Gloria Cain (L), wife of Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, watches as Cain announces that he is “suspending” his Republican presidential campaign at his Georgia campaign headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia December 3, 2011. REUTERS/John Adkisson (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)
The Herman Cain candidacy had become a joke over the past several weeks. The allegations of sexual harassment took their toll, the the alleged affair probably hurt him even more, but his utter lack of knowledge of the issues made all of this personal stuff a sideshow.
Herman Cain is a radio personality, and he ran his campaign like one. He wasn’t serious about the issues. Instead, he had a bunch of handy slogans that appealed to the angry right. When he was pressed on specifics, he usually answered with more slogans, or just said he would sit down with smart advisers and come to a decision.
He mocked the notion that he needed any working knowledge of foreign policy issues, and simply offered contempt for those who would actually take the time to study these sorts of things. This caught up to him, however, when he looked like an uniformed fool in the face of a simple question about his Libya strategy. Unfortunately for the Herminator, this pathetic exchange with the uncomfortable long pause was caught on tape.
His 9-9-9 plan got plenty of attention, but he was utterly incapable of explaining it. He seemed to not understand how adding a 9% national sales tax would result in a huge tax increase on the poor and the middle class. When the notion finally sunk in weeks later, Cain meekly offered a 9-0-9 plan for the working poor.
Sex scandals will destroy most politicians, and Herman Cain is no different. Ginger White came across as a believable woman as she didn’t seek the public eye. Rather, she came forward when a local TV station threatened to expose her affair with Cain.
Cain of course tried to paint the media and the Democrats as the villains, but he had nothing but his charm to fall back on. By the time he “suspended” his campaign today, Cain was plummeting in the polls as evangelical voters started to abandon him.
Today’s announcement was classic Herman Cain – all fluff and zero substance. He announced his “Plan B” decision to suspend his campaign yet fight on for the issues (slogans) he cares about. Cain is probably in for a rude awakening as the media will start to ignore him again. Losers and quitters don’t get much press. Just ask Sarah Palin. She was a media sensation as long as she was a potential candidate. Now she’s just another shrill commentator. Sure, she has a following and can generate news, and Cain will probably get enough press to help him sell some books and book some paid speeches, but the frenzy will end.
Herman Cain’s stated position on abortion is that he’s pro-life, even in cases of rape and incest. Yet when pressed in this video, he goes on to state that it’s up to each family and the government can’t get involved in the decision. Of course that’s a libertarian, pro-choice position.
Does he even understand the difference? Cain has embraced his own ignorance of issues relating to foreign policy, and apparently that ignorance extends to social issues as well.
This present a huge opening for candidates like Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. Rasmussen now has Cain leading in Iowa. Can that last with statements like this? Can he keep his Tea Party support?
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain waves as he arrives on stage before the start of the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 18, 2011. REUTERS/Richard Brian (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)
Few people if any thought Herman Cain could be a viable candidate for the GOP nomination. I certainly didn’t think so, particularly when he made some early gaffes.
Yet he’s leading the polls, presumably because he’s a Tea Party conservative with a sunny personality who has been pushing a simplistic 9-9-9 plan. How long will it last? Who knows when you consider some of the candidates that the Tea Party supported in the 2010 Senate races.
Even before Cain’s embarrassing debate performance last night, Joe Klein called him out in response to this Cain quote:
When they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I’m going to say, you know, I don’t know.
Klein wasn’t impressed:
Let’s say Cain was just joking, which is his all-purpose excuse on the myriad of occasions where his ignorance erupts into public view. Let’s say he actually knows that the name of the country is Uzbekistan. Does a prospective President of the United State really want to make fun of that? I mean–and I hope, Herman, you’re listening–there is a major airport in southern Uzbekistan that NATO has been using as a crucial transfer point for troops and materiel headed into Afghanistan. Wouldn’t want to tick off the Uzbek president, Islam Karimov…because it might make life significantly tougher for our troops over there. Not the sort of thing one jokes about, Hermanator.
I know what I’m about to say is impolite, but Herman Cain strikes me as something of a jerk and an ignoramus. He has made absolutely outrageous statements about Muslims, immigrants and homosexuals; he takes the most extreme position imaginable on abortion. Indeed, I have never, ever seen him acknowledge the idea that complexity exists in the world…or that an ability to weed through complex issues might be a qualification for the presidency.
No, the guy is a marketer. He had other people handle administration and finance at Godfather’s; he was all about the pies. Hence, we have his 9-9-9 plan, a truly rancid scheme to benefit the rich at the expense of the rest of the country, a scheme that would tax a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.
As if to make Joe Klein look like a genius, Herman Cain had one of those days yesterday that would make normal people cringe. First, he stated on CNN before the debate that he would be open to trading all the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for an American soldier held hostage by al Qaeda. He was called out on this idiotic statement by none other than Michele Bachmann. If Bachmann makes you look stupid, then you really have problems.
He also sounded like a buffoon as he tried to explain his 9-9-9 plan by using fruit metaphors. The other candidates were not impressed, and I doubt that anyone other than die-hard Tea Party fanatics thought me made any sense. The candidates pretty much ignored Cain after that.
Who knows what happens next. I think Romney took some serious shots yesterday and Rick Perry is obviously going to keep on swinging at him.