So does this mean Cain is now a contender? He has always enjoined support from Tea Party supporters, who perhaps now aren't encumbered by the notion that he can't win. Certainly some elite conservative thinkers believe he can make some noise.
From Daniel Henninger's column in Thursday's Wall Street Journal:
Does a résumé like Herman Cain's add up to an American presidency? I used to think not. But after watching the American Idol system we've fallen into for discovering a president—with opinion polls, tongue slips and media caprice deciding front-runners and even presidents—I'm rewriting my presidential-selection software.
Conventional wisdom holds that this week's Chris Christie boomlet means the GOP is desperate for a savior. The reality is that, at some point, Republicans will have to start drilling deeper on their own into the candidates they've got.
Put it this way: The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain's life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality.
Herman Cain is a credible candidate. Whether he deserves to be president is something voters will decide. But he deserves a serious look.
Not that running for President (and coming up big in the polls) won't get one maximum media attention, but next Tuesday Cain's book, This Is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House will be published.