The Atlantic's Joshua Green digs up a pretty great video of Herman Cain, likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former Godfather's Pizza CEO, debating Bill Clinton on the cost of Clinton's national health care plan:
While Cain is a longshot for the nomination, Green points out that at the very least he might just save us from a boring primary:
Truth be told, what distinguishes Cain’s message is less its content—“From the standpoint of our conservative beliefs and values, Sarah Palin and I are probably identical,” he told me—than the person supplying it. Cain is a 65-year-old retired African American pizza-company CEO who sits on several corporate boards, including Whirlpool’s, and entered politics only as a late-life hobby. But he’s serious about running for president. To a bland field, he’d add charisma, a compelling story, and some craziness. Cain was born to working-class parents in Georgia and earned a degree in mathematics from Morehouse College, then a master’s in computer science from Purdue. He got a job doing work for the Navy on fire-control systems for ships and fighter planes, but gravitated to business—Coca-Cola, Pillsbury, and Burger King—and eventually became CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, which he ran for 10 years. His entrance into national politics was a fluke—albeit, if he runs, an enormously beneficial one. In 1994, Cain, then still CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, participated in a town-hall meeting that Bill Clinton held to drum up support for his flagging health-care plan. He challenged the president’s claim that restaurateurs would bear only a marginal new cost. Clinton objected, but Cain wouldn’t relent. “I’d had my financial people run the numbers,” he told me. The Wall Street Journal published them, and after Clinton’s plan collapsed, Newsweek identified Cain as one of its “saboteurs”—a badge of honor, especially among conservatives today.
Cain is just the type of movement conservative--a Tea Partier before we called them Tea Partiers--who probably could have pulled off a Senate primary victory in 2010 but just couldn't do it when he actually ran for Senate in Georgia in 2004, when Republican voters were more comfortable with more moderate and establishment candidates. It will be interesting to see how he affects the 2012 race.