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Why Can't Herman Cain Win?

Why isn't a successful business résumé presidential material?

You hear the same thing said about Herman Cain all the time: Herman Cain has some really interesting ideas, but...

I love Herman Cain, but...

But what?

But he can't win.

Why not?

At best, the answer has to do with that cloudy word "electability." Or that Mr. Cain has never held elected political office.

In 2004, Mr. Cain ran for the GOP's U.S. Senate nomination in Georgia. He lost to Johnny Isakson. Last weekend, Mr. Cain ran away with the Florida straw poll vote, winning with 37%. He torched both the "Southern" candidate, Rick Perry of Texas, who worked hard to win the vote, and Mitt Romney, who in 2008 campaigned everywhere in Florida.

The time is overdue to plumb the mystery of Herman Cain's "interesting, but" candidacy. Let's start at the top—in the top-tier candidacy of Mitt Romney.

Though he's got the governorship credential, Mr. Romney's emphasis in this campaign is on his private-sector experience. It's good, despite the knock on Bain Capital's business model. But measured by résumés, Herman Cain's looks deeper in terms of working on the private sector's front lines.

The details of his career path are worth knowing.

Daniel Henninger is a Wall Street Journal columnist. To continue reading his column on Herman Cain, click here.