First, competency. We already elected one president with a scant record of public service, allowing him to base his candidacy on rhetoric. Once elected, his rhetoric was miles removed from his policies.

Instead of a short record, Cain has no public record. Although he’s a very successful businessman, you can expect Obama to point out that this nation has never elected a president without any record of serving as a government officer (since Army generals are officers of the United States, and we’ve only elected commanding generals who saved this nation in war)…

Fourth, crisis management. Presidents are beset with crises, one after another. Effectively responding in a disciplined manner is critical to maintaining public confidence and marshaling support to respond.

Cain’s unfocused and now flailing response to the sex-harassment scandal is painful to watch, especially since he knew this was coming. His whipsaw reversal on abortion confuses people. And his unawareness on basic issues like China and Israel could slow and muddle situations requiring quick and decisive action. He’s failed the test of deftly handling bad news.