Missed opportunity if Trump follows through on this. He should name Cain ambassador to Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan instead.
What’s the White House’s goal in leaking that Cain is under consideration? It’s not going to happen, after all. If McConnell hasn’t already privately vetoed this hypothetical appointment, he will soon.
Former presidential candidate and Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is under consideration for a Federal Reserve governorship, CNBC has confirmed.
Cain, 73, is a former chairman of the Kansas City Fed, having served at the bank from 1989-96 before leaving to pursue political activities full time.
Cain met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday at the White House, where he was escorted by National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow, CNBC’s Eamon Javers confirmed.
In true Herman Cain style, the prospective nominee confirmed to WaPo that he met with Trump yesterday:
Asked for comment on whether he is being considered for the post in an interview, Cain made a play on his famous tax proposal and said, “None-None-None.”
He confirmed, though, that he was at the White House.
“It’s hard to miss a six-foot black man in a black hat walking out of the White House,” he said.
The temptation is to assume that Trump is once again falling back on people he knows in conservative media to fill a vacancy he’s had trouble addressing. Cain would be an unusual pick too in that Fed governors typically come from academia or the Treasury Department, not the business class. But as the first excerpt notes, he used to be chairman of the Fed bank in Kansas City — a far less influential role than a Fed governor has (WaPo mentions that bank chairmen typically are businessmen who advise the Fed on what they’re seeing regionally in the economy) but something he and Trump could point to as relevant experience. Plus, if any president would relish breaking the mold of naming professors and longtime bureaucrats to the Federal Reserve, a populist would. Cain fits the bill.
He’d be useful to Trump in another way. POTUS has already given Fed chair Jerome Powell a taste of the Jeff Sessions experience by knocking him publicly for raising interest rates. Allegedly he’s even discussed firing him. A new Fed chair must be chosen from the board of directors. If Cain’s already in place on the board when Powell goes, then, well…
And even if he doesn’t become chair, as a governor he’d have a prominent perch from which to express the Trumpian view of monetary policy. “Fed governors are known mostly for being deferential to the chairman,” WaPo notes, “and Cain is known for being very outspoken on a range of issues.” Trump craves having loyalists in big roles since so many of his appointees often seem to be working against him. Cain would be a loyalist and would push Trump’s perspective to his Fed colleagues.
Just tell me how he gets confirmed by the Senate. Remember what it was that finally drove him out of the 2012 GOP primaries? Democrats would tear Cain apart over sexual harassment during the confirmation hearings. He’d attract one Democratic vote, Joe Manchin’s, if he’s lucky. Realistically he’d get none, leaving McConnell to start with just 53 yays and faced with instant panic among the moderates in his caucus, most of whom already took a very tough #MeToo-related vote on Kavanaugh four months ago. Murkowski opposed Kavanaugh and would likely oppose Cain. Cory Gardner is fighting for his political life in Colorado and would try to protect himself by voting no as well. Susan Collins has already been marked for defeat by the left for her crucial yes vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination and would try to balance it by opposing Cain this time. If no Democrats vote yes, that’s 50 votes maximum to confirm. Any single remaining member of the GOP caucus could sink him.
How anxious do you think McConnell is to have Trump put the Republican Senate in that position, knowing how daunting the party’s challenge already is to win back some women voters next year? The question isn’t whether Cain might join the Fed, the question is whether Trump hasn’t anticipated the reaction in the Senate to his potential nomination or if he has and is merely floating Cain’s name as a favor to an ally in righty media, with no real intention of appointing him.
Although let’s face it. Any man capable of a political ad like this should have pretty much any job in government that he wants.