Yesterday, we noted that no Republican candidates had joined the 2012 presidential race, even though many did by this stage in the last cycle. But today someone formed an exploratory committee! He's Herman Cain. Who the hell is Herman Cain?

Cain hosts a conservative radio show in Atlanta. Tea Party groups and ultra-conservative business leaders at places like the Club for Growth adore him. He was a mathematician for the department of the Navy and holds a master's in computer science. He was a corporate vice president for Burger King before becoming chief executive of Godfather's Pizza, and he's chaired the boards of both the National Restaurant Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He has been an African-American for the past 65 years. (Previously, he was unborn.)

And today he's formed the first Republican presidential exploratory committee. We thank him for finally kicking this shit off. And he has the potential to leave some mark on the race, given his popularity among dingbats. From National Journal:

While he would undoubtedly enter the race as a significant longshot, Cain has generated considerable buzz among grassroots conservatives and Tea Party activists, having spoken at dozens of rallies nationwide. Cain, who is African-American, recently emerged as the surprise winner of a presidential primary bracket on the conservative blog RedState, edging former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) by 800 votes.

Further demonstrating that he should not be dismissed as a fringe candidate, Cain was one of 12 potential Republican presidential hopefuls invited to an upcoming forum in Des Moines, Iowa. The event, organized by Iowa's Faith and Freedom Coalition — an influential social conservative group with ties to the Tea Party — will likely be the first forum of the 2012 contest.

Can we just name him president right now? Otherwise we'd have to label him a "dark horse" candidate, and the Internet would call us racist.

[Image via AP]