Mixed Reaction To How Cain Handled Accusations But His Support Remains Unchanged

Bookmark and Share   A two day poll taken by White House 2012 reveals that there is mixed reaction to the way that Herman Cain the story about unproven sexual harassment accusation against him from over a decade ago.  According to White House 2012 readers, 37% believe Cain and his campaign mishandled his response to the allegations, but an equal amount of people believe that no matter Herman Cain reacted to the Politico story that dug up these past accusations, the media would have not let the story die and would have pursued it relentlessly.  Only 26% of those polled believe Cain handled the revelations effectively.

But opinions of how he handled this mess aside, support for Herman Cain among Republicans remains largely unchanged by the entire ugly episode.

In a report by the Des Moines Register’s talented and reliable chief political writer, Jennifer Jacobs, respondents to a Des Moines Register poll support claim that the latest developments regarding the sexual harassment story did dissuade them from continuing to stand behind Cain.

In previous White House 2012 posts I have been quite critical of what I believe has been the total mishandling of this situation by both Cain and his campaign.  I have even gone on record as predicting that if Cain did not put this story rest and soon, he would be overcome by media accusations. Having known that Politico was pursuing this story for as many as ten days prior to its publication, Herman Cain missed the opportunity to come out ahead of it and control the story.  Instead he allowed the story to take control of his campaign as it became the storyline for for at least a week.   However; while I still maintain that Cain and his people did nothing but blunder their way through the recent revelation of baseless charges, it obviously has not derailed his campaign or slowed it down enough to cost him frontrunner status, at least at the moment.

Cain was lucky though.

Herman is undeniable likely guy.  He warm, wise, and witty.  He is confident but not cocky and most of all, voters do not view him as a politician.  All of this helped Cain get over the media frenzy that inundated his campaign with negative coverage.  But Cain won’t be so lucky next time.  Next time he better have the type of rapid response team that can manage an effective damage control operation.  And there will be a next time.  Cain has just better hope that it does not involve any credible accounts of sexual harassment.

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Herman Cain Super PAC Fires Back the Way Herman Cain Needed To

Bookmark and Share  While the media tries wring out every last drop of negative innuendos and distortion out of the more than decade old, false sexual harassment charges against Americans for Herman Cain has out, calls the left wing establishment out for their characteristic “lynching” of African-Americans who disagree with the Democrat Party’s liberal agenda.

American’s for Herman Cain is not affiliated with Cain’s actual presidential campaign.  It is a super PAC, that can raise and spend any amount of moneyh it can in support of Herman Cain. The ad uses such notable hypocrites and socialists and communists as Hollywood’s Harry Belafonte, New York’s Al Sharpton, and liberal academia’s Professor Cornel West of Princeton University, or who I commonly refer to as Snagglepuss.  Each of them chastise Herman Cain.  West tells Herman Cain to get off the symbolic carackpipe, Belafoolte says Cain is denied intelligence, and in what ends up the most hysterical case of the pot calling the kettle black, Al “Tawana Brawley” Sharpton says that Cain is either “”socially ignorant, or playing games to get vote”.  Can you imaging that?  Al Sharpton accuses others of playing games to get votes.  That coming from a man who has taken part in conspiracies designed to inflame racial tension, inspire civil disobedience, and fuel class warfare, dares to blame another person, living or dead, of playing games to get votes.  That says it all folks.

But to punctuate the point Herman Cain is conveying, the ad utilizes the famous remarks from the man who is the best living example of liberal hypocrisy and injustice there is…….. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.   Cain’s ad closes with Thomas summing up the actions of the liberal media and the liberal senators who used Anita Hill’s false accusations of him as  a modern day form of a lynching of the black man who disagrees with them.

Up to now, Herman Cain has not helped himself in this sexual harassment matter.  He has was unprepared to respond to a story that he knew was coming out about these past accusations and when he did start responded to the story, he did so in a way that seemed to consistently contradict with each answer previously given by him, was slow to reveal those facts which he did know, quick to claim he forgot facts that he suddenly remembered, and in general did little to make people confident in his total innocence in the matter.  Cain had a chance to control this story before it came out.  Instead he allowed Politico, then the rest of the lamestream media to control the story and possibly Cain’s fate.   I have to say that I am disinclined to support Herman Cain now, based just on how he handled this episode.  And I believe that the accusation against Cain were false.

However, regardless of how Cain’s campaign mishandled this, this new web ad is should be a hint as to how he should handle this from now on.

But the credit for the spot most likely goes to Jordan Gerhke, the campaign manager for Americans for Herman Cain and a political consultant with expertise in the area of direct messaging.   I profiled Gerhke in a previous White House 2012 post that reproted the creation  of the Herman Cain for America’s “9-9-9 Fund”.

Gehrke’s ad should be an example  that someone over at Team Cainshould follow.  With Mark Blockhead running things, Cain seems to be atr a disadvantage and needs some of strategic intelligence.   If Cain only had the money and talent to turn this ad in to a thirty second spot and air it in the most effective media markets in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida.  If that were the case, he might be able to establish himself as a longterm frontrunner.

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A Look Back at Herman Cain and His 2004 U.S. Senate Primary Election

  Bookmark and Share  Since Herman Cain has spent the last two weeks towards the front of the pack in the G.O.P. presidential field, many people have begun to take notice of him.  And they like what they see.  His rise from the bottom tier to top tier of candidates has also given many who liked Cain, but thought it impossible for him to get anywhere, reason to now jump on the Herman Cain bandwagon, or at least good reason to seriously consider doing so.  But with this new-found popularity, and his new image as a threat to previous frontrunners, now makes Herman Cain a target.  Up to now his Republican opponents have had no reason to go after Cain.  Instead, because he has always been a likeable guy, many of those running against Cain, spared him from any negative attacks on his positions.  The thinking was, he’s a nice guy who people like and is not standing between them and the GOP presidential nomination, so why go after him and risk turning off his supporters.  That has all changed now.

Still, no matter what, Herman Cain is the candidate whom people most like a person.  As such, to go after him on anything but the issues, would backfire on them.  They can’t really attack Cain for not having held elected office.  That is something that people like about him and which Cain could easily turnaround and use against those who want to harp on his lack of experience as a Washington, D.C. politician.  So trying to take Herman Cain down is something that the other candidates must be careful about.  At the same time, Herman Cain has to now be able to hold up to the scrutiny that comes with his frontrunner status.  He will have to demonstrate that he has a better knowledge of foreign affairs and is well equipped to go toe to toe with people like Vladimir Putin or  Mahmoud Abbas, and control the room.  He must show that he is capable of  not playing second fiddle even when sitting along side of allies like Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Benjamin Netanyahu or Nicolas Sarkozy others.

None of this is impossible for Cain to do.  It can all be achieved.  But to do so, he will have to begin to raise substantially more money than he has had up to now and he is going to have to start picking up some of the top Republican strategists and Party insiders in the nation.

One may think that doing so would undermine one of Cain’s greatest attributes, his lack of participation in Party politics and political games.

However, the Republican Party and the process that you go through to become its nominee is undeniably political.  It involves a political Party in a process that is essentially run by politicians.  So avoiding the politics behind it all is just not realistic.  It would be like trying to play baseball with  a Jai Lai cesta.  It just doesn’t work.  So far Herman Cain has still not relied on a campaign staff that has the knowledge, and experience needed in a presidential election.   He doesn’t even have those well placed political connections that can provide him with some of the ins and outs of of Party politics and help him cut through some of the political red tape.

Cain is now aware of all that.  He learned that when in 2004, he ran for U.S. Senate in Georgia.  He found himself in a three way primary against  incumbent Congressmen Johnny Isakson and Mac Collins,  In that race, Isaksaon was largely the Romney-like candidate,  He was seen as the moderate.  But Cain and Collins were the two conservatives opposing him. Cain and Collins both hoped to deny Isakson a majority on primary day in order to force him into a two man runoff with one or the other.  During the campaign, Mac Collins tried to paint Cain as a moderate, accusing him  of having supported affirmative action programs.  For his part Cain argued that he was a conservative and noted that he opposed the legality of abortion except when the mother’s life is threatened.

On the day of the primary Cain finished a distant second to Johnny Isakson who pulled overe 50%, thereby avoiding a runoff.  The final results were Isakson won 53.2%, Cain 26.2%, Collins 20.6%.

Now, in 2011, those senate primary vote totals tell a story that is quite similiar to the problem that we see for conservatives in the Republican presidential contest.  The division of the conservative vote among several candidates, including Herman Cain, has so far allowed Mitt Romney, the perceived moderate in the field, to find himself with a slim majority of Republican support.  Now in addition to the benefit that provides Romney , we find out that working for Mitt Romney is strategist Stuart Stevens who was a consultant to Johnny Isakson during that same 2004 senate primary which beat Cain.

How much of advantage that will give Romney if Herman Cain continues to give Mitt a run for his money, is still unknown.  But Stuart Stevens knows one thing.  Never underestimate Herman Cain.  He tells The Atlantic, “He scared the heck out of us”.  Realizing that means that Mitt Romney has a strategist who will not make the mistake of underestimating Herman Cain.

But Herman Cain also walked away from his 2004 primary with some important lessons learned.  One of them was that if he was going to run for President, he was going to have to get in the race early.  One of the reasons Cain feels he lost the 2004 primary was because he entered that race late.

Meanwhile, the firm that Romney strategist Stuart Stevens represents, SSG consulting, lists the 2004 race that  they ran to defeat Cain with, as case study.

       Case Studies

         Johnny Isakson – 2004

           HISTORY: Johnny Isakson is a long-time client – we worked to elect him to Congress during the 1999 special election.

           CHALLENGE: Beat two candidates in Primary and win by 50% to satisfy state’s threshold requirement.  Go on to win general election.

 STRUCTURE: Develop strategic plan based on financial discipline.  Do not answer every charge.  Let opponents spend money on air and   hold off on television advertising.  Strike at high volume before primary to boost numbers, position as the conservative choice – keep opponents at bay to win over 50% of vote to avoid run-off.

EXECUTE: Isakson wins the primary with 51% of the vote, avoiding a runoff.  He goes on to win the general election with 58% of the vote – the largest margin ever for a Republican in Georgia.

In 2004, Herman Cain came out of nowhere in the Georgia Senate primary and made a name for himself as a true conservative leader in Georgia.  He was a virtual unknown who wound up challenging two incumbent Congressmen, beat one of them, and gave the other a surprising scare.  So far, he’s repeating his better than expectedelectoral performance .  But now he must he must somehow do what he could not do in the 2004 primary…….. consolidate all of the conservative vote.

Below is a look at he tried to do that in 2004 when he ran a series of ads that touted what he called his message……… Common sense.

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Herman Cain Claims that African-American Voting Habits are a Result of Brainwashing

Bookmark and Share In a recent interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer [see interview below this post], Herman Cain offers an honest personal assessment of the voting habits of African-Americans and by claiming that many African-Americans have been brainwashed.  In the same interview, he provides an opinion of the two men who Cain now shares frontrunner status with …………………. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

In the first question thrown at Cain by Wolf Blitzer, the CNN political host asked Cain why the G.O.P. is poison to so many African-Americans.  Never one to mince words, Cain told Blitzer that such a view is held by many fellow African-Americans because they “have been brainwashed into not being open minded and not even considering a conservative point of view”.

Cain goes on to explain that he has had experienced this first hand.  Reacting to the claim, Wolf Blitzer pretended to be shocked and gave Cain an opportunity to walk his statement back after telling Cain that “brainwashed” is a strong word to use in reference to fellow members of the black community.  Yet Herman Cain held firm and reinforced his charge by stating that as many as 2/3 of the blacks are brainwashed.  But Cain did say that the good news was that 1/3 to 1/2 of them are beginning to think for themselves and to think that all African-Americans will simply keep voting for Democrats is untrue.   He added that he is convinced that he would able to garner as much as a third of the black vote and not because he is black, but because of his policies and their belief in his ability to fix the economy.

While true, Cain’s words are sure to get some flack from the African-American community.  Many have already aired their disdain for Cain’s remarks.  This reaction came from AngryBlackLady.com:

“Ho boy.  Yeah, see…some free political campaign advice there, Herman.  When you’re trying to convince a voting bloc to back you, it’s best not to insult them as “brain-washed” and “not open minded”.  In fact, I believe that’s the chief complaint I hear from the Tea Party about how liberals supposedly feel about them.  Given this evidence, I’m going to say that particular complaint is projection, plain and simple.”

Committed socialist and racist anti-TEA movement leader Maxine Waters had this to say about Cain’s opinion;

“Not only are we not brainwashed, we know how to act in our own best interest.  That`s why most of us are Democrats.  Who in their right mind, African-American, would belong to a Party that is as mean-spirited as we see coming out of the Republican Party.

They don`t care about poor people.  They don`t care even about working class people.  They don`t care about senior citizens.”

She added;

“And blacks are not going to vote for him either — not simply because he`s disrespected us so in these statements about us being brainwashed but because, again, we act in our own best interest.  We know what is best for us.  We all have to fight very hard to make sure that we get the most that we can get in terms of good public policy for everybody and for African-Americans.”

What Mrs. Waters left out was that through the application of the close-minded liberal policies of her and her Party, the African-American community is suffering the most. Under the Obama Administration and Mrs. Waters’ leadership in Congress, in addition to a disproportionate amount of African-Americans living at or below the poverty level, the overall poverty level in the nation has risen to its highest levels in decades.  And when it comes to unemployment in America, in the month of September, Mrs. Waters’ policies have helped to achieve a disparity between Caucasian and African-American unemployment rates that is more than 50% higher for blacks than whites.

The unemployment rate for blacks surged to 16.7% in August, its highest rate since 1984, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Congresswoman Waters also neglects to mention that the when she discusses “fighting very hard to make sure that we get the most that
we can get in terms of good public policy for everybody and for African-Americans” what she is actually saying is that good public policy is more expensive government spending programs that perpetuate a culture of dependency.

And therein lies the Democrat Party’s problem.

Government can no longer afford to be run like a charity with endless financial resources. Charities can’t even pretend to have endless financial resources.  Government can no longer afford to maintain expensive charitable legislative policies that are designed to keep minorities voting for Democrats by making them dependent on Democrat sponsored taxpayer handouts.

This is something that many minorities are waking up to.  And while they may not necessarily be flocking to the G.O.P., they are beginning to understand that liberal Democrats are probably acting more in their own interests than an in the interests of the African-American Community.

As for Herman Cain, there are many people of all colors who through his candidacy, are beginning to understand that big government is not a prerequisite for success.  In Herman Cain, they see a self-made man, who has not allowed himself to use racism as an excuse or reason to believe that the government owes him anything.  People see that Herman Cain is a man who said he will control his destiny and did so.  In Herman Cain, many voters are seeing a man who can create an America that will get government under control and allow the people to control their own destiny’s too.  That has become a novel concept these days, but the obvious failures of government due to big government liberal policies, has people of all colors understanding that they should probably stopt trying to rely on a bankrupt government andstart trying to rely more on their own ingenuity and abilities.

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New Poll Has Herman Cain Beating Perry and Romney Among Likely Republican Voters

Bookmark and Share   In a new Zogby poll that was taken in the three days following the most recent Republican presidential debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry, the man who rocketed past Mitt Romney as soon as he announced his candidacy and hs been the presumed frontrunner, has plummeted 18% among likely Republican voters and likely Republican primary voters.  Benefiting from this drop was not the former frontrunner, Mitt Romney.  That swing in voter sentiments went to none other than Herman Cain, the man who on the very last day that this poll was taken, shook the political world with his first place showing in the Florida “Presidency 5” Straw Poll.

According to the latest poll, Herman Cain increased his support by  16% percent since September 2nd.    In the same time period, Texas Governor Rick Perry lost 19% percent of his support and Mitt Romney picked up 3%.

For Herman Cain, this means that a star is born.  But it is important to remember that stars fall to earth faster than they rise and frontrunner status nows makes Cain a target.  A target of his Republican opponents, liberals, and the mainstream media which had already begun to abuse Cain before his win in the Florida straw poll.  So how long Cain can maintain frontrunner status is questionable, but one thing is for sure.  This news now breathes new life into a campaign that Herman Cain has twice considered ending.

For Cain, the results of this poll could be as significant or even more so than the Florida straw poll victory.  Unlike Presidency 5, the Zogby reflects not a state sentiment that could be written off to regional appeal, it is the reflection of Republican attitudes nationally.  That can provide Herman Cain with the ability to raise significant anounts of money and add strength to his campaign.

As for the rest of the field, they must come to grips with something which I have been stating repeatedly.  Voters from the TEA movement to your traditional conservative base, do not want politics-as-usual.  They want an anti-establishment candidate, the non-politician.  And they don’t just ant any non-politician.  They don’t want a Ross Perot-like moderate.   They don’t want some Kumbaya candidate who promises to “compromise” for the sake of moving the same, failed political agenda forward.  They want someone who will defend traditional American values, and enforce a pro-growth, liberty based free-market approach to our economy.  And they want someone who will do so not by promising to tinker with the failed policies. They want someone who will, as Herman Cain said in Florida, “alter and abolish” the failed approaches and policies of Washington, D.C.

At the moment that man is Herman Cain.  And it is that way because none of the other candidates have convincingly put forth a reform agenda that dramatically changes either the way Washington works or the failed and outdated policies holding us back.  All the other candidates are being overshadowed by the political reputations that precede them.  Meanwhile Herman Cain is discussing things as scrapping the current tax code.

But there are several important points to remember.  Herman Cain is quite inexperienced at campaigning. And while his lack of experience as a politician is a plus for him right now, at some point experience will be an issue and voters are going to want to know that Herman Cain has the know-how to achieve that which he promises within the very political system that he contradicts.

Point two.  Rick Perry may be don but he is not out.  The best example of that is Bill Clinton in 1992.

Early on in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton had low national poll numbers.  He was running against Jerry Brown, Paul Tsongas, Robert Kerry, and Tom Harkin.   He lost in Iowa and while trying to compete in New Hampshire against  Paul Tsongas, the Senator from neighboring Massachusetts, Clinton got caught up in the Gennifer Flowers scandal.  Despite Tsongas having favorite son status in the Granite State, Clinton was leading over Tosngas in the polls.  Then when the Flowers scandal broke, he plummeted.  But when the primary was over Clinton still pulled off  surprising second place showing.

  • Paul E. Tsongas 33.2%
  • Bill Clinton* (24.8%)
  • Bob Kerrey (11.1%)
  • Tom Harkin (10.2%)
  • Jerry Brown ( 8.0%)

Even though Clinton lost, his ability to come in second caused him to be dubbed the Comeback Kid.  So Rick Perry  cn easily comeback.  Just because he faltered in the most recent debate does not mean he broke his leg and needs to be shot.  He can survive and live to run a powerful campaign despite his ” having no heart” remark which will continue to haunt him.

The third point.  Mitt Romney has been maintaining a consistent percentage of support that is in the mid teens.  This consistency means something.  It means that unlike all the other candidates, Romney has a solid base.  He has yet to experience wild swings in his poll numbers.  Such a fact means that Romney’s consistency as a candidate could prove to be a major factor that leads to his winning in the end.

The last and final point is the wildcard.  It is the opportunity for a candidate like Sarah Palin or Chris Christie to jump into the race and suck the air right out of the room.  It is also the possibility that someone like Rick Santorum or  Newt Gingrich turns things around with a series of events and positions and missteps by some of the top tier candidates.  Ultimately, the variables are endless and anything can still happen.  Did you think that Herman Cain was actually going become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination with just a little more than three months to go before the Iowa caucuses?

The only thing that is looking certain, is the decline of President Obama.

In the same Zogby poll that has Cain ahead of the pack, 57% of voters disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, and only 37% believe he deserves to be reelected.

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Dennis Miller Signals a Surge in Endorsements for Herman Cain

Bookmark and Share  Although comedian, actor and radio talk show host Dennis Miller made no secret tha he was fond of Herman Cain’s presidential  candidacy, he had not endorsed him.  Until now.

Today Miller used his nationally aired radio program to officially endorse Herman Cain for the Republican nomination for President.  Click here to listen to clip. In addition to that, Miller is slated to headline a fundraiser for Cain in Los Angeles.

Earlier in the day, there there were a serious of Twitters from bothCain and Miller that went as follows;

Dennis Miller Show
How proud would I be to have Herman Cain as my President? http://dennismillerradio.com/b/Cain-Versus-Unable/144162840843406213.html @THEHermanCain
`
Herman Cain
I’d like to thank @DennisDMZ for his support. I look forward to working with him as we continue our journey to the White House!
`
Dennis Miller Show
Here’s an idea for Herman Cain’s next bumper sticker: “Cain Versus Not Able.” Herm’s up next at http://dennismillerradio.com/site @THEHermanCain
`
Herman Cain
Love it! RT @DennisDMZ: Here’s an idea for Herman Cain’s next bumper sticker: “Cain Versus Not Able.”

Whether Miller’s endorsement of Herman Cain is a sign that others will now be confident enough to publicly declare their support for what has been cosidered a longshot campaign , is not fully known yet.  But one certainty is that Cain’s big victory by a wide margin in Saturday’s Florida Republican presidential straw poll, has put Cain on the map and established him as a contender.

Many see Cain’s straw poll victory as a sign of disatissfaction with the political establishment of both major Parties.  From this consultant’s point of view, that is true.  However, the fact that people would use Herman Cain to send this signal says much about Herman Cain himself.  In the recent straw poll, Cain won more votes than the second and third places, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney did.  Such a vote total is based not just on sending a message, many of those votes went his way because many of those people also believe in Herman Cain.  They believe that he can at the very least bring some of the common sense to Washington, D.C. that the political establishment lacks.

What Herman Cain now needs to do is convince establishment voters that he is more than a vessel being used to signal disatisfaction.   He must demonstrate that he is not just the flavor of the day.  Not long ago Mchele Bachmann was the flavor of the day when she won the Iowa straw poll.  That got her as far as a dead last finish in Florida’s straw poll.

In addition to having to detail his policies on everything and be prepared to defend them against the scrutiny that his new success will bring, he could also use the support of an established politician, especially one that is respected and appreciated within the TEA movement.  Such an opportunity might be in the making with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley who recently indicated that she will be endorsing a person with business experience.  Such a comment could play in to the theme that mitt Romney is attaching to his own candidacy, but it could also be a reference to Herman Cain who has never held elected office but has successfully run several private sector interests and associations.

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