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Opinion: Columnists

Cain would be beating Obama

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Photo - WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 16:  Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the "Cain's Revolution on the Hill" Tax Day Rally at the U.S. Capitol April 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. Cain spent the day promoting his 9-9-9 tax code plan in advance of tomorrow, the day that Americans are required to file their income taxes this year.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 16: Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the "Cain's Revolution on the Hill" Tax Day Rally at the U.S. Capitol April 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. Cain spent the day promoting his 9-9-9 tax code plan in advance of tomorrow, the day that Americans are required to file their income taxes this year. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Opinion,Gregory Kane,Columnists

Herman Cain just might have a point.

The Huffington Post headline reads, "Herman Cain Takes Shot at Mitt Romney, Says He Would Have 'Substantial Lead' Over Obama." It quotes Cain explaining his reasoning for this claim to a crowd at the University of Florida: "The reason is quite simple: I have some depth to my ideas."

That may or may not be the case. But Romney's the one who's been getting hammered the past week about his so-called gaffe in which he claimed that "there are 47 percent who are with [President Obama], who are dependent on government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."

I say "so-called" gaffe because a typical gaffe is when a candidate is on the stump and makes a goofy remark in what is clearly a public forum. When a "journalist" sneaks a camera into a private fundraiser, records comments clearly intended to be off the record and then makes those comments public fewer than two months before the election -- well, those comments, however reprehensible, can't be considered a gaffe.

Even Cain himself gave short shrift to Romney's "gaffe," calling the controversy a "nonstory" blown up by the liberal media. Back in those happier times when it seemed everybody and his mama was running for the Republican presidential nomination, Cain was one of the candidates. For a time there, he was even a front-runner.

Mind you, this is the guy who at one point showed he had no idea of the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, quoting from one when he thought he was quoting from the other. Even that didn't hurt him in the polls. At another point, Cain claimed he would not appoint a Muslim to his Cabinet. But that didn't hurt him in the polls either.

What derailed Cain in the polls were allegations that he sexually harassed a couple of women when he was president of the National Restaurant Association. Former President Clinton gets charged with sexual harassment and actually gets MORE popular among Democrats. Cain gets charged with sexual harassment and has to drop out of the Republican presidential race.

Kind of shows which party has moral standards and which one doesn't, wouldn't you say?

I don't know if Cain is right about this business of there being more depth to his ideas, but he does seem to have something going for him, personality-wise, that Romney simply does not.

Maybe it's because, though he's shown a penchant for making quite a few gaffes himself, Cain does have some charisma. Romney does not. He has what might be called a charisma void.

Or maybe it's just that slick little hat Cain is fond of wearing. Whatever it is, I think he's right: He would be leading Obama. The Romney folks had better find some way to get this guy working for their campaign.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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