Herman Cain's Role in Racial Politics

A Goldblog reader writes, in reference to my Bloomberg View column:

Herman Cain plays one role and one role only, to give white Tea Partyers cover to hate Barack Obama. It's a performance, and the payment will be a show on Fox.

There is a lot of truth in this; in speeches, Cain explicitly absolves Tea Party members of racism for having hostile feelings about Obama (and, of course, I'm not suggesting that all Tea Party members dislike Obama for the color of his skin), but Cain also has a set of ideas that appeal to small-government types, and to small-business types, in particular. That said, much of his popularity stems from his unique role as a black conservative.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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