While Cain shares the views of these conservative stalwarts, they've got one important asset Cain sorely lacks at this point: name recognition. Cain is acutely aware of this -- as well as his perceived long shot status -- but said he's confident that his name and message of fiscal conservatism will spread through the "powerful weapon of word of mouth" after smothering the early primary states with campaign visits. (Cain said he'll spend so much time in Iowa in the coming months, "I might need to rent me a condo.")
Name recognition is one daunting obstacle to running for president; fundraising is another. And despite accumulating some personal wealth from his time in the private sector, Cain is not, contrary to convention wisdom, planning to self-fund a White House 2012 campaign. "I'm not a cagillionaire -- I'm comfortable," he said. "I'm certainly not a multi-billionaire, and my middle name is not Meg Whitman."