Herman Cain has about as great a chance of becoming the next Republican presidential nominee as Chaz Bono does of joining the cast of Basketball Wives. Yes, he’s received a nice boost in the polls that’s spawned headlines touting the former Godfather Pizza CEO as the new frontrunner in the GOP race for the presidency. I suppose it’s nice to pretend while everyone waits for reality to intercede.
Have mercy on this sentence, but I agree with Sarah Palin on something. Appearing on FOX News, the now official non-presidential candidate dismissed “Herb Cain” as “the flavor of the week.” On his rise, the former Alaskan governor said it was, “Because Herb Cain is the one up there who doesn’t look like he’s part of that permanent political class.”
WATCH HERMAN CAIN ON MSNBC’S ‘THE LAST WORD’:
[MSNBCMSN video=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640″ w=”592″ h=”346″ launch_id=”44810320^870^745690″ id=”msnbc64eb0b”]
Steve Schmidt, who served as Senior Advisor to the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008, echoed the same sentiment to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell last night, arguing, “We’re in a climate right now where a person whose from outside the system is gonna do well.”
That is until the press gets bored with the candidate. Or when the candidate keeps talking and journalists start digging deeper. Or finally when voters finally start paying serious attention.
The last scenario will more than likely cause of the bubble burst on the horizon for Herman Cain. He is already making even bigger gaffes than before, like dismissing black voters as being “brainwashed” into voting for Democrats – a controversial comment he has not backed away from. Considering black voters don’t play a huge role in Republican primaries, he can skate by that backlash.
I suppose the same can be said of the “godless gays” he insulted in 2004 and on The View this month. He does not enjoy that same luxury when it comes to reports of him telling the poor and unemployed, “Don’t blame Wall Street, blame yourself.”
Last night on MSNBC’s The Last Word, Cain clarified: “My comment was directed at the people who are choosing to demonstrate against those on Wall Street rather than demonstrate against the White House, which is responsible for ineffective policy that will impact this economy.”
Cain thinks he can fix this with his “9-9-9 tax plan”, in which he envisions a tax code with a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent corporate tax, and a 9 percent sales tax. Of those who have started to look at the plan, many are arguing that the numbers simply don’t add up and he will not generate the sort of revenue his plan promises. Moreover, the language Cain uses to describe how he would implement the program suggests a lack of understanding in how government works. That’s why it’s frustrating for some of us to see the further perpetuation of the myth that business people can make government function better.
Speaking of lack of understanding, Cain admittedly knows very little about foreign policy. He’s studying now, though, which explains why he’ll now consider appointing a Muslim to his cabinet, just not a “jihadist.”
With wider attention comes greater awareness, and in some cases, talk of a much seedier nature. Already some right-wingers are expressing concerns over his health as a cancer survivor, plus there’s growing speculation over his drinking habits. His work ethic and sincerity to win the race are also both being called into question.
He won the Florida straw poll last month, but his own workers have complained that he’s not campaigning in Iowa or New Hampshire. Conservative talk show radio host Steve Deace told the Washington Post, “The race appears to be about raising his profile and not running for president.”
Steve Schmidt compared Cain to Ross Perot, but given that Cain’s currently on a book tour he seems more interested in becoming the next Mike Huckabee. Who could blame him given the boosted celebrity could yield a cushy contract with FOX News? Herman Cain might not now a lot the Middle East or even remember some of his own policies, but he seems to well prepared on how to capitalize on his 15 minutes of fame.
Thankfully, the surge in the polls and the growing crowds he attracts are temporary. Soon it will be someone else the mainstream media pretends will take a nomination likely going to Mitt Romney or Rick Perry. I look forward to it.
Between Cain bashing his own people, denying his roots, lying about President Obama’s, and being an all around media whore, I’ve had enough. He seeks popularity, not the presidency. Now that he’s got it, soon we’ll all move on.