Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

Post Partisan
Posted at 05:12 PM ET, 11/16/2011

Herman Cain: Get-over artist


Unbeknown to you, dear reader, I decided that, after six posts in a row (two yesterday) on the wreck that is the Herman Cain “campaign” for president, I would give the beleaguered, flagging front-runner a break from my pixel-filled blowtorch.

Then I read an account from Cain’s “campaign” bus after his disastrous Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board meeting. My self-imposed break is over.

Journal Sentinel reporter Craig Gilbert’s story on the atmosphere of the “campaign” bus after the meeting only lends credence to my contention that Cain is running for president of the Land of Make-Believe. As the “Okay, Libya” video went viral after the meeting, Cain was popping off to Gilbert about how he doesn’t need to know foreign policy.

“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy. Just thought I’d throw that out,” he said, a dig at his critics. “I want to talk to commanders on the ground. Because you run for president (people say) you need to have the answer. No, you don’t! No, you don’t! That’s not good decision-making,” said Cain.

Not having all the answers is one thing. Not having ANY answers is completely different. When you look up “talk to commanders on the ground” in the Get-Over Artists dictionary, the definition reads, “I haven’t a clue.”

As Gilbert reports, it wasn’t long before Cain’s “campaign” spokesman’s phone started ringing. “He just paused to get his bearings . . . it’s frankly a nonstory . . . it just took a little while (to answer), because of all the shifting around to different questions and four hours of sleep,” J.D. Gordon told reporters. Gilbert had the man himself before him, so he asked Cain about the reaction to the Libya clip.

“I paused to make sure I didn’t say something wrong. Fact of the matter is, I didn’t. I didn’t say anything wrong . . . but the fact I didn’t answer immediately — I’m going to be honest with you, that is silly. That is silly!”
He went on:
“I call it flyspecking every word, every phrase, and now they are flyspecking my pauses, but I guess since they can’t legitimately attack my ideas, they will attack words and pauses. I’m kind of flattered that my pauses are so important, that somebody wants to make a story out of it.”

No, it’s not “flyspecking.” It’s called being held accountable. If Cain can’t handle the heat now, then he has no business trying to be president.

Cain wants Republican primary voters to entrust him with their party’s nomination. Yet he appears not to want to do even the bare minimum to show he deserves their support. Newt Gingrich’s resurgence in the polls suggests that those voters recognize they deserve better. But Gingrich’s revival might also suggest how desperate that search has become.

By  |  05:12 PM ET, 11/16/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company