Jeopardy! category: COLLEGES, NOT UNIVERSITIES (22-04-2014)
$1200 clue: This pizza magnate & 2012 presidential candidate was a math major at historically black Morehouse College
The gist: Let’s just say I’m thankful Morehouse College gives me some more substance to talk about than does the correct response.Godfather’s Pizza CEO and Republican presidential, er, hopeful Herman Cain graduated from Morehouse College in 1967 with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics. As the clue says, Morehouse is a “historically black” college, a legal designation established in 1965 for institutions of higher learning established prior to 1964 principally for the education of black Americans. Going back further, the Morrill Act of 1890 required states with segregated government-supported universities to also establish state schools for the education of blacks. Many of the historically black colleges and universities (HCBUs) came into being as a result (although Morehouse had been founded as the Augusta Institute in 1867). Among Morehouse’s much, much more illustrious alumni are filmmaker Spike Lee, actor Samuel L. Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The College also gave Barack Obama an honourary doctorate in 2013.
Herman Cain ran in the Republican primaries in 2012, carrying no states nor counties and receiving 13,538 votes. He is remembered for his ultra-regressive 9-9-9 tax plan, inventing the nation of Ubekibekibekibekistanstan (sadly, I can’t tell you that capital of that one), and needing prompting from a journalist to remember whether or not President Obama had sent American forces to support anti-Gaddafi insurgents in Libya in 2011.
The clue: Sadly, so fickle is the American public that three Jeopardy! contestants can’t be prompted to remember the name of this great man, despite being reminded of his pizza dealings and his alma mater. Also-rans of Herman’s calibre typically don’t make it into clues, but his relatively recent run and his more-than-memorable antics make him, in my opinion, utterly worthy of the distinction.
In Jeopardy!: Although typing “Herman Cain” into the J!Archive search function returns 17 clues, only three of them are actually about our man. Two mention pizza (one dropping the Godfather’s name), while the other mentions 9-9-9. The remaining fourteen concern Herman Wouk, minesweeper in the Pacific theatre and author of Pulitzer-winning World War II novel The Caine Mutiny. Something tells me Mr. Cain hasn’t read it.