The Magazine

Raising Cain

The very different life lessons of the president and his challenger.

Oct 10, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 04 • By FRED BARNES
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While still in school, Cain writes, “I began to develop my concept of being responsible for one’s success or failure in life—a concept I would later come to define as being a ‘CEO of Self’—a time when many of the qualities of determination and leadership that I inherited from my dad began to show up.” Obama stresses collective action.

Yet it’s his faith in himself, along with God’s calling, that has led Cain to believe he can capture the presidency. He wasn’t deterred by losing a Senate bid in Georgia in 2004. When he took over Godfather’s Pizza, it was on the brink of bankruptcy. He mastered “pizzaology,” introduced the “Big Value” of two large pizzas for $12, and turned the company around.

“I see parallels between the situation that existed at Godfather’s when I came on board and the state of our Union today,” he writes. Obama is “in denial,” Cain says. “He’s a weak leader, his economic policies have failed, and he’s been inconsistent on foreign policy.” Cain “will do what I did when I helped restore Godfather’s Pizza.” That means conservative policies and the tenacity to see them through.

His upbringing may explain his gift for delivering a conservative message with a friendly face, as Ronald Reagan did. “I also like to smile, laugh, and have fun with people,” he says. Obama is lugubrious. He lectures. He gives excuses. His speeches are anything but fun. 

But Obama has the White House, a bulging war chest, a vast campaign staff, powerful interest groups, and the media. Three or four Republican candidates have resources Cain cannot match. He has himself. But if all continues to go well for him, help may be on the way.

Fred Barnes is executive editor at The Weekly Standard.

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