Skip to comments.Can Cain Keep Flouting the Cardinal Rules of Politics?
Posted on 11/07/2011 5:27:10 AM PST by Kaslin
Herman Cain, beleaguered by charges of sexual harassment, was all over Washington last week -- an odd choice of venue, considering that the Iowa precinct caucuses are now just 58 days away and the New Hampshire primary 65.
But as I learned when I sat next to Cain Friday morning during a long-scheduled taping of Richard Carlson's "Danger Zone" radio program, Cain seemed unfazed.
In conversation before the taping he dismissed the controversy. "No documentation. No witnesses. And I didn't cancel a single event this week" -- although his wife Gloria, accompanying him for the first time, cancelled an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren.
Political scientist Jay Cost, in a midweek post on the Weekly Standard blog, indicted Cain and all the other Republican candidates except Mitt Romney for breaking the rules of "the great game of politics."
"Yes, the political game as it is played in 2011 is terrible and is in need for major reforms," he wrote. "But if you want to win, you need somebody who knows how to play it."
Cain isn't buying that. He brags that he is an "unconventional candidate" with an "unconventional campaign" and an "unconventional message that is resonating around the country."
I tend to think the old rules still apply. But Cain's current lead in the polls, maintained after the sexual harassment story broke last Sunday in Politico, suggests there may be something to his argument.
One rule Cain has broken is that candidates have to spend a lot of time in Iowa and New Hampshire, making personal contact with voters who, legend has it, won't support a candidate till they've had a chance to talk to him three or four times.
Cain hasn't spent much time in the two first-in-the-nation states this year. When I went to his headquarters outside Des Moines three days before the straw poll, the door was locked and the place looked empty.
Cain says he spent time there last year, and in 2011 he's been communicating with voters nationally through new media on his trips to states with later primaries.
There may be something to that. This year, voters have been getting to know potential and actual candidates through cable news and YouTube videos.
YouTube videos made New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a national celebrity and created a boomlet for his candidacy. He declined to run, but I can't recall a similar groundswell for a governor of a mid-sized state.
The cable news debates have attracted far larger audiences, probably heavily tilted to actual caucus-goers and primary voters, than debates in previous cycles, and the candidates' performances have had an impact on voters (ask Rick Perry).
Another old rule is that a whiff of scandal sinks a candidacy. But 79 percent of Republicans in this week's ABC/Washington Post poll say that they don't care about the charges against Cain. On talk radio and in the right blogosphere, many dismiss the charges as an unfair attack by liberal media.
Over the past week, Cain has serially violated the old rule that you must respond to scandal charges definitively and consistently. In one of his Fox News appearances, he acknowledged cheerfully that he was "unprepared" for the charges, though his campaign had 10 days' notice of them.
This has astounded conservative bloggers like Commentary's Pete Wehner ("unbelievably amateurish campaign") and The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin ("Cain seems intent on making the controversy worse").
I suspect Rubin is right when she says that Cain's strength in polls last week does not represent voters' final verdict on him. And his inconsistent stands on issues like abortion and ignorance that China already has nuclear weapons may still hurt him.
But Cain's stance as a non-politician who refuses to obey the rules of the great game of politics is at least momentarily a political asset in a year when opinion about conventional politicians of both parties is near an all-time low.
This cycle feels like 1992, when Ross Perot zoomed ahead of George Bush and Bill Clinton in the polls and, despite leaving and re-entering the race in bizarre fashion, won 19 percent of the vote in November.
I'm still inclined to think Cain's support will evaporate sooner or later. But for a moment Friday, the thought occurred to me that I was sitting next to a future president of the United States.
born December 13, 1945 in Memphis, TN (Meets the Jus Soli Requirement)
Luther Cain Jr., born March 16, 1925 in TN, died March 29, 1982 in Atlanta, GA
Lenora Davis, born July 27, 1925 in GA, died August 20, 2005 in Atlanta, GA
Both parents were US Citizens at the time of his birth (Meets the Jus Sanguinis Requirement)
Herman Cain is a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN
Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama ISN'T!
Click on the cane, (Go Cain.)
Michael Barone, the racist for Romney,
attacks Mr. Cain this week with the lie that
there were “charges”.
There were allegations made by Romney’s “go to” guy, Martin.
Have these “people”, no shame?
“Can Cain Keep Flouting the Cardinal Rules of Politics?”
Sounds like the author assumes that “O” NEVER did!
Michael Barone sat next to the future President Of The United States.
A great deal of Cain’s appeal has to do with the fact he doesn’t represent traditional political rules and cheerfully keeps on breaking them.
If anything, its added to his support that people don’t perceive him to be a conventional politician. People are sick of the ones in both parties who don’t seem to have anything real to them.
They’re like manufactured and their politics are as phony as their personas.
Cain is different and I disagree with Barone his support is going to evaporate. People want something different and they’ll be damned if the establishment force-feeds more of the same that to them represents all that is wrong with the Washington establishment.
..to even mention Ross Perot in this article tells me that Barone just doesn’t get it. Political knowledge notwithstanding, he cannot differentiate between a legitimate grassroots candidate and an eccentric demagogue...
Regarding the harassment scandal: I followed it pretty closely here on Thursday and Friday, and when I made my 1 hour drive home Friday night I listened to NPR. The story they covered was completely different than what I was following. It was like I was in a parallel universe. They didn’t discuss the facts of the case (Cain not being on staff when one case was finally negotiated, or anything like that. They discussed his “flip flopping” as if he came out with a different story every couple of hours (which is bs) and how people are responding to the story, again ignoring the pro-Cain response other than to suggest that his “staunch” supporters still support him.
If all we had to depend on was the MSM these days, Cain would be delegated to just below Ron Paul in credibility. Cain truly is a candidate for an internet world. And it’s working for him.
—And his inconsistent stands on issues like abortion and ignorance that China already has nuclear weapons may still hurt him. —
BS. Both issues resulted from out-of-context quotes, chosen to heighten ambiguity as to meaning. They are trying to do a “Palin” with those.
Cain is breaking all the “rules” and that is exactly what is giving him momentum. It’s also what is frustrating all the political elites who think they know everything. They don’t get that we are tired of what they think, and tired of what they believe works. The American people, right now anyway, are not willing to be spoon fed their BS anymore.
Not only must Cain KEEP breaking the rules, but we the American People need to create NEW rules. This IS the people’s game not the media’s and not those so called political experts. Whether Cain gets the nomination or not the key issue for us is that we don’t let the establishment tell us what we need, and we send a clear message to Washington that we the people are STILL in charge.
The media stays silent on ALL the issues surrounding our President, but these candidates pick their nose in public and we get a scandal about it! Let’s put them out of business...stop all paper and magazine subscribtions...and if you have done it already start getting others to do the same. We don’t need them anymore!
Ross Perot ran as a third party candidate and it seemed to me he always had a screw loose. His bizarre behavior didn’t help and in the end I voted for Clinton. That was the first and last time in my adult life I voted for a Democratic candidate for President.
I believe it’s this difference that carried him through the past couple weeks. People are sick of Washington and the politicians that populate it, or are attracted by it. Anyone carrying the label “career politician” this election is suspect. That’s Cain’s main attraction beyond his personal appeal.
Cardinal Rules of Politics
Does anyone know where I can get a copy? /sarc
I find it fascinating the “media” — in this case, including Fox News, terms the accusations against Cain a “scandal.”
Yet, the Solyndra and “Fast and Furious” issues don’t even meet the definition of “controversy.”
They’ve tried one of their old tricks... throwing up mud and seeing if it sticks and it hasn’t worked. In the old days, the MSM could sink any one it disliked. People are far wiser to their bias and their games now.
Obama’s campaign strategy up to the presidency can be summarized as “get your opponent eliminated and run unopposed”.
From what I understand, Cain sent journalists a copy of their own Journalists’ Code of Ethics this weekend as a response to their unethical and dishonest reporting over the last week.
Maybe the journalists should be more worried about following THEIR OWN RULES before they start worrying about Mr. Cain and the political rules!!!
Fox is really pushing Romney hard. saying he is only one capable of beating Zero
None if this — the allegations of inappropriate behavior, mistakes regarding China, his fearlessness in saying what he thinks, his unpolished demeanor — have hurt his campaign. So why should he change just because some expert thinks be should?
The more I see of Rev. Cain and the more I hear him speak, the more I like him. The more he is attacked, the more I like him. So let the pundits, the malcontents, the Romney supporters persecute him. People like an underdog. They just might vote him in out of spite.
The same old canard - ‘Cain's inconsistency vs. the media's repetitive lies.
From the Pope of politics.
It is also notable that Cain has not handled this well. His outright denial and at the same time, admission that this recent scandal occurred, will prove to be very much of a problem for his candidacy. He has done nothing to prove it as false, other than say so, which is all Cain has to go on.
A key point. Under the "old" rules, candidates needed to amass huge amounts of donation$ early and often to gain any kind of traction. Nowadays, with a little "out-of-the-box" strategic thinking, they can somewhat level the playing field by leveraging that new media. YouTube is an especially valuable tool, and Cain has been particularly adept at using it to his advantage.
Not to say having big cash on hand isn't helpful, because obviously it is, especially down the stretch, but with new, available media options, candidates can move their efforts forward, build support and pull in donations as time goes on.
-——”Who the hell is this guy? Where did he get his divinity degree?” -——
“When he comes to the city on Sunday, let’s kill him”
I do think, though, that he has an amazing personality. I roared with laughter when he demanded one of the annoying hacks be handed a list of rules for good behavior among journalists. This guy takes no prisoners! He’s got an amazing funny bone - it that way, not unlike Reagan.
Well.. how long did it take for Perry's meteoric rise to flame out? Once the Gardisil and immigration issues came to the fore, he dropped well back into the pack.
As for Cain, how would he go about proving it as false? The fact that neither specific details nor "victim" names exist to this point speaks volumes about the lack of validity of the accusations. If the "victims" have specifics, let's hear 'em. It's time to know the "what"... AND the "who."
If these women are so "livid" and so "wronged" as claimed, they should put it all out there on the open field for everyone to see.
So, with "charges" of sexual misconduct (note that only the attorney for the claimant has said it "in his view" rises to harassment) being floated by a leftist blog, no confirmation because the claimant refuses to come public, and others tied to the campaigns of Cain's competitors and a nobody radio host in Iowa with a stupid "He asked 'darlin, would you sweeten my tea?', we are to believe this stuff?
The only people adamantly crying harassment are you people from the Perry campaign. Wonders of wonders; especially when one of his pollsters is a source of some of this crap. Well keep harping on it (as I'm sure you will...it's what you are). You simply make me laugh over your blindness on how this has made you, and your marble-headed candidate look to the public. Thanks for the help. You've only made Herman Cain stronger in the public eye.
What I am sensing from this episode — JMO! — is that the phenomenon we’ve all predicted, expected, and counted on, has finally begun to flower. I’m talking about the gradual shift from old media to new.
Computers still aren’t in enough homes, but for sure they’re on the desks (or the laps) of every man, woman and worm in the media, and with each passing hour there’s another one taking some newbie on his maiden voyage into the info ether.
They know their power is disintegrating and their old tricks are increasingly lame.
Recently they leaned on Cain (pun if you please) and fell on their faces. The reason is not that they had no evidence, but that they no longer dare to create any; the carcass of Dan Rather’s career is still fresh in their nostrils. The reason is not that what they had was absurdly thin, but that out of twenty thousand emails there wasn’t one with enough substance to turn a single additional person against Sarah Palin, whereas the fishing expedition probably turned a few more against the misledia.
The reason is not that he’s a black American with a regular birth certificate and a lot of friends from way back and some actual proof of intelligence and achievement. (Plus a shortage of terrorist chums and Nobel prizes.)
These are all quite true, they are facts, obvious even to people who don’t prefer him as the nominee (I’m one of them). They are not reasons why the media has failed to defeat Cain.
People are wise to them now, in sufficient numbers. The attackers simply can no longer take the risk of loading their antique musket and firing it at this Roadrunner.
If he succeeds in the primaries — let the ‘rat overlords deal with him, put a dead girl in his car or the n-word on his tablet. “You decide! We report!”
But the misledia are too worried about keeping their own careers afloat, to manage the destruction of anyone else’s.
They’re as finished as Gail Wynand.
I have said it on FR before, and it cannot be repeated enough... The new talking point from Cain detractors is that the "handled it poorly".
Look for it. It will be on nearly every thread, it is on Facebook, Twitter, and the MSM.
You can obsess all you want over inert issues, but in reality, this race has only just begun. It is far from over and you will find that out the hard way, that Perry is not as damaged as you had hoped.
In the end, it will wind up being the candidate who has the most political experience and ability to fix the mess Obama created. Which is why Cain stands little chance of convincing the general voting public that he has the experience necessary to do the job.
That’s what I was suggesting when I said his personal appeal. I think we overdo this Reaganesque meme. He is his own man and an appealing one. Let’s enjoy that and hopefully learn from it. Such a lightning rod for the harpies has something worth consideration, IMO.
Watching the Morning Joe read the latest polls showing the anonomous accusations boosted Cain's appeal this morning was priceless, as was dumb Mika's reaction. Last week they were sure it was dead.
So much for 'the latest flavor'. Joe and Mika are sure that Obama would beat Cain. Now Mika loves Huntsman.
” If all we had to depend on was the MSM these days,Cain would be delegated to just below Ron Paul in credibility. Cain truly is a candidate for an internet world. And its working for him.”
We know who is doing the accusing so therefore it must be false.
The King is dead (the old commie media)
Long live the King (truly free press of the internet!)
” - - - the thought occurred to me that I was sitting next to a future president of the United States.”
Hey Michael, welcome to the “Cain Train!”
BTW, tell your pal Dr. Kristol of your new thought.
I would only compare him to Reagan in the sense of humor department. I don’t know him well enough to compare him in other ways. But any man who can give me a laugh once a day is gonna get my vote!
I agree that aspect is a draw to people, and I like it as well. But there’s a strength that came through this past week that is good to see. Not that it hasn’t been there, but this past week just brought it more in focus. I don’t believe the MSM, career politicians and their junkies, have a clue as to his firmness and drive really is.
Cardinal Rules - written by the Media for the Media.
First rule - destroy Conservatives.
Second rule - publish lies, innuendos and rumors of lies.
Third rule - repeat until the Democrat is elected.
The reason your candidate of choice is polling in single digits is because of these sort of tactics the Perry supporters all insist on using
GOP Voters want issue based candidates, not candidates who spend all their time flaming out at the other GOP candidates in the race.
Your style of posting is an excellent example of why Perry went from 30% to single digits in the polls.
GOP voters have seen your sort of gutter politics before. They are use to having it directed at them and so reject it when they see people, supposedly on our side, engaging in them.
Perry will never come back as long as his supporters continue using these childish personal attack style politics.
You Perry supporters were warned in Sept to focus on the issues and drop the sleazy personal attacks. But the Perry camp though they were oh so clever trash talking everyone else in the campaign. Having reaped the wind, Camp Perry is now reaping the whirl wind from GOP voters.
So how about instead of the childish personal attack at Cain you habitual post, you try ONE time making a case FOR your candidate instead?
Ah but that right, when you cannot win on the issues all you are left with is this sort of Leftist style sleazy attack politics
How about you stop recklessly and relentlessly lying about Cain and try even ONE time making a case FOR your candidate instead?
True, you would certainly be ordained to judge “Gutter Politics”, looking back on your posting history.
Unfortunately for you, for every finger you have pointed at someone else, you have three coming right back at yourself.
Thank God that we have the Internet and other ways of getting the news than depending on the main stream media.
However, we get a litte insulated on forums like this and need to remember that the MSM is still a huge force to the general public.
Although some may think this has become the standard criticism, the fact remains that Cain has not handled this well and his current testiness with the press will not go down well because his previous incarnation as the jovial, affable grandpa type will suffer.
I don’t know how much this will eventually hurt him, no one does.
My big fear is, if it does take Cain out, what’s left?
We have two guys running who couldn’t get elected Senator; a sweet woman who’s pretty well self destructed and the one person I think Obama might actually beat because conservatives don’t like him—Romney.
We also have a great candidate, an 11 year veteran as governor of a huge state where he’s been a big success, but people here have decided to demonize him over false issues.
We may well end up with Romney. I just hate that. Obama is horrible ... he needs tobe gone.
I hate NPR and resent that I have to pay for it. Let all those people who listen to it, pay for it.
But it’s interesting that their love for our black brother and sisters does not extend to conservative black brothers.
We knew it all the time.
It wasn’t a slam against Perry... I was just comparing the fortunes of the two. When the guns of criticism turned against him, his drop came fairly quickly. Cain has been getting heat on various fronts for nearly a couple weeks now, and hasn’t taken a notable dip in polls.
That was my point.