The end of Herman Cain?

There have been quite a few surprises that have come out of the run for the Republican Presidential nomination for 2012. Many of the candidates have shifted rankings, there have been gaffes, and of course scandal. Perhaps the one candidate to have run through almost every level of a presidential campign run has been Herman Cain. But it may be all over.

News has been passed around that Herman Cain is “reassessing” his presidential bid. Outside of politics, it means that his chance of winning is likely gone or going. It also may mean that the damage to his personal life has reached a level where it is no longer worth the prize at the end of the trail. It’s almost like Dave Chappell walking away from his highly lucrative Comedy Central deal.

Herman Cain started this campain for the nomination as a major unknown. He is Black and Conservative, which won him no friends in the Black community where that combination is viewed as blasphemy overall. He was not flashy as a CEO, like Donald Trump, nor did he get the national accolades for his success as did Michael Eisner or Jack Welch or Lee Iococca. His only somewhat nationally known stance was in taking on President Clinton over that Health Care Reform attempt in the 90’s.

Once Cain got involved things were still quite shaky. He was a businessman in a new environment that works like anything but a smooth business. He received little media attention. He was ignored by many of the major media. Even the early debates shunned him, giving him few opportunities to present his views.

What did get attention were the gaffes. The stumbling on issues like Mormons, and whom he would have in his Cabinet. These positions were primarily the only things that the cable networks were interested about. But Herman Cain persisted, and learned how to transition his business persona to politics.

The result came when he finally got asked the question he was waiting for – Health Care Reform. Specifically he was asked about his stage-4 cancer and what Obamacare would have meant to him if it were in-force when he was diagnosed. The answer was powerful, resonating with Americans and forcing the major media to pay attention.

Then came real attention to his 9-9-9 plan. Slammed like any plan a Republican comes up with, it had appeal. It was simple to understand, seemingly easy to implement, and likely more effective than anything Democrats or the obama Administration had offered in over 2 years.

With that, Cain soared. He led the polls. He was suddenly seen as a real threat to Mitt Romney, and easily without competition from Gov. Perry who was in the midst of his own downfall. Even as his staff fumbled, not knowing exactly what was needed to maintain a more flush and competitive political race, Cain surged.

Then came the scandal. Poorly planned for, it rocked the Cain campaign. The answer was muddled at first. The source of the claim was highly questionable – likely prompted by a political opponent (though if Republican or Democrat it was not entirely clear). Then came another allegation, and a 3rd. Cain looked like he was on the ropes.

But instead Cain rallied. The scandals fueled his donations. Clarity in reporting, and the nature of the accusations (especially the unreported allegations 20 years after the fact) highliighted the suspicious timing and political motivations. Still, though the funds were now more available, the scandal took the lead in polls from Cain.

Even so, as the tenured Newt Gingrich appeared from the depths of the political basement, Cain was still a contender. Until yet another scandal. An affair of 13 years duration. This too was denied, but it may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The unseen victim of all the accusations was the wife of Cain. The latest lesson to be learned on the campaign trail – the people connected to you will feel the assault as much as you do.

The shame of it all has to be that Cain is not getting beaten by politics. His opponents and the sitting President don’t have better economic plans. His detractors are not better debators or more impressive. Each has their own skeletons, and more than a few their own scandals.

Herman Cain is being beaten because of the appearance of impropriety. Not even the fact of it. He is being judged by how he is being covered in the media, while his accusers get their 15 minutes of fame. If it is true, then he is getting what was deserved. But the appearnce of it all is that this is yet another politically motivated and timed response with the singular purpose of removing a potentially successful Presidential run.

The loss is not just for Herman Cain, if he dedcides to exit the race. Unlike Tim Pawlenty, or Jon Huntsman, or several others Cain has a shot at the title. He is credible and likeable. He has a plan and most anyone understands it (unlike his peers and President Obama) even if they don’t agree. For these reasons Herman Cain should have been able to prove he was the best choice for the Republican nomination, or proven not worthy by a better candidate.

That’s where the loss is wider. Because the voters, the public, will lose an option. Because the potentially best choice won’t be available. Because we will never know (at least for 2012) if the nominee is the person that should be running against President Obama or running the nation.

Such is politics, where it’s not the best person but the best managed campign that usually wins. That’s what elected President Obama, and the result is at the worst debatable on his tenure so far.

Herman Cain might still stay in the race. He may still be competative. But this latest scandal has taken the steam from the engine. It is unlikely that better than a 4th place finish is possible. But that’s if you consider traditional politics and politicians. Cain has proven more than once that he can turn the tables on the best and their expectations.

Answers to the lingering question about herman Cain may be answered as soon as tomorrow. We will see.


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About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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