What's a clown candidate?
Putting on my political scientist hat, I would define a "clown candidate" as "a presidential candidate who is seeking to gain support by making the most provocative statements in the field."
What made Donald Trump a clown candidate was the fact that his appeal was based solely on questioning whether President Obama was born in the United States or not. There's apparently a large constituency for clown candidates among Republican voters and Trump's birtherism pushed him up to 26% in the polls at one point.
Now, the same Republican constituencies are looking at former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain as the answer to their dreams of confronting President Obama in the most provocative way possible.
Here's the kind of thing Republican voters like:
“Stupid people are running America,” Cain complained on Saturday night. “We will put a conservative in the White House, and I've got a good feeling his name is going to be Herman Cain.”
Given that Cain's economic plan is basically to empower the wealthy even more than they already are, I have a strong feeling that Cain's not going to beat Obama in 2012.
But he's got a decent enough shot at being the Republican nominee--definitely better than Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.