Herman Cain: "I'm not running for second" 

Former Godfather's pizza CEO Herman Cain, speaking to an enthusiastic crowd in Atlanta, made his presidential bid official this afternoon.

"I'm running for president of the United States, and I'm not running for second!" he shouted in a fiery speech, with the audience changing "HER-MAN!, HER-MAN!, HER-MAN!"

Cain is largely seen as somebody who is more likely running for a Fox News gig than for the presidency, and while I agree that he's unlikely to win the nomination, there's always the possibility that in the current environment an engaging anti-establishment voice could make some waves.

His speech tapped into the sentiment shared by many Americans right now that the nation is in decline, and that President Obama's policies are making things far worse. Conservatives may find his blunt talk refreshing.

"One trillion dollars of spending to stimulate the economy," Cain told the audience, "and it didn't stimulate diddly."

He vowed that as president he'd put the country back on track. "Number two is not in America's DNA," he said.

He ended his speech with a nod to the civil rights era as he imagined the day after the November 2012 election.

"When we wake up, and they declare the presidential results, and Herman Cain is in the White House, we'll all be able to say: 'Free at last! Free at last!," a grinning Cain shouted at the audience, both hands raised like a preacher, "Thank God almighty this nation is free at last again!"

Judging by his first debate performance, if Cain does gain any traction, he's going to have to elaborate on many of his views, especially on foreign policy. During the debate, he criticized Obama for not having a clear foreign policy vision, but when asked for his own views, Cain largely punted, saying when he was president he'd look at the intelligence and talk to experts and craft a policy. If he really means it when he says he isn't running for second, then he'll have to do better. 

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Philip Klein

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