Forensic Psychological Services

Herman Cain drops out of the 2012 Presidential Race

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Read Dr. Barbara Kirwin's analysis of Herman Cain and why he fits the profile of the ultimate Icarus Man.

Herman Cain, whose sexual indiscretions and alleged 13 year affair have exploded all over the media, may be the latest victim of the Icarus Complex. He just suspended his Presidential bid after his standing in the polls declined and many of his supporters fled.

Cain manifests many of the traits characteristic of the Icarus Complex. He is a driven over-achiever, a hugely successful entrepreneur in a business that has not been traditionally welcoming to minorities.

Herman Cain, self-made man, a beta male by virtue of his humble origins, had to try harder for everything. His father worked three jobs to support the family, including working as a private chauffeur to the former CEO of Coca-Cola. One can assume seeing how the wealthy lived instilled dreams and aspirations passed onto his son.

Herman Cain has been married for 43 years to his college sweetheart, Gloria, who is a dignified and accomplished teacher, librarian and mother to their two grown children. She has staunchly defended her husband and championed his innocence, even telling Fox News, “he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said.”

Perhaps Cain does exhibit the “splitting” and “compartmentalization” typical of Icarus Men who construct their own alternate universes.

While he has denied these accusations – the billowing smoke suggests that there are at least some burning embers – not the least of which are the numerous recent texts and phone calls he made to his erstwhile mistress, Ginger White. Did this powerful man unconsciously sabotage his own bid for President? Did the pressure finally get to him? Or was he a simply arrogant cad who believed that his money, power and charm entitled him to win at all costs?

Ginger White described their affair almost in terms of a business contract, fairly typical of the obsessive-compulsive Icarus Man. “It wasn’t a love affair. It was a sexual affair.” The Icarus Man frequently resorts to extramarital sex as a way to slake his anxiety and avoid the emotional intimacy which he fears.

Having served in positions as board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to a singer in a gospel choir to an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta (which he joined at the age of 10), Cain is undeniably an accomplished Renaissance Man. Only as the story unfolds will we discover if he is also an Icarus Man.

The early returns suggest to me that he may very well be.