July 31, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Cain’s Campaign Autobiography Goes Down Less-Traveled Roads

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
As campaign biographies go, Republican presidential contender Herman Cain’s is more interesting than most because it breaks the mold, John Bicknell writes.

Apparently the book was written before Cain fully developed his “9-9-9” plan for a 9 percent income tax rate, 9 percent business tax rate and a 9 percent national sales tax (a proposal that gave rise to the best headline on any political story so far this year — by Kevin Williamson in National Review: “Nein! Nein! Nein!”)

Which might be just as well. If Cain sustains his momentum and becomes a serious contender for the nomination, he is going to have a hell of time explaining and defending the plan even to some conservatives (as Williamson detailed, referring to “Mr. Cain’s most distressing hallmark: wishful thinking that borders on fantasy”).

As campaign biographies go, Cain’s is more interesting than most, precisely because it breaks the mold — and because he has led a full life outside the world of politics, where most interesting things happen. After the policy appendix, he includes a series of appendices that are, in effect, a résumé, citing his “leadership history” (including the presidency of the Morehouse College Glee Club) and “My Awards and Honors” (there are six pages of those).

He is an accomplished man. He has written an entertaining book. Now comes the hard part — hitting big-league pitching in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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