “10 most fascinating people of 2011.” I have no quarrel with that. Cain and his unexpected rise to the top of the GOP presidential was eminently fascinating. As was his demise. And as you will see, Cain still believes that his glaring deficiencies weren’t the reason for his spectacular and expected implosion.

Of all the things Cain told Walters, his reliance on the race crutch to explain his demise was the most delusional.

WALTERS: Do you think any of this had to do with the fact that you’re black?
CAIN: Yes, because I happen to believe that the Democrats did not want an accomplished, articulate, optimistic black man to face President Obama. I can’t prove that, Barbara, but I do believe that.”

That response is a continuation of his epic blame-shifting that put the liberal media, the Rick Perry campaign, a vast left-wing conspiracy of anti-black-conservative racists and the “Democrat machine” in the cross-hairs. Compounding Cain’s troubles was the fact that he knew disturbingly little about the world he would command as president and was damned proud of it.

Look, the only way Cain’s comment might possibly be true is if this were 1996, the president in office was Bill Clinton and the “accomplished, articulate, optimistic black man” were Colin Powell.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
Play Videos
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
What you need to know about filming the police
Play Videos
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
The signature drink of New Orleans