The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Herman Cain, R.I.P.

Posted on | July 30, 2020 | Comments Off on Herman Cain, R.I.P.


My brother Kirby took that photo of Herman Cain when we visited the studios of WSB radio in Atlanta. Mr. Cain had just returned to the airwaves after surviving a serious battle with cancer, and I’d traveled down to interview him for The Washington Times.

That was not long after I’d been smeared as a “white supremacist” and when I introduced myself to Mr. Cain, I said to him, “Don’t Google me.” He just smiled and answered, “I already did.” Somehow I’ve lost my copy of the feature article I wrote about Mr. Cain, but I felt then that he had potential as a Republican candidate. He had entered the GOP contest for a U.S. Senate seat in 2004, and placed second behind Johnny Isaacson, and I had no idea that Mr. Cain might even then be contemplating a presidential campaign. So a few years later, when he threw his hat in the ring for the 2012 nomination, I was all in. Everybody who followed my coverage of that campaign remembers how Mr. Cain began the race as the longest of long shots, but by October 2011, he was leading all the polls, before being sabotaged by a ginned-up “sex scandal” smear.

In many ways, Mr. Cain’s Tea Party-backed campaign for the 2012 nomination paved the way for Donald Trump’s 2016 populist campaign. Cain and Trump were both successful businessmen, and ran as “outsiders,” against the establishment status quo in Washington. It’s so strange that this parallel hasn’t been explored by more commentators.

My son Jefferson, who accompanied me on so many campaign trips and came to be big fan of Mr. Cain, cried when he quit the campaign. That was eight years ago, and today we got the sad news:

Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away. He’s entering the presence of the Savior he’s served as an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta for, and preparing for his reward. . . .
Let me deal with some of the particulars of the last few weeks. We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight. He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle.
We didn’t release detailed updates on his condition to the public or to the media because neither his family nor we thought there was any reason for that. There were hopeful indicators, including a mere five days ago when doctors told us they thought he would eventually recover, although it wouldn’t be quick. We were relieved to be told that, and passed on the news via Herman’s social media. And yet we also felt real concern about the fact that he never quite seemed to get to the point where the doctors could advance him to the recovery phase.
“We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery,” Calabrese added.

He was 74 years old. Rest in peace, old friend.



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