Numbers, guns and God: Things you didn’t know about Herman Cain

If you’re looking for Herman Cain’s new campaign autobiography, head for a book store in some Democratic enclave.

I bought what may have been the last $21 copy of “This Is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House” (Threshold Editions) in Cobb County, after a three-hour search.

Herman Cain, a Republican presidential candidate, speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Friday. Stephen Crowley/NYT

Herman Cain, a Republican presidential candidate, speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Friday. Stephen Crowley/NYT

Even in metro Atlanta, the place where Cain hangs his black cowboy hat, Republicans are in a mad dash to figure out who this fellow is.

The surging GOP presidential candidate, of course, was raised in Atlanta. Yet Cain left soon after graduating from Morehouse College in 1967, and didn’t re-establish himself in the metro area until 2000, after a far-flung business career.

Despite a 2004 run for U.S. Senate, a brief career as a radio talk show host and innumerable tea party appearances, Cain’s private life hasn’t been an open book — until now.

As literature, campaign autobiographies usually fall short, and Cain’s is no exception. The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza is a leader, not a reader, he tells audiences. And non-readers rarely make great writers.

But as a political document, Cain’s book tells us many things, large and small, simply because it was churned out by the candidate himself. No ghostwriter was involved:

– Throughout his book, Cain defines himself as an intuitive “risk-taker.” Consider the chutzpah required of a 36-year-old African American to dump a vice-presidential slot at Pillsbury and start over at Burger King, flipping meat on a hot grill.

A willingness to gamble lies at the heart of Cain’s appeal to GOP voters. Never mind his “999” plan that advocates, among other offsets, a 9 percent national sales tax. The last president with no previous political experience was Dwight Eisenhower — and one could argue that organizing the D-Day invasion of Europe was a superior vetting experience.

— For a man born at the leading edge of the baby boomer era, the most notable word missing from Cain’s 222-page life story is “Vietnam.”

Immediately after graduating from college, Cain took a job as a civilian mathematician for the U.S. Navy in Dahlgren, Va. A spokesman confirmed that the job exempted Cain from the military draft of that era “for a while” — but that his lottery number was never called.

– His mother Lenora was a maid. His father Luther was the private chauffeur to Coca-Cola CEO Robert Woodruff, without a doubt the most powerful man in Atlanta and beyond. Adhering to his father’s directive to “stay out of trouble,” Herman Cain took no part in the civil rights protests roiling the city and the South.

In interviews this week, the presidential candidate said he was too young to partake. But one suspects a concern over family finances. Luther Cain had fought his way into one of the most prestigious jobs an unschooled black man could hope for in that era. A rabble-rousing son would not have pleased the elder Cain’s boss.

– Yet Herman Cain describes his father as anything but a pantywaist. For those familiar with Atlanta history, the most fascinating anecdote in the book deals with Woodruff’s gifts to the Luther Cain family. Cash at first, then Coke stock.

As the younger Cain tells it, Joe Jones, the fellow who served as Woodruff’s valet and the holder of his checkbook, objected to the Coke executive’s largesse to the Cains. Luther Cain invited Jones outside and showed him the pistol he carried as Woodruff’s chauffeur.

“If you ever tell Mr. Woodruff not to do something for me again, you’re going to find out how good I am with this gun,” Herman Cain quoted his father as saying. Historians and old Coke hands contacted Friday had never heard of the incident.

– After his job with the U.S. Navy and earning a master’s degree from Purdue University, Cain returned to work for Coke. But he didn’t stay long, realizing that he would always be the chauffeur’s son.

– During the citizen band radio craze of the 1970s, Cain’s chosen handle was “Cornbread.” He concedes that it could surface again as a Secret Service code name – should he get to the White House.

– Cain believes in both numbers and God. He devotes a chapter of his book to his favorite number: 45, the year of his birth. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Cain took the “J” that the surgeon drew with his scalpel — to remove a third of his colon and most of his liver — as a sign that Jesus was watching over him.

“When you are in the ‘Word,’ you can listen and hear when God is speaking to you,” Cain writes.

– His younger brother, Thurman Cain, died too soon as a result of alcohol and drug abuse.

– Herman Cain can’t break 80 on the golf course. (Absent from the book is his 2006 recommendation — tongue in cheek, hopefully — that the GOP groom Tiger Woods for the 2016 presidential campaign.)

– To test a good pizza operation, order the “all-meat” pizza. A salty taste means cheap ingredients. “That’s one of the little keys to understanding ‘Pizzaology,’” Cain writes. This, naturally, does not apply to anchovies.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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212 comments Add your comment


October 8th, 2011
11:41 am

This looks like a simple variation of the “Your morning jolt: Herman Cain, Vietnam, and his dad’s gun” that was posted yesterday.

Got anything new? For that matter, got anything a little more interesting?


October 8th, 2011
11:42 am


October 8th, 2011
11:43 am

I don’t agree with Mr. Cain’s policy goals and beliefs, but he seems like an authentic person and candidate. He would make an exciting and original nominee for the Republicans. Unlike many of the candidates, he has real world experience and would bring a Ross Perot-like energy to the task without Perot’s legendary craziness.


October 8th, 2011
12:01 pm

Jim Galloway, I looked on google – couldn’t find anything about your Vietnam service;

Ben Holt

October 8th, 2011
12:11 pm

I’ve always liked Mr Cain as heard on WSB talk. I didn’t believe, however, than he could win the GOP nomination and also could not beat Mr Obama which is manditory for the USA to survive as we know it. I now believe Herman Cain can win both the nomination and the presidency. This is in keeping with his past risk taking attitude as I feel he is the ‘Man of Our Time’. Go Herman!!!

Venita Peyton

October 8th, 2011
12:15 pm

Dahlgren (Virginian) not Dahlgreen (although that is the pronunciation.


October 8th, 2011
12:29 pm

Cain’s statement “I’m a leader, not a reader” applies to Obama’s use of the teleprompter. Cain has a B.A. and an M.A. I assure you, he’s a reader. Otherwise, good assessment. This book is a campaign document. It’s not intended to be a work of literature. Even so, a campaign document calls for a certain accessible style. I should get mine early next week from Amazon, where it’s a top-sell.

Larry L. Clifton

October 8th, 2011
12:38 pm

Mr. Herman Cain is connecting w/We the People and taking the Rinos and Dems/dims to ’school’ on the issues that most effect our lives. His 999 plan followed with the FairTax will cure what ails us…a corrupt, ‘gamed’ fiasco of a tax code and the IRS will go the way of the Dodo bird…finally. Cain will also be a true ‘healer’. Since Obama has been in power Racism, Class warfare, and Guv corruption has been growing exponentially in this country. Most, if not all, of the ‘hating’ seems to come from the PC left oddly enough. Go figure. They in turn, wrongly, blame the Tea Parties. Those false claims have made the numbers surge upward for Tea Parties (plural) nation-wide. The Tea Parties have empowered and united people in local communities nation-wide. As it should be in a free Republic. Well, after Cain is elected and our Republic experiences an economic BOOM that creates jobs jobs jobs and prosperity for all of the diverse peoples that call America home….let’s just say he will make ‘believers’ of them. They’ll be saying…”What were we thinking”…LOL. Racism, Class warfare and rampant Guv corruption have NO place in a just, fair and free nation.
Let the healing begin! Vote for Herman Cain!


October 8th, 2011
12:47 pm

The more I hear Cain speak, the more I am inspired. I believe that he can win the GOP nomination and the presidency. I believe that he can lead our nation out of the mess we’re in now and into a brighter future. YES WE CAIN!


October 8th, 2011
12:54 pm

I like Cain’s common sense, ethics, and the fact that he is an African American who believes in and has lived the American Dream. Where do I sign up for his campaign?

Donovan Johnson

October 8th, 2011
12:58 pm

I like this man Mr. Cain because he stands his course and is not afraid to stand on the principles of Jesus Christ who is Savior and Lord to those who have accepted him as the son of GOD. It takes a real man to stand firm and not waver. So Mr. Cain you have my vote if you are the republican nominee.


October 8th, 2011
1:03 pm

Galloway – this is a REPEAT hit job. Afraid your weekend only non-liberal readers might have missed it?

Independent voter

October 8th, 2011
1:08 pm

Cain is not telling how he laid off 1,000 employee and close down so many God Father pizza.
He started working with Pilsbury company which own God Father pizza.

Tell the true Cain


October 8th, 2011
1:16 pm

Herman said he wanted the GOP to groom Tiger Woods for the 2016 presidential campaign.

The GOP did end up vetting Tiger as a possible candidate but determined he was unelectable. No not because of all the affairs, of course not, not many Republicans could pass that test. Tiger’s affairs never raised an eyeball with Republicans.

Tiger’s religion is not Religiously Correct. The GOP RC crowd would never allow a non-Christian to become president. That was the end of that.

The GOP is still desperate. How about Nathan Deal for president, or Charles Barkley?


October 8th, 2011
1:46 pm

i don’t understand why all of the pundits are now saying that Cain isn’t serious about the presidency b/c he’s doing a book tour and is taking a break from the traditional campaigning. Cain is not a traditional politician, why would we expect him to campaign like one? What better way to get his name out there and give the people a sense of who he is and what he stands for than selling books? It’s cost-effective and efficient. His approach at campaigning is like that of a business man, not a politician, and I for one think it makes sense.


October 8th, 2011
2:11 pm

What’s wrong with Cain combining his book tour with presidential campaigning? An effective means to less dependency on special interest money.

@GALLOWAY – you conveniently failed to mention that Luther Cain held 4 jobs before becoming Mr. Woodruff’s full time chauffeur. And, yes, as someone above pointed out, Cain’s remark about, “being a leader, not a reader,” is in reference to Obama’s reliance on the TelePrompTer – not for a disdain of reading books. Nice try.


October 8th, 2011
2:32 pm

cain is a step and fetch it negro who is trying to play into white redneck way of thinkin and it will not work republithugs hate anyone thats not white and wealthy..hes making a fool of himself and makes his race of folks look foolish!!! and isnt A black republithug nonsense..JUST A WEALTHY WHITE MANS OBSERVATION


October 8th, 2011
2:40 pm

Sadly, Cain is like the other GOP candidates with the possible exception of Romney. They are all haters and bigots. They hate Mormons, Muslims, any other non-christian religion, gays, immigrants, etc., etc. etc. And they are anti-science. They do not believe in evolution, climate change, stem research, birth control, etc. etc., etc. And they believe the Bible literally. They would have this country be a Theocracy, like Iran. What happened to all the sensible, intelligent conservatives?


October 8th, 2011
2:46 pm

Will someone tell me that if people are out of work only because they are lazy, then why all this fuss about creating jobs. We don’t need any jobs, according to that reasoning, and so we don’t need to cut spending, nor give tax breaks to the “job creators”. We do not need jobs……


October 8th, 2011
2:50 pm

I’d vote for anyone who could break 80. How’s your short game?


October 8th, 2011
2:50 pm

Ooops! On first line, “that” should read “why.”


October 8th, 2011
2:56 pm

@ Truth-O-Meter
October 8th, 2011
2:46 pm

As long as Obama keeps extending unemployment benefits, then this lazy class will continue to exist. There are jobs out there, but these people think they are beneath them, would rather rely on govt. handouts and either continue to sit on their collective asses and/or participate in sham “protests.”


October 8th, 2011
3:26 pm

If Herman had a “Mc” before his name he’d be a shoe-in this time.


October 8th, 2011
3:28 pm

That would be something! A couple of Black guys running against each other for POTUS.


October 8th, 2011
3:52 pm

@ RustyHinges posted “As long as Obama keeps extending unemployment benefits, then this lazy class will continue to exist.”

It is not just Obama, but Congress.

It is not just unemployment benefits, but an additional myriad of welfare programs including food stamps, WIC, school breakfast/lunch, Medicaid, TANF, SSI, childcare, public/rent-subsidized housing, child and earned income tax credits (checks if no taxes owed), free cellphones. It is not necessarily just lazy people collecting these – they are making an economic decision if they are not too proud to live off of taxpayers. There is little stigma left with “living on the dole”. Example:

Troy Johnson

October 8th, 2011
3:56 pm

What a fascinating development LOL. The book is easy to find for those interested in purchasing it online: The best quote in the article; “And non-readers rarely make great writers.”

Shame in Atlanta

October 8th, 2011
4:14 pm


Buckhead Boy

October 8th, 2011
4:31 pm

Wonder if Mr. Cain prefaced that gun story as he did yesterday with his outlandish criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protests: “I don’t have any facts to prove this, but … .” Regardless, his far-and-away lead in the Pants on Fire category this year probably offers sufficient caution.


October 8th, 2011
4:40 pm

Liberals will seldom vote for Republicans, and conservatives will seldom vote for Democrats. Elections are decided upon turnout and undecided moderates (blue dogs, RINO’s, Independents/centrists). Both Obama and the Republican nominee will have attempted to lurch to the center by this time next year – the rest is just meant to fire up their base for turnout purposes. Smarter voters will look at their records more than their (and the media’s) rhetoric – but many will be swayed by sound bites and headlines.

Be For Real

October 8th, 2011
5:04 pm

@Ben Holt October 8th, 2011 12:11 pm

If YOU people don’t like Barack Obama what makes us think that you would vote for Herman Cain. Be for real. Tell the truth. YOU people would never never never never never vote for another black man to be president.

Be for real.

Straight Talk

October 8th, 2011
5:05 pm

Galloway you are now a strong contender for the Cynthia Tucker Memorial Obama Is King award. Nice try, but your column is a weak transparent attack on Herman Cain – by far the most qualified candidate from either party. When he is nominated then the voters wil be able to follow Martin Luther King’s dream by “not judging a man by the color of his skin by the content of his character.”

Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil

October 8th, 2011
5:06 pm


Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil

October 8th, 2011
5:10 pm

@Shame in Atlanta October 8th, 2011 4:14 pm




The Kid

October 8th, 2011
5:28 pm

Herman(I,s a good Nigra) Cain is a joke. He’s the type who’d make a good over-seer on a plantation. He would have revealed the where-abouts of an underground railroad stop during the slave era.

Buck Hayek

October 8th, 2011
5:33 pm

Cain problems –

1- He quickly played the race card when he called Jon Stewart a racist for impersonating him
2- wanted to ban certain religious buildings – clearly unConstitutional
3- lied about him dying under “Obamacare” which makes one BUY private insurance like Cain had
4- he is anti-science like the rest of the GOP
5- 9-9-9 would sink us of funds – Cain says its been endorsed by economists but won’t name one
6- He supported TARP but does not support bank regulations to prevent another TARP
7- His record at Godfathers is spotty – they lost market share while he was there
8- He was pro Iraq War


October 8th, 2011
5:48 pm

Shame on all of you, both black & white that assail him as an “Uncle Tom” and chose to take the lower road by siding with race instead of the mans character. The late great MLK entire life was in vain if this is the path in life todays voters chose to take. This is one white boy(Man) that choses instead to read, listen and “Then” judge the man Hereman Cain. I am truly and absolutely disgusted with “Any” white or black that puts a mans race ahead of character.


October 8th, 2011
5:55 pm

Most states won’t matter for the presidential election next year as they are safe Democrat and Republican strongholds. Only voters in these battleground states where most of the campaigning will take place will matter:

Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, and North Carolina. Possible additions could be Arizona, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.

Big Daddy

October 8th, 2011
6:01 pm

Maybe Uncle tum can get Uncle royal out of the grave and run wif him.


October 8th, 2011
6:05 pm

My dad and mom were working class people who sent all of their children to college in an era when there was no welfare so please do not dare lecture me about work ethics and who is lazy. She supplemented her income taking in laundry and cleaning so her could have a better way of life.(Nothing wrong with doing laundry and cleaning, I do it every week end for my family.) I have never gotten anything that I didn’t work for. And the people that I know are the same. So this obsession that people are sitting around waiting on President Obama to give them a handout is just as ludicrous as the “welfare queen” that Ronald Reagan invented.
I know no one sitting around waiting on getting the rich man’s goods. I know none who begrudge anyone with wealth. I have a life style that I am quite pleased with. When I put my head on the pillow at night I have no worries of keeping up with the Joneses, etc. I live below my means as do many other middle income people. The contract business that I engage in form time to time allows me to earn extra money when I need it.
Class warfare began during the 2008 campaign and it wasn’t Democrats who started it. It began when some people declared that they were “afraid” that Obama wanted to give their wealth to the poor. Can you say Rush? It is sad that the people who make money off the business of dividing this country and its people are probably laughing all the way to the bank on how they have convinced the middle class to turn on one another.
The President and his wife just paid off their own college loans prior to the election, now if he had to pay off his loans, why in blazes do you people think he would advocate taking from some to give to those who have not worked for something.
So Herman Cain believes that people are protesting for a job but they really do not want a job. If I use that logic I would conclude that maybe he is running for President, but really does not want to be president.
Mom and dad always taught us that God blesses the child who has his own. I am happy for anyone who achieves the American dream, but please realize you didn’t get there all by yourself. Herman Cain could not eat enough of his own pizza to become wealthy. The question the rich should be asking themselves is this, if the middle class can no longer earn a living wage, who will buy your services or the stuff you make? Oh, by the way, I wonder how many of those “lazy, welfare queen-moms” fed their children Godfather’s Pizza and made Herman Cain rich.

Some people really do suffer from ODS; Obama Derangement Syndrome.


October 8th, 2011
6:08 pm

For those of you who idolize and adore Jon Stewart, he should have his pelotas removed by pinking shears for his racist innuendos and comparing Cain’s speech to Stepin Fetchit and Amos and Andy. But with all socialists (including those on this blog), it’s OK to degrade a black man when he is a conservative. Double standard with the Dimocrats and their plantation negroes who can’t vote independently of their massush’s telling them to pull the Dimocratic handle.
@July – Yes, and you will never find any other coward’s service record as it pertains to Viet
Nam (they never served). Thanks for bringing that up;
@Independent Voter, 13.08; go back to kindergarten and learn the English grammar from the ground up;
@Atlanta to Seattle2012, 14.32; You, “White” guy are a racist just like the others on here who are bad-mouthing Herman Cain.
Geez, will we EVER get rid of you drooling, lapdog, plantation Socialists?


October 8th, 2011
6:15 pm

The party that brought you a VP guaranteed to finish off McSame doubles down with Cain and Perry, You just can”t make this stuff up.

Mike H.

October 8th, 2011
6:18 pm

I agree with the blogger that all of you on this blog who are criticizing Mr. Cain are blatant racists. Of course, this guy is also true that there is two different standards with criticizing blacks: OK if you are a Democrat but racist if you happen to be a conservative. Conservatives cannot disagree with OBUMMER without being called racists and that’s the same with you on this blog who criticize Herman Cain.
Of course, one of the seven deadly sins is ENVY. Must I say more?


October 8th, 2011
6:27 pm

Jenzen, nice rant. Time for your medication.


October 8th, 2011
6:30 pm

Wow, Mike. You really capped off a great argument by pulling out one of the seven deadly sins. Who could argue?


October 8th, 2011
6:36 pm

Nice hatchet job again Jim..oh wait, I’m sorry, very poor hatchet job…again. Looks like you’re also on the White House media hotline designed to take candidates down, ala MSNBC. Maybe you’re aiming for a job there? Very poor, non-objective review. For instance, paraphrasing you, one can only surmise Cain was not involved in civil rights marches because his dad told him to stay out of trouble. Wow, that’s a little racist, don’t you think? Or was Herman exempted from racism? No, by all accounts, if you listen to him. The greatness of the civil rights movement eventually was overshadowed by those who tried to make victims of those impacted by racism, which has led in some cases to an entitlement mentality put in place in order to continue securing votes. Herman has said before he was impacted by racism, but he rightly realized it was the OTHER person’s problem and did not internalize it. Again Jim, a poor job of trying to frame Herman and form other peoples’ thinking about him. A career suggestion: you might try journalism, where being objective and not injecting opinion actually helps people and doesn’t tear them down. But then again, you wouldn’t get that MSNBC (aka gov’t job) you’re angling for.


October 8th, 2011
8:13 pm

Thanks, Brad, I did and I feel much better now. They’re “Anti-A$$hole” pills and they shield me from…well…

Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil

October 8th, 2011
8:17 pm

@Honkie October 8th, 2011 5:48 pm

A lecture coming from a person who calls him/herself a “honkie” is not credible.

Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil

October 8th, 2011
8:19 pm

@The Kid October 8th, 2011 5:28 pm

You are a very smart kid – “Kid”


October 8th, 2011
8:51 pm

Lets see it is ok for libs to be racist and do hatchet jobs on Black conservatives. It is ok for libs to run a woman into the ground with nothing from the feminazi’s but when a conservative man says he “Thanks God” that an ugly woman did not take her clothes off it is a mortal sin.

Political correctness only works one way and it is a bunch of made up BS by libs. No conservative should abide by their rules any longer and to h3ll with all you socialist commie butt heads.

Clinton "Skeet" Tyree

October 8th, 2011
9:03 pm

Herman Cain is a guy I’d love to have a cold one with, but he’s a Roman Candle and will burn out as soon as tough questions on foreign policy are directed toward him. He’s got the preacher delivery and can recite the talking points, but in the final analysis he just won’t be able to hack it.

The default candidate is the GOTP’s best chance of electibility if the bigots can get past his religion.