Posted on | October 20, 2011 | 45 Comments
LAS VEGAS, Nevada
Just talked to Da Tech Guy who asked me, “What’s up with Herman Cain and this abortion thing?” This was of course in reference to the Piers Morgan interview which prompted Jonathan Bernstein of the Washington Post to write:
Last night, Herman Cain made a big splash when he backed into pro-choice language on abortion last night on CNN — apparently by accident — when he said he is personally fully against abortion but doesn’t think that the government should tell women what to do. This is already shaping up as a very big deal. Cain is leading in some polls, so other Republicans may use this slip up to try to take him down, and he’ll have to address it.
In other words, this could mean the end of Cain’s 15 minutes.
Which is, of course, ridiculous. Cain isn’t one of these “famous for being famous” celebrities, but has been campaigning for president for nearly a year now. So to speak of him in terms of Andy Warhol’s 15-minutes-of-fame quip is absurd. Furthermore, Cain has repeatedly stated his pro-life position — the crowd at the Values Voter Summit two weeks ago cheered his “no exceptions” stance — and while he let Morgan twist him into a pretzel during the CNN interview, Herman Cain’s campaign isn’t about abortion. He has sought to focus his campaign relentlessly on issues of economic growth.
Last night the Western Republican Leadership Conference held a reception at Caesar’s Palace, and I attended with Steve Foley of Citizens for Cain. We found ourselves talking to David Patten of NewsMax, who is working on a feature article about Herman Cain, and GOProud chairman Chris Barron, who has been on the Cain train since the days of “Herman Who?” Chris made the point that the reason people who like Herman Cain — and there are obviously many millions of them — is because he’s not a typical politician. So whether or not he’s an expert at giving media interviews, they still like him.
Chris Barron talks to David Patten at Wednesday’s reception
All of Cain’s errors to date have failed to halt his momentum, but now that he has emerged as a serious contender, he’s under more intense media scrutiny and will have to learn to cope with these pressures.
Jimmie Bise writes an open letter to Herman Cain today telling him that he’s “on the verge of a crash and burn,” which is somewhat overstating the problems he has had this week. Nevertheless, it is true that in interviews with both Wolf Blitzer and Piers Morgan, Cain managed to get himself pulled off-message, and we’ll watch to see whether he can prevent future such errors.
By the way, guess who I just interviewed? Erik Telford, who ended my now-legendary two-year-long “Blame Eric Telford” campaign by inviting me to speak at American for Prosperity’s Right Online Conference in June. Telford recently joined the Franklin Center for Government and Public Policy.
Telford is a Cain fan and so I interviewed him for an American Spectator column. Deadline for the Final Wisdom looms ahead. Please hit the freaking tip jar!