Herman Cain Thinks He’d Make A Great Secretary Of Defense

Last night’s Barbara Walters “Most Fascinating People” special included an interview with Herman Cain, where he said this:

Herman Cain says if he could be a Cabinet secretary, he would want to be head of the Department of Defense.

In an interview with Barbara Walters, who chose Cain as one of the “10 Most Fascinating People” of the year, the former presidential hopeful was asked what Cabinet position he would like.

“We are speaking totally, totally hypothetical, right?” a smiling Cain said. “Department of Defense.”

A visibly surprised Walters exclaimed, “What?”


“Not Treasury? I mean, you’re the 9-9-9 man. Why the Department of Defense?” Walters asked.

“Because if I could influence rebuilding our military as it should be, that would be a task I would consider undertaking.”

Walters proceeded to remind Cain, who served in the Department of the Navy during the Vietnam War, that as defense secretary, “it would be important to be familiar with the various countries around the world.

“And you have had some difficulty with that, Mr. Cain,” she added.

“Yes, but I have been doing my homework ever since that difficulty,” Cain said, still smiling.

Here’s the video, Walters’ reaction is priceless

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    As Jon Stewart points out, Walters has spent decades taking in bizarre answers from the likes of Fidel Castro and Bashar al-Assad in stride. That she lost it with this answer is all the more amusing.

  2. Peter says:

    Wonder if he’ll argue that it was a gotcha question because she asked what position he would like, not what position he thinks he would be qualified for.

  3. Franklin says:

    Because if I could influence rebuilding our military as it should be …

    I don’t even want to ask what he thinks it should be.

  4. @Franklin: Indeed.

  5. Bleev K says:

    I don’t even understand why that clown is still on TV.

  6. @Bleev K: Because clown=good TV.

  7. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Maybe Cain thought Walters was asking a sexual question and perhaps “Department of Defense” to Cain is some kind of kinky role playing thing he does with his mistresses.