Herman Cain's motivations for running
Oct 20, 2011

Herman Cain's motivations for running

In a leadership contest like the GOP one that has multiple contenders who have nearly zero chance of winning, it is worth investigating various possible other motivations they might have beyond actually becoming President. As it turns out, there is quite a variety of such other motivations.

I spelled out some of these motivations for the GOP contenders in the latter half of this post here, but hadn't done the background to really lock down Herman Cain's motivations. However, a brief look into his recent activities make it quite plain: Herman Cain is a member of the so called celebrity politicians, best exemplified by Sarah Palin. That is, somebody who is a member of the media political class and stands to gain by geting as much media attention as possible.

 So for instance, he has his latest book self-proclaiming his ascendancy to the White House which is now heading up the NYT best-sellers list. He hosted a regular talk radio show, had syndicated columns, and has a public speaking company. He will get paid honorariums from groups like the Koch brothers related Americans for Prosperity.

 Getting into the possibly scandalous, it would appear his campaign is spending large amounts of money directly buying his own books and paying his own public speaking company. If true, this is entirely consistent with my above narrative to his motivations.

 Regardless, we have a clear example of the celebrity politiain where the more exposure he gets from the GOP race, the more he stands to gain in book sales now and in his various media ventures in the future. He must surely be aware of the precedent set by Palin, and the attention she got in the 2008 Presidential contest, that has been extensively reaped by her subsequent media earnings and probably feels he can do something at least in the same vein. Whatever else may make him tick, this would surely seem like a sufficient, if not necessary, motivation.

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