Herman Cain, the man who rose the ranks of American businessmen to become a serious Republican presidential candidate in 2012, has died from complications due to the coronavirus.
Cain had been diagnosed with COVID-19 last month after being hospitalized 10 days after attending a rally for President Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Tea Party favorite found great success as a regional manager of over 400 Burger King stores in the Philadelphia area in the 1980s, then increased his profile by being named CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, turning a waining franchise around.
Cain served as a senior economic adviser to Bob Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996, made a ‘political statement’ run for the Republican nomination in 2000, and became a briefly serious candidate for the same in 2012.
GOP pollster Frank Luntz said his focus groups consistently labeled Cain as “the most likeable candidate in the debates.”
He became notable by introducing the ‘9-9-9’ tax reform plan but would eventually suspend his campaign after allegations of sexual harassment and adultery surfaced – charges he vehemently denied.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 30, 2020
A Giant of a Person
Ellen Carmichael, a former staffer for Cain’s campaign, offered a touching tribute to her old boss calling him “a giant of a person.”
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She said her role as a fresh-faced communications director was “hard and exhausting” but that Cain always “made it worthwhile.”
“He was a giant of a person in ways that people who would choose to see him merely as a caricature could never understand,” she explained.
Carmichael described the Republican great’s story in concise, yet powerful terms.
“His American Dream story is one for the history books,” she wrote. “Overcame absolute destitution, genuine discrimination, stage IV cancer and so much hardship in between.”
“Rose up the ranks of America’s biggest corporations, advised presidential campaigns, chaired a Federal Reserve bank,” she continued.
“This is a man who grew up in a house that had three rooms in it,” detailed Carmichael. “His mother was a domestic worker (he would never say “maid”), and his dad worked three jobs to survive. He and his brother would argue over who would get to sleep on the cot and who had to sleep on the floor.”
I’m very saddened to learn of the passing of my former boss, Herman Cain. I’m bracing for the cruelty online about how he deserved to get COVID and die because of his politics. We’re living in a dark time. But, they didn’t know him. I did.
— Ellen Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) July 30, 2020
Making today’s news even sadder is a USA Today column updating Cain’s health just two days ago. A column which originally led with the headline “Getting Better.”
Embodied the American Dream
Many in the media will spend today trying to take away from Cain’s starring role in the great American dream. They will focus on the link between his diagnosis and the timeframe matching that of the Tulsa Trump rally, though no definitive link has been confirmed.
They will even suggest it is the President’s fault.
Don’t let them take away from this man’s legacy.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted her heartfelt condolences over the country’s loss.
“Herman Cain embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit,” she tweeted. “Our hearts grieve for his loved ones, and they will remain in our prayers at this time. We will never forget his legacy of grace, patriotism, and faith.”
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