Herman Cain's character

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Some links and notes about presidential candidate Herman Cain, related to Politico's thinly-sourced barely-a-story about decades-old sexual harassment allegations.

I got to know Karol Markowicz at the 2004 Republican National Convention. She had just served as a staffer on Cain's 2004 bid for U. S. Senate in Georgia. (Cain lost the July 2004 primary to Johnny Isakson.) I remember her speaking with glowing admiration for Cain, for his intelligence, character, and political views. Here's what she said about Herman Cain back on July 25, 2004, in her post-mortem of the Cain campaign (interesting reading in its own right):

If you work or volunteer in politics, I hope you will someday have the opportunity to work for someone that you admire as much as I admire Herman Cain. He is a breath of the freshest air, he is honest, direct, engaging, brilliant, funny and very, very real. He will never forget your name after meeting you. He will never try to pretend to be something he isn't. It takes guts that I can barely understand to do what he did down here in Georgia. He shaped the debate, his opponents ended up using his language and positions as their own. He is a force, if you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, go do it. You will never forget it. You will not be the same when it's over. I know he will do great things and I will be watching closely.

In April 12, 2006, she asked for prayers for Cain, undergoing treatment for colon cancer:

Whenever I'm disenchanted with politics and politicians, whenever I think they're all the same and nothing matters, thinking of Herman Cain makes me remember that there are very real exceptions.

Powerline blog links to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune story about Herman Cain's years as an executive at Pillsbury

"My career spans 38 years and I've worked for 26 different managers," said Frank Taylor, a recently retired Burger King financial executive whom Cain hired as his regional controller in 1983. "Herman was far and away the best I've worked for in terms of getting a team together, sharing a vision and accomplishing the goals. And nothing diverted him."

Cain also shared the wealth. When Burger King distributed $50,000 apiece to the regional vice presidents as reward for good performance in 1985, most of the regional bosses spent it on a trip to a posh resort for themselves and other managers and spouses. The enlisted troops got a dinner. Cain took everybody in his office, including administrative staff, on the same three-day reward cruise, Taylor recalled....

"I worked with him fairly closely at Burger King," recalled George Mileusnic, a former Pillsbury executive, now a Twin Cities consultant. "He was good strategically and good with people, including working long hours in Burger King stores to get that bottom-up experience. He had about 500 stores in that Philadelphia region and he did a great job."...

Along with his analytical skills, Cain brought an entrepreneurial fervor to the hurried turnaround at Godfather's in 1986-87. He listened, asked questions and acted, including closing stores, shifting people and even cooking and testing new products in the company's kitchen.

"I'm Herman Cain and this ain't no April Fool's joke," he told Godfather's employees when he arrived on April 1, 1986. "We are not dead. Our objective is to prove to Pillsbury and everybody else that we will survive."

An accomplished singer and pianist, Cain occasionally led the headquarters crew in after-hours song, and performed charitable gigs in Omaha, backed by a chorus of managers. He also demanded that senior managers know every employee working for them on a first-name basis and occasionally quizzed executives on that and other personnel issues.

"That was pretty unique," Mileusnic said. "Those stories got around Pillsbury. Herman was very quantitative and analytical, but he demanded that everybody be engaged and every employee must be appreciated and respected."

Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard spoke to aides and assistants to Herman Cain, including Karol Markowicz, longtime executive assistant Sibby Wolfson, and 2004 campaign political director Matt Carrothers -- none of whom currently work for Cain:

"It's just not Herman," says Sibby Wolfson, who was Cain's executive assistant from 1997 through his first campaign for office in 2004, in a phone interview. "He's got a lovely wife, a lovely family."

Did Wolfson ever see Cain act in a way that could be construed as sexual harassment? "No, God, no," she says. "Nothing. Absolutely nothing. In fact, I think Herman was careful to act in the opposite way."...

"Never once have I ever seen anything but professional behavior" from Cain, says Matt Carrothers, who was Cain's political director from December 2003 to July 2004. "I find [the allegations] extremely hard to believe," Carrothers says in a phone interview....

"This is a man of incredible character," Carrothers says. "He has nothing but respect for women."

Other veterans of the 2004 campaign agree. "The allegations seem completely unbelievable to me," says Karol Markowicz, who was Cain's assistant press secretary in '04. "He was never anything but a completely perfect gentleman." She says many who worked on that campaign have the same assessment.

"Sometimes someone is nice or good to you personally but you know they behave a different way toward other people," Markowicz says. "Herman is not like that. I never saw one moment where he wavered from being an upstanding, solid person."

Karol called into last night's Mark Levin show, starting at 31:25 for about 3 minutes. And she has a column standing up for Herman Cain in today's New York Post:

With Cain, however, his electricity comes from his authenticity. People fall for him because he is so unpolished and real. He is a serious, solid man who speaks often of the importance of family and faith. He never seems as if he is selling a line or covering up his true self.

MORE: I'm impressed that Herman Cain is willing to speak the truth about Planned Parenthood's racist roots, and not backing down an inch when challenged:

"Here's why I support de-funding Planned Parenthood, because you don't hear a lot of people talking about this: When Margaret Sanger--check my history--started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world," Cain responded.

"You don't see that talked that much about," Cain said. "It's not Planned Parenthood. No, it's planned genocide. You can quote me on that."...

"It's carrying out its original mission," said Cain. "I've talked to young girls who go in there and they don't talk about how you plan parenthood. They don't talk about adoption as an option. They don't say bring your parents in so you we can talk to you before you make this decision.

"Talk to some young lady who has gone into some of these centers to see what kind of conversation takes place," said Cain. "They have basically carried out their original mission. There's not any planning other than to abort the baby.

"When they have an objective to put 75 percent [Planned Parenthood facilities] in African American communities, says to me they are targeting blacks," Cain said....

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Bob said:

Excellent comments and links, Michael.

I'm guessing that Karol Markowicz knows Herman Cain about as well as anybody in public life can know a political candidate for high office.

Herman Cain's life story is very compelling, with an analytical/scientific background leading to his first professional job as a Navy civilian employee calculating naval firing tables while obtaining a graduate degree in computer science at Purdue University part-time.

He worked for a number of major corporations, improving his experience and job skills by being willing to change employers, and relocate frequently. His technical skills lead to management positions where he honed his people skills, eventually leading to the CEO position at Godfather's Pizza.

If more people knew about what a personal success he has achieved, I think he'd be doing even better politically.

He grew up in the segregated South, and probably experienced Jim Crow segregation directly to a degree that would have embittered a smaller and weaker person.

His opponent Barack Hussein Obama grew up without any known racial discrimination in the thoroughly mixed racial environment of Hawaii, yet it is clear from the unscripted words that occasionally erupt in a, non-teleprompter controlled moment, that Obama harbors deep and abiding anger towards the American white society. He is a seething volcano of anger that he dare not expose. Hence, his slavish adherence to the control of the scripted teleprompter.

What a striking contrast between two very different members of a racial minority!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 1, 2011 12:01 PM.

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