When looking at the dumpster fire we call the American political environment, I think we can all agree that the last thing we really need is more Herman Cain. As I explained yesterday in my “Senate Republicans Wish the Democrats Could Filibuster Trump’s Nominees” piece, the senior GOP leadership in Congress certainly feels that way. They were already begging rank-and-file senators to call the White House and warn them off nominating Cain for a position on the Federal Reserve before Cain called them a “bunch of yahoos” on Wednesday night.
Herman Cain, whose prospects for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors have grown shaky before President Donald Trump even nominates him, likely gave his detractors in the U.S. Senate more reason to oppose his confirmation with comments at a University of Kansas lecture Wednesday night.
Cain, 73, the long-time business executive and 2012 presidential candidate, warned against the dangers of socialism, renewable energy and Medicare for all. He described the Senate Banking Committee, which would vet him if he were nominated, “as a bunch of yahoos.” He compared the right to health care to the right to own a Cadillac, and said God would decide when it was time to stop using fossil fuels.
“When God is ready for us not to have fossil fuels, he’ll find a way,” the former Godfather Pizza CEO told the audience at the Vickers Lecture Series at School of Business.
Cain also likened himself to Dr. Martin Luther King, and said: “You reach a point in your successful career where making more money isn’t inspiring enough.”
Cain’s reward for those remarks was to learn that his nomination is almost certainly doomed.
A fourth Republican senator announced Thursday that he would oppose Herman Cain if President Trump nominated him to the Federal Reserve Board, all but dooming his potential appointment.
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a close Trump ally, told reporters that “if I had to vote right now, there’s no way I could vote for” Cain. The president had floated the businessman for the Fed board last week.
Cramer’s opposition makes him the fourth Republican to denounce Cain’s potential nomination, effectively ending Cain’s chance at confirmation. GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Mitt Romney (Utah) all came out against Cain on Wednesday.
With four of the 53 Senate Republicans opposed to Cain, he would not reach the necessary 51 votes for confirmation without getting support from Democrats, which is unlikely.
I’m not certain, but it looks like perhaps the Senate Republicans are drawing a hard line against Cain so that will have some cover for accepting the other insane nomination Trump is floating for the Fed.
Stephen Moore may have been held in contempt of court for failing to pay child support and alimony and he may owe more than $75,000 in taxes to the IRS, but that doesn’t seem disqualifying to a lot of Senate Republicans:
“I know Stephen Moore, he’s a smart man, he’s the head of Club for Growth,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). “We have to do this in regular order, but I think he would probably be a good voice on the Fed. One, he’s got to be nominated first. Second, he’s got to be confirmed.”
“I said, ‘Pay your taxes; pay your support!’” Shelby said, when asked about Moore’s financial problems.
“Stephen is a solid guy, I know Stephen pretty well. I think Stephen has been right about a few things, with regard to the Fed’s treatment of interest rates, especially,” [Sen. Kevin] Cramer said. “I want to hear more about the specific issues surrounding some of his financial situations.”
The North Dakota senator added that he did not see Moore’s run-in with the IRS or the divorce settlement being disqualifying for his nomination if he had cleared up both issues.
So, the way it looks right now, the dumpster fire will get less Herman Cain and more Stephen Moore.
Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.