Cain's big advantage
It's anybody's guess as to whether Herman Cain can go the distance. But here's another item to put on the plus side of the scales.
The Dems have gotten considerable mileage out of accusations of scientific illiteracy on the part of the GOP candidates. This is largely due to the healthy stand taken by most of the field against global warming panic, but has also Rick Perry's clumsiness in dealing with questions concerning evolution and Michelle B's ill-advised attack on the Gardasil vaccine. (There's scarcely a vaccine in the medical armory that hasn't been accused of causing "retardation" at one time or another.)
Well, lo and behold, one widely overlooked entry in Cain's resume is the fact that he's a trained scientist, with degrees in both mathematics (from Morehouse College) and computer science (from Purdue) Furthermore, he actually worked as a professional mathematician, computing potential missile trajectories for the Navy, something that not even the great Al Gore can claim.
Science has always been a Republican weakness, with scientific ignorance acting as a facet of the GOP troglodyte caricature so beloved of Democratic campaigners. (Which would beg the question as to how the Dems can lay claim to superiority concerning the topic if we all weren't aware that liberals know, like, everything.) But with Cain on the ticket, this failing simply vanishes. It's difficult to see how they can turn the anti-science cannon on a man fully trained in the rigors of the scientific method. Nor is there any doubt whether Cain, in many ways the most outspoken of the current crop, would let them get away with it.
The point is, even if Cain does not gain the nomination, he would be formidable as a vice-presidential candidate. He would bring something to the ticket that no one else can. Add his scientific background to his successful executive experience and his racial bona fides and we have a candidate to be reckoned with. A frontrunner would need pretty strong reasons not to select Herman Cain.
So that covers the veep selection. Next up?