October 22, 2011

Herman Cain and numerology.

I've already expressed my concerns...
It's not conservative to trash the entire system of funding the federal government and replace it with something concocted more out of numerology than economics.
... but Michelle Cottle really makes the connection:
In Chapter Nine of This Is Herman Cain—entitled “‘Forty-Five’—A Special Number,” Cain notes that his “conception, gestation, and birth all occurred within” the year 1945 (true of pretty much anyone born in the last three months of that year). He then launches into a detailed account of how “45 keeps on popping up as I go about the business of being elected—you guessed it—as the forty-fifth president of the United States of America.”

Meaningful signposts include events both past (in 1945, Reader’s Digest published a version of Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which Cain ran across last year and loved) and future (in 2013, the year the 45th president will take office, Cain and his wife will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.)

In some cases the digits 4 and 5 are only part of a figure, like the times when one of Cain’s weekly commentaries ran to 645 words or when the final leg of a campaign trip took place on Flight 1045 traveling at 45,000 feet. At times the 45 in question is only tangentially related to Cain, as when he cites a Las Vegas campaign event where he met a couple celebrating their 45th anniversary. And in one case, the key moment ultimately doesn’t have anything to do with 45 at all: at an early strategy meeting, Cain and two aides believed they were seated at table 45 in a restaurant, only to be told that there were only 43 tables total. Regardless, it all adds up to something big for Cain.

It’s not just the casual numerology....
Oh, lord...


Anonymous said...

Cain is an occultist, the Values Voters must be warned!! He also moonlights as a snake oil salesman.

The Dude said...
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Jane said...



9's are cool in math, though.

Anonymous said...

666 Grit, kiss my ass.

Psychedelic George said...

Everybody's got something...LBJ showing his surgery scars, JFK and his drugs, Nancy Reagan and astrology, Clinton and cheeseburgers, Obama and his weird minister, Ike and golf, Truman and brisk walks. So Cain is into numbers. Big woop.

Jane said...


New Herman Cain video - it's funny.

edutcher said...

Noting coincidence and numerical patterns doesn't automatically make one a numerologist.

After Jack Kennedy was shot, Cab Calloway came out with a record (I know Ann remembers this) about the many coincidences between his shooting and Abraham Lincoln's. Much of the material had to do with the number of letters in names, etc.

No one at the time thought the record was occult or anything.

In any case, nobody had a problem with Hillary trying to channel Eleanor Roosevelt when she was running for POTUS.

PS Can't agree with Sixty on Herman, but he's on the money as far as the single-celled intelligence.

Jane said...

Jesus was into numbers, too.

Herman Cain majored in math. He digs numbers.

It could be worse!

At least he knows what comes after a Trillion!

The Dude said...
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Anonymous said...

Speaking of churches, did you know that Cain belongs to a liberal Baptist church?


The Dude said...
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Anonymous said...

666 Grit, speaking of occultism, are you perhaps channeling J?

richard mcenroe said...

There's nothing conservative about leaving the mess we have in place now, either.

It's not radical to take a shovel to a midden heap when it starts landsliding into the kitchen.

The Dude said...
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Wince said...

Yeah, sing the song, Bro'

If the sun refuse to shine,
I don't mind, I don't mind,
If the mountains fell in the sea,
let it be, it ain't me.
Alright, 'cos I got my own world to look through,
And I ain't gonna copy you.

Now if 6 turned out to be 9,
I don't mind, I don't mind,
Alright, if all the hippies cut off all their hair,
I don't care, I don't care.
Dig, 'cos I got my own world to live through
And I ain't gonna copy you.

White collared conservative flashing down the street,

Pointing their plastic finger at me.
They're hoping soon my kind will drop and die,
But I'm gonna wave my freak flag high, high.
Wave on, wave on
Fall mountains, just don't fall on me
Go ahead on Mr. Business man, you can't dress like me.
Sing on Brother, play on drummer.

Shouting Thomas said...

Before the advent of the internet, I was certainly skeptical about people.

The internet has made it clear that a very large percentage of the populace is deliberately malicious or downright crazy.

It has been eye opening.

Dark Eden said...

So voting for a guy who spent 20 years in a racist church is okay, but voting for a math major who finds interesting (debatably) patterns in numbers is a no go.

Got it.

Mary Beth said...

Confirmation bias. He believes the number 45 is important so he notices it and doesn't pay any attention to the other numbers that also show up repeatedly. This is just how people are.

The Dude said...
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traditionalguy said...

We 1945 babies were born in the last year of the Traditionalist Generation.

To us its nostalgia, not numerology. You need a traditionalist's nostalgia mixed with a sense of humour. For instance:

A 4 + a 5 does make a 9. That could be a Plan.

45 is a hexagonal and a catalan number for math students.

The summa of Christian Theology is written in the 45th Book of the Bible.(Romans)

Utah was the 45th State. Will it take a 45th year guy to defeat the Mormon Machine which left Nauvoo, Ill. on a trek to Utah in 1845.

The favorite motto in Patton's 3rd Army was "Home Alive in 45."

The NFL has 45 man rosters.

In my nightstand I keep a loaded Springfield M1911 which is my 45.

The world changed forever on August 6, 1945.

I was free, white and 21 45 years ago.

That's about it, Forrest.

edutcher said...

Sixty, I've said this before and I'll repeat it; Herman has to do several things if he wants to advance.

The most important is hit the briefing book and make sure of his facts. Chris Wallace pretty much did in his campaign with one foreign policy question and the only reason he came back is a very good debate performance.

The other, and Karl Rove and Larry Sabato, whether a lot of Conservatives want to hear it or not, are on the money here, is that he has to build up his organization, if not his money, in the early primary states and start concentrating on them.

When Rove did his thing on Hannity, he noted Herman was in TX and TN while Anita Perry was in SC. It's at least 2 months to the first primaries and he needs to make sure of at least one early victory.

The lead in IA can evaporate if he doesn't work on it.

Jane said...

Maybe he's on the autism spectrum -- I know a lot of geeks, being kind of aspberger-ey myself. In homeschooling circles I'm in, I notice boys and girls who geek out on math, because they're free to do so and because geekery isn't something that's peer-pressured out of them.

I attend a statewide convention every year, and some speakers love to point out "coincidences" in numbers. It's especially popular now among Christian homeschool groups to talk about math as something God created and likes very much. Herman Cain is a lifelong student of this sort of thinking.

Superstitious? Not necessarily. Science and math go to infinite places far beyond most of the comprehension of those of us on this board.

I used to work in the computer department for the DoD, and we computer geeks knew we had a problem when the lawyers walked in. It was common knowledge in our department that lawyers were the most technologically-challenged end-users, and also the most arrogant in their ignorance. You could tell them they had an IDtenT error, and they'd believe you and then huff that it was your fault.

(Glenn Reynolds is the exception to this, of course, but then again, he's not a government lawyer).

Most politicians are lawyers, and probably get along badly with geeks. Most journalists probably failed algebra. I've worked with plenty of "guvvies" in my life to know that someone like Herman Cain will drive them crazy.

I'm talking myself into being more endeared to Herman Cain!

traditionalguy said...

I see Cain as a once in a lifetime leader designed for our times.

Romney is still busy personally trashing Perry. But Romney's advisers are 30 days behind in strategy since Cain has developed a large lead.

Meanwhile Cain keeps on winning friends, winning Perry Voters, winning Bachmann voters, and ignoring Romney.

Romney once held his solid 25% while all the others shared the rest. Now Romney holds his solid 25% and Cain is raking in the rest and pulling ahead.

Cain was right what his opponents do when they cannot deal with well expressed ideas: They call him names.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

And while we're at it, I think Obama's number is '57', as in the number of states he has campaigned in, and as in the % of the vote his opponent will get.

Andy said...

I am completely surprised that a serious candidate like this would believe something so idiotic.

Synova said...

"So voting for a guy who spent 20 years in a racist church is okay, but voting for a math major who finds interesting (debatably) patterns in numbers is a no go."

When he refuses to get on a plane that isn't Flight something-45 and insists on being seated in the 45th seat or orders his food on purpose so the bill ads up to $45, then I'll think it's something important.

As a couple of people said... math geek. Give me a reason to think it's not just something fun for him, that it's not simply taking pleasure in serendipity.

Anonymous said...

The reason there is a focus on Cain is that we (WH, K-street super consultants, media) want him to win the GOP nomination, if Perry does not win.

Either Perry (who will be show-cased by us as backward person) and Cain (who will be show-cased as just not right) will lose insanely to the POTUS Obama.

The way we figure: Build up both Cain and Perry. Make sure one of them gets light criticism but positive coverage. Convince GOP to vote for them in the primary. By all means, make sure Romney screws up badly. Feed Romneycare stories just before any debate, rattle him, and give Perry a way to goad him.

We win by attrition. We help GOP to defeat Romney. We defeat GOP (Perry or Cain). We control the WH, House, and Senate in Nov. 2012.


garage mahal said...
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garage mahal said...

And any astute reader knows that the important number is 42. And, the even more astute knows how it is derived.

Age 42 is a special number to Shitty. That would be the last time he had a natural hard-on. Sometime during the Reagan administration.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

I am completely surprised that a serious candidate like this would believe something so idiotic.

As opposed to channeling Eleanor Roosevelt?

Any good mathematician looks for patterns when faced with a problem.

That's how Carl Friedrich Gauss was able to sum up the numbers between 1 and 100 faster than his classmates in the old story.

JAL said...

TradGuy -

You make me smile.

Yes, 1945 was a Very Good Year.

JAL said...

I count things.

I am not an aspie, that I know of. I just have a tendency to count things -- not all the time.

But I'll do a crowd estimate somewhat randomnly, for the heck of it, when I'm someplace with a bunch of people.

I have counted concrete blocks in church walls, seating rows at a graduation, turkeys in a field ....

I don't usually write about it (this is the first time) but I haven mentioned it to my husband a couple times.

I also don't remember the numbers very long. Except one bunch of turkeys. They hang out in our pasture and I check and see if the coyote or bobcat got any of them. ;-) [There are 16. 3 mommas and 13 now grown babies.]

So there's a litmus test against having a thing about numbers? I couldn't run for president?

How about the author of the article find out what Obama's courses and grades in college were? How about his passport in 1981?

Something with some real world value.

Mark said...

If he majored in math, I'll take any accusations of perversion-by-numerology with a big grain of salt.

Numerologists write books with pretty pictures and can't pay their bills. Math guys take a pizza joint and build a financial empire.

J said...

Byro-Mito--IM against the occult.Yr the little crowley queer occultist and stoner here, not to say an untalented, lying blowhard. Like yr boyfriend MxK. Speaking of numbers, lets count how many names you got on here, hijo de puta, hijo de perra.
Looks about like average-- 7-8.

Cain's another wingnut, regardless of race. Nearly dyslexic in public.Now wonder the heartland likes him--the afro-Sarah Palin! .

JAL said...

I do want the candidates to care about numbers -- and not poll numbers. Real numbers.

Private sector job numbers. Deficit numbers. Budget numbers. Bottom line numbers. Numbers that will reflect growth. Numbers that show the people of the United States are generous as well as productive.

Numbers which one does not find in crony loans to solar projects with crappy balance sheets and a Finnish scissor company which is building "green" cars with crappy mileage and $89,000 price tags.

Rialby said...

Yeah, I'm going to recycle an old comment (cause I'm into sustainable commenting):

From Amity Shlaes on the most greatest Democratist president evah!!!:

At some points Roosevelt seemed to understand the need to counter deflation. But his method for doing so generated a whole new set of uncertainties. Roosevelt personally experimented with the currency — one day, in bed, he raised the gold price by 21 cents. When Henry Morgenthau, who would shortly become Treasury Secretary, asked him why, Roosevelt said that “its a lucky number, because its three times seven.”

Joanna said...

4 8 15 16 23 42

JimMuy said...

Look, you can find these type of number coincidences in everyone's life--that's the hook of numerology.

But, normal people don't notice and even if it is pointed out to them would have little more than a "Hmm, no kidding."

There is really something off about this Cain fellow . . . .

jeff said...

"Cain's another wingnut, regardless of race. Nearly dyslexic in public." Really? Going to run with the old republican is stupid plan? Lord knows they hand out those math and masters in computer science degrees out like candy. Man, good thing Truman was a Democrat.

miller said...

1. Figure out what things need to be done by the government. Prioritize them.

2. Figure out how much to raise taxes to cover it. Raise taxes higher on the rich - they're rich because they're in a stable society & they should be happy to pay for it.

Repeat 1 & 2 until budget it balanced. Problem solved.

David R. Graham said...

Curious: is Mitochondri-Allie and Sixty Grit one and the same writer?

"It was common knowledge in our department that lawyers were the most technologically-challenged end-users, and also the most arrogant in their ignorance."

It astounds me that Althouse would not have examined interest in numbers long ago and realized that, like all human endeavors, that interest can trend to both the bathetic and the profound and to mixed postures throughout the spectrum between those poles.

That numbers exhibit patterns of complexity and meaning is knowledge I expect any educated person to have gained, appreciated and grasped in some minimum detail at least.

A list of numerologists would include luminaries of every speciality of science, theology and mathematics. Mathematics, after all, is Theology by another name. Always has been, always will be.

Logic and semantics, which are employed by lawyers, are branches of Mathematics/Theology. In former times, lawyers were trained in theology and mathematics as well as in law and rhetoric. Those inquiries and skills are mutually supporting and mutually necessary.

The want is to be broadly skilled enough to be able to discern the difference between numerology and necromancy (aka Voodoo) and to appreciate the former and abominate the latter.

A significance of the number 45 is, as some commentators mention, that its pythmen (sum of its digits) is 9 and 9 is the perfect number in that the digits of its multiples sum to 9. 9 returns to 9. That makes it perfect, unitary, self-sufficient. No other number has this quality.

It is a fact that a life surrounded by 9s is satisfying while, for example, a life surrounded by 6s is in conflict and a life surrounded by 4s or 8s is in decay.

The pythmen of 666 is 9. While the numerical code to the Book of Revelation is lost, so that the meaning of the work is opaque because it is in numerical code that needs a key to be unlocked, it can be stated that at least on its face the so-called "number of the beast" is in fact the number of unity and therefore the number of God. 666 is a divine number, not a devilish one.

This makes theological sense because, on principle, evil has no independent ontological status, and so the devil has to be considered as God in a really ugly dress, make-up and hair, self-opposing for the sake of, what?, enacting the drama of life. Why? How else is he to spend his time and how else are we to spend ours?

gadfly said...

And the class of '57 had its dreams,
But living life from day to day is never like it seems.
Things get complicated when you get past eighteen,
But the class of '57 had its dreams.

The Statlers were numerologists also as was Calipso Louie.

But the Atlantic Conspiracy has some stuff on numbers that I have not seen before.

rhhardin said...

8, 14, 23, 28, 33, 42, 51, 59, 68, 77, 86, 96, 103, 110, 116, 125

Stops on the Lexington Avenue subway.

rhhardin said...


rhhardin said...

The apples and oranges debate showed deep Cain stupidity.

Nine oranges wide and five apples long.

rhhardin said...

Louis Farrakhan was big into numerology. I think Rush had a parody of it but I can't figure out his new site.

rhhardin said...

Rush "Million Man Math Made Easy" is the parody

edutcher said...

Somebody tell AP, in between his fantasies that his K Street crowd actually controls anything, that GodZero's dropped another 3 in his OH approval - now 43 - and he's barely above water in IL - 51+.

Actually, I'm starting to think AP is J after the lithium hits.

viator said...

Ann, you sure are a sucker for Alinskyite attacks.

AllenS said...

I was born in 1946 and next month I'll turn 65. Coincidence? I think not.

J said...

Byro-Graham--grazi for evidence, you mumbling, illiterate perp. Vacaville awaits.

J said...

Edu-retard, IM starting to think how cool it will be when you're carried off to a mental hospital Nixon ghoul.

Cain--the black Sarah Palin. Nice ring to it

Anonymous said...

Glenn Reynolds is the exception to this, of course, but then again, he's not a government lawyer)

The dear perfesser is a employee of the state of Tennessee. And although I guess he is not technically a lawyer, he is a lawyer hired to teach law by the government. Which is why it is so funny when his wife threatens to "go Galt". Is she going to make him quit his job?

madAsHell said...

I dunno....I've had an awful lot of 7's turn up in my life. It doesn't change my thinking, but I do marvel at the frequency.

Yes, I do not gamble.

Cody Jarrett said...

No Palin, so the Obama addled professor/hostess attacks the next most conservative person running.

Cody Jarrett said...

Not to mention that the guy is a math geek. Just like the professor/hostess keeps subjecting us to sub-par photographs, everyone has their little tick.

Fernandinande said...

Academic economics has a crummier track record than numerology.

grackle said...

Numerology is kind of fun – like a Ouiji board is fun but I wouldn’t base decisions on it. Cain’s numerology is harmless unless he would use it to make decisions. Someone should ask him about it.

I will happily and enthusiastically vote for any of the GOP candidates that win the nomination.

exdeadhead said...

Good grief Althouse. Something more substantive please (not that it would matter to me since this is about tossing a creepy, crony, establishment Republican wind sock).

Cain has the guts to propose and defend, rather than focus group and wonder. Cain the non-politician, anti-DC establishment (and yet pro-business) candidate is a far better hope for change than Obama or (ick) Romney.

chuckR said...



There's a number for you.

The number of failure.

Unknown said...

Cain sees numbers everywhere. And it bothers you. And you think he's obsessed.

You see dicks and vaginas everywhere, but you're not obsessed?


Dustin said...


RBB said...

Uh, fractals anyone? The truth is math/numbers are extremely important in biology/chemistry/physics, and yes, they do repeat. That ain't numerology, that's science. As someone commented, a mathematician would know that and probably have a lifelong interest. Not surprising at all. Kind of surprised to see it brought up with such skepticism on this site. Oh well, when the entire credentialed world is turning against the interloper maybe it's not so surprising.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Economics is a form of divination as far as I'm concerned, so numerology isn't any better or worse.

viator said...

Number 44 has 0 chance of beating number 45.

Geeze, a math major who likes numbers, who knew?

viator said...

Here's some numbers for you:

14,867,184,469,758 - it's hard to pin this number down since the last seven digits change so fast it's difficult to read them. That is the (official) national debt.

45,577 - debt per US citizen; every man, woman, and child.

1,302,128,439,902 - our present annual deficit.

as of 4:30pm EST, 10/23/11, EDT

Did little miss spin doctor mention these numbers?

Indigo Red said...

Comment 45:

rhhardin said...
The apples and oranges debate showed deep Cain stupidity.

Nine oranges wide and five apples long.

10/23/11 1:39 AM

Date and time adds to 45.65.

Wonder what that means?

Craig Howard said...

Clinton and cheeseburgers

Clinton and cheeseburgers?

Writ Small said...

I'd like to see a reporter ask him about that, because it frankly sounds insane.

Timotheus said...

The smartest person I've ever met (Donald Knuth) makes all kinds of numerological comments. Seems to be a common quirk of mathematicians and computer scientists -- Cain has degrees in both fields.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Sounds like Cain is into gimatria, positively Kaballah-istic. Probably a closet Jew. Better roust out the Inquisition!