Fallows finds Herman Cain likeable. I feel utterly embarrassed by him. It's not his politics -- I've never felt embarrassed by Condi Rice, Colin Powell, or Clarence Thomas. It's more akin to feeling I got when Jesse Jackson got caught claiming he wanted to cut Barack Obama's nuts off. Or watching Marion Barry attack black people for moving out of the city. There's a hucksterism there that transcends.
I agree that with the assessment that Cain is not a serious candidate for POTUS, but Coates's embarrassment makes me cringe because of what it shows about America, Americans, and identity politics.
To the contrary of Coates, I'm not embarrassed by Herman Cain because I do not/cannot identify with him. I don't think he represents me and more importantly, I do not feel that I have to delegitimate his point of view to show that he is wrong and that he is just a race man and wrong on the issues.
In short, I think the unseriousness of Herman Cain's candidacy doesn't mean that he is an embarrassment for he is just wrong. That fact makes very much like Obama for there is a lot to admire about him, but very little that shows that he would make a good POTUS unless you agree/identify with him