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
National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

National

Obama: Ukraine diplomacy holds hope but sanctions ready

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday talks between Russia and Western powers aimed at ending tensions in Ukraine have potential but that…

Local

After 100 days, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito only getting…

Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito will have spent 100 days as the City Council's latest steward as of April 18 and sees plenty of work left to do.

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

Movies

Interview: 'Fading Gigolo' director John Turturro talks about…

John Turturro discusses his new film "Fading Gigolo," how to get Woody Allen to wear more than khakis and the far-off "Barton Fink" sequel.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.