The Washington Post

A practical joke by GOP voters?

I must take issue with my colleague Jonathan Capehart, who writes of the Herman Cain ad with his smoking campaign manager: “It’s so bad that it could go down in history as the ‘Showgirls’ of political ads.” I mean, is that fair? “Showgirls” was mildly entertaining and had fun costumes.This is more akin to “Little Fockers” or an unwatchable experimental theater production in which you feel pity for the actors.

We can laugh. We can make fun. But, as Jonathan says, “Cain demonstrates on a daily basis why he will never be entrusted with the keys to the Oval Office.” There is a certain hubris to run for president when you lack virtually every qualification other than age and citizenship. Alas, after Barack Obama the notion of preparedness went out of potential candidates' decision-making process. They act like it doesn’t matter, an irrelevancy that they know nothing about foreign policy or have zero understanding of the Constitution’s basic principles (e.g., loyalty oaths).

But, by gosh, this man sits atop many polls. You wonder if this a mass practical joke of some type — “Hey, let’s goof on the pollster and tell him ‘Cain’!”

Or is Cain the “none of the above” vote for those Republicans who haven’t decided to relent and back former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney but who can’t manage to utter the name of any other Republican contender for president?

Then again, we’ve seen this routine before. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry came down to earth as well. They fell faster and harder, perhaps, because their opponents were more focused on them and they lacked the personal appeal to stave off a crash in approval. But given time, one figures, Cain’s time at the top will pass as well.

For those who think the presidential race is more important and more consequential than a reality show, they have to console themselves that Republican voters, when they actually get around to voting, will look for someone who seems to understand that comic relief is no reason to vote for a presidential candidate.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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