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Post Partisan
Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 11/15/2011

Herman Cain, Libya and his ‘9-9-9’ non sequitur

In a blog post about Herman Cain’s Libya splat for Foreign Policy, Daniel Drezner, a professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, was brutally blunt. “I can only pick on an ignoramus so many times before it feels sadistic,” he wrote. I have no such qualms. If Mr. “Sissy Pizza” wants to play in the big leagues, he’s going to have to take his lumps like a man. Thus, another brick bat from me for the flagging Republican front runner.

Andrew Rafferty, an NBC News reporter embedded in the Cain campaign caught up with the candidate yesterday after he rhetorically self-immolated on the question of whether he agreed with President Obama on Libya or not. “When I asked Cain if today’s Libya gaffe builds on idea he doesn’t have in depth knowledge of foreign policy,” Rafferty tweeted, “he simply said, ‘999’.”

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Cain breaks three rules here. First, he’s walking and chewing while on camera. Forgivable offense. It happens, unfortunately. Second, he talks with his mouth full. Unforgivable offense that children may take as permission to be gauche. The third infraction is the real one. Cain answers a serious question about his depth of knowledge and preparedness for office with a non sequitur. “9-9-9” tries to be many things, but a foreign policy position it is not.

That Cain’s campaign is blaming his disastrous answer on two well-worn crutches — the interview being taken out of context and lack of sleep — means its time in the big leagues is drawing to a close. On the Andy Warhol clock of fame, Cain is now clocking in at 14:58.

By  |  05:00 PM ET, 11/15/2011

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