Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bye Bye, Herman!

"The Herman Cain campaign is "reassessing" its strategy in the wake of a woman's claim that she and Cain had engaged in a 13-year extramarital relationship, a senior staffer to the campaign told CBS News."

"A Cain senior staffer told CBS News that the reassessment is no different than the one that took place "when the first false allegations came out" as well as after the Cain's Florida straw poll victory."

Cain's camp can spin it however they want, but the bottom line is - Cain's done as a candidate for the GOP nomination.

Of course, anyone who has analyzed these candidates with an ounce of scrutiny already knew Cain was never a serious contender, he just wanted to sell more books and bump up his speaking fees by garnering some national attention and recognition as a presidential candidate.  His entire campaign so far has been basically a book tour with breaks in between signing stops to attend debates and do interviews for shows like Letterman.  No one has embraced the "reality show" aura surrounding the 2012 GOP nominee race more than Herman Cain.  While many other candidates have tried to pretend that they were above such cheap self-promotion - even serial huckster Newt "I used to be speaker of the house so give me money" Gingrich does a better job of hiding his shameless personal profiteering as a professional pundit and brand marketer - Cain gleefully celebrated his 15 minutes at the front of the race to beat Romney at every opportunity.  From his silly "9-9-9" sloganeering to his "I was just joking about the electrified, razor wire border fence, but only if you were offended by it, otherwise I'm not joking" gaff-fest to his proud ignorance of all things foreign policy at a time when our nation is embroiled in two wars and now his latest complete meltdown of composure in the way he's handled the multiple allegations of sexual harassment from former employees and women who he ran across during his swaggering couch tour of the lecture circuit, Cain continues to prove that he is not and was not ever ready for prime time.

Honestly, I feel bad for the conservatives who really thought this guy was a serious contender.  I do.  It's gotta suck for conservatives to realize more and more every day that Mitt "The Chameleon" Romney is going to be your party's nominee and that he's going to be trounced by Obama over his serial flip-flopping and complete lack of a political spine.  This is why conservatives have been desperate to back anyone who wasn't Romney and showed the faintest hint of political potential.  First it was Batshit Bachmann, but that love affair only lasted long enough for her to start talking, then it was Dick Perry, but he screwed up and crossed the base by acknowledging that immigrants were actually human beings and followed it up with one debate meltdown after another until he became a stuttering, stammering parody of himself that had people missing the eloquence and profundity of George W. Bush.  I mean, when SNL "parodies" you by just repeating exactly what you said, exactly how you said it, you're a joke and no one will take you seriously again.  Then along came Herman, like a knight in shining armor, carrying a large pizza in one hand and his entire wealth of political knowledge on a 3x5 card in the other, to save the GOP from certain defeat at the hands of Mitt RINOmney.  It was almost too perfect, a businessman who claimed to have almost no political experience, in spite of being CEO of the largest political lobbying group in the restaurant industry and could totally "out-black" Obama by being both "100% authentically black" as well as by "having both parents from America."  Or, as Mann Coulter put it, "Our blacks are just so much better than their blacks."

"What?  That's not Cain?  Oh, who can tell with these people?"
But, then the skeletons started falling out of Herman's walk-in closet.  First it was allegations that he had harassed women who worked for the NRA (National Restaurant Association, not the other NRA) when he was CEO and that their complaints had been settled and the women paid a year's salary to leave the organization and drop their complaints.  Next it was Sharon Bialek who came out with infamous attention whore/celbrity ambulance chaser/bottom feeder Gloria Allred to give a statement about a very specific incident of unwanted sexual advance from Cain and now Ginger White has come forward to say she and cain had a 13-year long sexual relationship.  All the while, Cain's reaction to these allegations has ranged from confusing to silly to dumb and completely shady.  When Cain addressed the latest allegations in a recent interview with Wolf Blitzer, he sounded like a guy who didn't want to admit to anything until someone proved it first, but didn't want to deny anything that might be proven true later either.  It was like when a kid is getting the "you know what you did" lecture from his parents and he doesn't want to admit to anything until he knows what he's actually in trouble for.  We've all been there, which makes it so much more obvious when we see someone else doing that same awkward dance around the truth.

So now Cain is done.  I'm calling it because he already got passed in the polls by Newt the huckster and with this latest allegation - which I fully believe will end with a contrite admission of impropriety by Cain and his dramatic exit from the GOP race - there's really no chance of him winning even if he bafflingly decides to stay in it.  The real irony here is that Cain's sexual bad behavior is causing him to be passed in the race by Gingrich, who left each one of his ex-wives to marry the mistress he was cheating on them with, including his second wife who he famously divorced while she was hospitalized with cancer.  That's gotta sting - to be beaten in a "morality race" by a guy with a completely broken moral compass, to be bested due to scandal by a guy who was forced to step down as speaker of the house over a massive financial scandal.  Really though, Cain isn't even the guy who should be the most hurt by the way things have taken a turn over the last few weeks.  The dude who really has a beef in this whole thing - and frankly has since the beginning - is this guy:

"I don't get it.  What?  Just because I have no political backbone at all and I literally change my political principles on an hourly basis, that's why you guys don't like me?  Come on, just tell me what to say to make you people happy and I'll say it, I promise!"

Gotta suck to be Mitt Romney right now and know that, even though you've done everything right from a structural standpoint to build a solid campaign team, jump through all the necessary hoops and play by all the rules of running a successful campaign - including keeping your scandals to a bare minimum - that your party will literally vote for anyone that's not you.  I've heard several conservatives proudly say they would vote for a ham sandwich over Obama - apparently unless that ham sandwich is named Mitt Romney.  I believe Romney was trailing ham sandwich by 10 points in the latest Rasmussen poll.

So, who's next?  I won't even say Newt because he's a train wreck.  He's an emperor with no clothes on just waiting to get called out for it.  The guy had almost completely scandalized himself out of the race back when Bachmann was still leading the polls, from his $500,000 revolving Tiffany's account to going on a two-week cruise which prompted his entire campaign staff to quit and say that Newt wasn't even serious about winning the nomination, to all of his schwag slinging on his website and use of the campaign trail as a promotional tour to sell his and his wife's books and his DvD's, there's no chance Gingrich will still be a frontrunner by the time the 2012 election actually gets underway.  If, by some miracle, he actually does manage to squeak in under the door during the insanely early primary elections, then he will lose to Obama.  Being a scandalous, greedy, amoral asshole might fly with the GOP base, who will obviously elect anyone as long as they aren't Mitt, but it won't hold water with independent and swing voters, not once the massive Obama political machine gets done with him.  Nope, it's not going to be Gingrich, or Cain, or Perry, or Bachmann.  It's not going to be Santorum, either, because he's just a smarmy prick and nobody is going to vote for the namesake of post-coital anal lube juice.  It's not going to be Paul, because the base will never vote for a guy so moderate, even if "moderate" to the base is still wildly far-right to the rest of us.  So, Jon Huntsman?  If I were him, I'd be practicing my debate chops and preparing for those "gotcha" questions that are inevitably going to come when Gingrich flames out and the beltway media desperately grasps for any remaining straw in the stack that doesn't say "Huh?" when you yell "Mitt!"

Clearly, the only thing worse than having the wrong idea is having none at all.

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