Herman Cain: Teflon Pizza Don or Mr. Magoo of GOP

I have been wanting to move past “politics of the day” to discuss what I think are more relevant issues in the bigger picture but I continue to be fascinated by Herman Cain and what his story means to the 2012 race.

The more media declares his candidacy over the better he does with the Republican base. Fox News and other establishment conservatives have come to his defense in light of sexual harassment allegations and joined his refrain of a “high-tech” lynching. They are comparing his case to Clarence Thomas and contrasting him with Bill Clinton but there is no evidence yet that this was leaked by Democratic opposition  research.

I would think the media would be tired of ‘misunderestimating’ Herman Cain and give him a little credit even his fortunes seemed to be guided by some strange Mr. Magoo-like quality. The same day headlines were supposed to derail his campaign he posted the best fundraising day so far. In addition Gallup published this poll that shows Cain as the only candidate to increase his favorability rating. Will the media learn its lesson or can Cain continue to defy the odds?

There have been major developments this week since I published this. Rick Perry has been accused by the Cain campaign of leaking sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain.

And this video masterpiece..well maybe not masterpiece but I made it before Cain actually accused Perry:

 

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Is Herman Cain’s loss Rick Perry’s gain?

UPDATE 11/3/2011 4pm:

A new Rasmussen poll taken after the leak of sexual allegations shows Herman Cain actually taking the lead over Romney. Rick Perry doubles his numbers to 8% while Bachmann, Huntsman and Santorum bottom out. It appears Perry drew his support from the later candidates and Cain seems to be holding his own. Its also not clear if voters believe Rick Perry had any part in the leak as the Cain campaign contends.

Troubling headlines of sexual harassment allegations about Herman Cain beg the question -What happens if the Cain bubble does burst?

If Romney continues to waffle around 25% whoever is the beneficiary of a thinning field will have a real chance to tip the scale as we get closer to the early primaries. Could this be Perry’s window to reemerge? Time has yet to tell what effect Perry’s flat tax proposal will have on the race but it has received praise and ridicule from the usual suspects as this is not a new idea. Just recently it was given the thumbs up by Grover Norquist, a conservative thought leader with Club for Growth who pledges to hold inadequately conservative politicians accountable. In an election year that seems to be anything but typical and has bread strong anti-establishment sentiment, it is difficult to know what “leaders” will truly be the bellwether for 2012.

Taken from TexasTribune.org

On the same day of reckoning for Cain the Texas Tribune published a poll that shows Herman Cain edging out Governor Rick Perry in the Texas primary. Jim Henson, UT professor and co-director of the poll, stated in the article that Cain’s most significant lead was among “conservative voters”. Interestingly though while Perry led Cain in most urban areas, Cain lead Perry in Austin where voters know him well. This does not bode well (at least in Texas) for the theory that Perry would be the obvious beneficiary of a Cain collapse. Nationally though, this could be where money’s role becomes more important. If Bachmann and the like heed growing calls to exit the race this opens the door for Perry or another (Newt?) to gain a fresh head of steam. Even with his mass of cash reserves Perry will have to make stronger and more convincing public appearances. His resent consideration of nixing future debates, which may have worked from the outset, probably comes far too late after a series of disappointing outings.

Also, headlining on Gawker is not the way you want your campaign to go viral. Governor Perry delivered a “passionate” speech over the weekend also included a complete dismissal of Herman Cain as a real candidate. “I love Herman, is he the best? I have fun with him, he is a great and interesting guy. And, thank you Herman for helping to pay for the event tonight.” If this Rick Perry had come out first and he avoided the debates altogether who knows if this would be a different race. But, perhaps at this point he should bother to take Cain a little more seriously. The media can make this mistake, but Rick Perry can’t afford too.

There have been major developments this week since I published this. Rick Perry has been accused by the Cain campaign of leaking sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain.

And this video masterpiece..well maybe not masterpiece but it was made before Cain actually accused Perry:

Interesting note: Ron Paul doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of a 3rd party run even before the first primary ballot has been cast. Could he be setting the right up to get Nadered?

Herman Cain Denies Sexual Harassment but can he Dodge the Character Assassination attempt?

Herman Cain has had a long week of plateauing and catching strange looks for his recent campaign ads, but the latest news of possible sexual harassment hush money will be a true test of his campaign’s Teflon coating. I wondered how long it would take for the media, who have been infatuated with the “unexplained” rise of Herman Cain, to finally go after him personally. Some on the left have tried to marginalize him recently by painting him as some kind of Uncle Tom that the Republican Party can get behind, but that would tend to help him in the primary.

Politico reports of the pizza don:

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

These are serious allegations and even if untrue must be immediately addressed properly by his campaign. Originally, the campaigned tried to discredit the accusations but when further pressed they released this statement to the AP fully denying the reports.  Spokesperson JD Gordon tried his best to characterize the story as a just an attack on a successful candidate and even at one point said, “this is just an example of ‘inside the beltway’ media attacks”.  Well, that may be so but even for something that supposedly took place over a decade ago this has campaign ending consequences. So far everything the media has thrown at Herman Cain has had a near oposite effect. Only time will tell if this shakes down like Clarence Thomas or blows up like John Edwards but either way this certainly brings new meaning to an earlier accusation of his “fly by the seat of his pants” campaign.

 

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/67194.html#ixzz1cLBB8xd0

 

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