Herman Cain And The Rule Of Three

by Alec MacGillis | November 18, 2011

After a busy week, I finally got around to picking up T.A. Frank's profile of Herman Cain in this past Sunday's New York Times magazine. Read it. It is the definitive piece on the Cain phenomenon, capturing its absurdity while also trying to reckon with its very real appeal and staying power. The piece appeared the day before Cain's five-minute wipe-out on Libya policy, but it all but predicted it: "To say that Herman Cain has an imperfect grasp of policy would be unfair not only to George W. Bush in 1999 but also to Britney Spears in 1999. Herman Cain seems like someone who, quite frankly, has never opened a newspaper."

That riff has gotten deserved attention this past week. Less noted has been this bit, quoting Cain on his theory of public speaking success: "He said, look, it's very simple. Talk about things you're passionate about. And have three points you want to make. If you have three points you want to make, you can remember those, and you can speak from the heart."

Hmm...three points. Was Rick Perry taking public speaking lessons on the side from Herman Cain? And if so, does Cain owe him a refund?

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