Politicians are not a popular bunch these days. According to Gallup, the nation’s most referenced pollsters of all things “human nature and behavior for more than 75 years,” President Obama currently has a 46% approval rating. That’s dangerously close to the average approval rating of fellow Nobel Prize recipient Jimmy Carter who, in 1981, was sent back to the peanut farm after only one term in office.
Congress, meanwhile, is in poor standing with the American public, even by congressional standards. According to Gallup the average job approval rating for congress since 1974 has been 34%. Today it is a record low 11%.
With an economy that can’t seem to get rolling and elected officials on both sides of the aisle that seem unable and unwilling to cure the nation’s ills; it’s easy to see why Americans have lost faith in their politicians.
With that back drop, enter Herman Cain with, as one New York Times writer described it, his “golden voice and folksy manner.”
A virtual nobody when he began campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination in April 2011, Cain used his credentials as a self-made man and that same “folksy manner” as a catapult to the head of the polls. By the end of September he had won a Florida Straw Poll, and suddenly the Washington outsider looked like a serious contender for the GOP nod.
But September, as it tends to do, turned unsympathetically into October, the month of witches, monsters and ghosts, and one whopper of a ghost emerged from Herman Cain’s past in the scariest of forms-sexual harassment allegations.