Veronica Hendrix

*Herman Cain’s train has been derailed. And so have his delusions, I mean dreams of grandeur.

His rise was anomalous.  He certainly wasn’t held to the same stringent standards of excellence, experience and integrity as most African American males are routinely held to that have meteoric aspirations, especially in politics. Yet he garnered mystifying support and held down some solid poll numbers before, well, the rug was yanked from underneath his feet.

His fall was classic no doubt. It was at the hem of a woman, make that plural – women.  Now he’s out of the running with a whole lot of emotional capital strewn about as carnage. He’s got more than “splanning” to do with the Mrs and his family.  It’s been an ugly end for the flamboyant and boisterous Cain. Here’s hoping he can repair the damage to his family in the days, months and years ahead.

But Cain’s surge was dizzying. His likability was mystifying. The remorse I heard from a few folk around me about Cain suspending his campaign was truly genuine.  They felt he would be good for the country because he seemed like a real guy and had some good ideas. Albeit, none of them looked like me or hail from my tribe.

Propped up as the panacea for what ails the nation, Cain convinced a lot of donors to believe in him well. He raised a surprising amount of money – over $2 million. But when his 9-9-9 lives ran out, checkmate – the game was over.

In the end Cain was fodder that went too far. It was time to stop the charade. I don’t know who stopped it, but deflating his balloon was a well orchestrated move. The nation may have put an actor in the White House, but were they really going to give a black pizza company executive the keys to the White House?

Nope.  Cain was a pawn in a game in which someone else was moving the pieces. He was the other party’s answer to Obama, his antithesis – the anti-Obama if you will.

You see Cain’s limited intellect, lack of poise and diplomacy, political inexperience, social ineptness, brashness and oftentimes sense of being uncouth and unlearned fit into the a commonly held world view of African American men. President Obama defies that mental model of what should be the reality. He just didn’t fit. He opposes the social order of the way thing should be. Cain lines right up with it.

The distain, animus and plain hatred for this president is no secret and is an impediment to moving the country forward. People are starting to call it what it is. Although the President has noted that despite the fact he has made tremendous compromises with the Republican Party, they persist in not supporting any of his proposals, most recently his jobs bill which includes ideology that traditionally has been supported by the Republican Party.

But satirist and television host Bill Mayer had an amusing yet interesting take on the posture of the Republican Congress shuffle with the President during a recent show. He said:

The President could give them the very idea they presented but no matter what he is selling they are not buying. He’s got to understand it’s not the entrée they don’t like, it’s the waiter. They don’t like him. He has to understand that and stop trying to make them like him; they are never going to like them. He’s the wrong age, wrong color, and wrong party. It’s time for the President to flip the script . . . make them nervous . . . grow your hair out for heaven’s sake.

As you can well imagine, his remarks drew a gut busting laugh from the audience. But the seriousness of this statement cannot be over looked. Perhaps it’s why Cain was thrust into the mix to demonstrate – as Republican commentator Anne Coulter said – that our “blacks are so much better than their blacks” because he’s what we like.


Now that Cain has bowed out, the race has just gotten more mucked up with Newt Gingrich getting a big bump in the polls. He’s no lamb without spot or wrinkle either. But I love what the President said when asked about his feelings about the GOP race by Jay Leno:

“I’m going to wait until everybody is voted off the island,” he said to applause. “Once they narrow it down to one or two, I’ll start paying attention.”

Well with this crop of GOP candidates Mr. President, they are a group many would like to ignore.

Veronica Hendrix is a syndicated columnist and feature writer whose work has covered the span of the human continuum – from clinical trials of male contraceptives, to the gang violence. She is the owner of Bromont Avenue Foods. She is the author of “Red Velvet Gourmet Spice Rub and Seasoning Heart Healthy Recipes.” Visit for more information.  For comments, interviews, speaking engagements or moderator requests please send an email to [email protected]