GOP special delivery: Herman Cain on top?

Herman Cain gets saucy at the Republican debate.
ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES

Tuesday’s GOP debate confirmed it: A new force — the Herminator — has entered U.S. politics. Pizza entrepreneur Herman Cain, once dismissed as a political joke, is the surprise Republican front-runner.

Recent polls show Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, ahead of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. That’s a gigantic leap for Cain, a man with almost no political experience or name power, who began his campaign with a tiny war chest.

But the fact that Cain is so different from the other Republican candidates works in his favor. He’s the outsider who speaks bluntly and presents unconventional ideas. Though his 999 tax plan, which would slash the income tax rate to 9 percent, has been condemned by tax experts, it has become the campaign’s most recognized policy proposal.

By contrast, Mitt Romney has statesman-like looks and a well-funded campaign, but has been unable to formulate his policies in a catchy way. Rick Perry, another presumed front-runner, has damaged his campaign with a number of serious gaffes. And Michele Bachman has seen her Tea Party supporters defect to the Herminator camp.

Even so, the political elite doesn’t view Cain, a Baptist pastor and part-time radio host, as a serious contender. And as a libertarian Republican, he hasn’t endeared himself to his fellow African-Americans. Singer Harry Belafonte recently called Cain, the son of a cleaning-woman and a janitor from Tennessee, a “false Negro.”

Most likely, Cain won’t win the Republican nomination. But Mr. Straight Talk will have set a new tone in the Republican Party.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.