The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

UPDATE: Therapeutic Vengeance

Posted on | December 3, 2011 | 75 Comments

2:10 p.m. ET: My 12-year-old son Jefferson asked, ‘What does ‘suspending’ mean?” It means “quit.” Cain will still be on the ballot in several states. He could, if he chose, resume the campaign at some future point, but in general, “suspend = quit.”

The good news? J.D. Gordon is now unemployed.

More good news? My “sources close to the campaign” can now speak on the record about who was responsible for screwing up.

And finally, for those of my friends worried about my future diplomatic career, it’s still morning in Vanuatu. IYKWIMAITYD.

UPDATE 3 p.m. ET: Major media headlines via Memeorandum:

Herman Cain suspends his campaign
for 2012 GOP presidential nomination

Washington Post

‘Plan B’: Herman Cain Says He’s
Suspending Campaign

ABC News

Herman Cain Suspends His Presidential Campaign
NY Times

Cain suspends campaign, vows
to work from outside the race

The Hill

Churches seek wider consultation
as Vanuatu ratifies WTO

Radio New Zealand International

Iowa law enforcement officials could not immediately confirm rumors that several of the remaining 2012 GOP presidential candidates have sought restraining order to prevent J.D. Gordon from coming anywhere near their campaigns.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m. ET: Linked by Bob Belvedere, Fausta Wertz and Nice Deb — thanks! And to all my friends wishing to console me in this moment of profound sorrow: Hit the freaking tip jar!

UPDATE 3:45 p.m. ET: Linked by Donald Douglas at American Power and by Conservative Hideout 2.0.


UPDATE 6:30 p.m. ET: The disappointment of our hopes requires psychological healing, and my healing process has involved focusing my rage on J.D. Gordon. This is my fault and not J.D.’s. He showed himself a Christian gentleman by calling me on the phone just now to address my anger head-on.

More will need to be said, to explain all the misunderstandings, but it seems that I have unfairly blamed J.D. for things that were not his fault. Putting Robert Costa on Tuesday’s conference call and leaving me out? That was somebody else, and J.D. didn’t even know that media (including a Fox News reporter) were on the call until it was over.

As to the general errors of the messaging/P.R./communications operation under Gordon’s tenure . . .

Well, “extenuating circumstances” would be one way to say it, although those less charitably disposed toward Gordon might say “excuses.” Gordon spent 93 days in a crucible of nonstop crisis and, in retrospect, he never had time to fix everything that needed to be fixed, including many things that were not his fault — and being hated by some people merely because he wasn’t Ellen Carmichael.

Those of us in the press corps who admired Ellen Carmichael’s work — when she worked for a candidate best known as “Herman Who?” — are necessarily prejudiced in her favor. As my disappointment turned to rage this week, and I sought a scapegoat on whom to focus all my pent-up frustration with the failures of the Cain campaign . . .

Well, J.D. drew the short straw. And it was unfair to blame him, uniquely and personally, for destroying the Cain campaign.

But if life was fair, Obama wouldn’t be president and I would have been invited to speak on a panel at BlogCon.

I’ll try to explain more about my feelings, and what happened to the Cain campaign, when I’ve gotten some sleep. And switched to decaf.

So I’m sorry to disappoint those who were looking forward to a bloody death-match beween J.D. and me. But I hope you enjoyed a laugh at my ballistic fury.


1:45 p.m. ET: “I am not going to be silenced and I am not going away! . . . Plan B: I call it ‘'”

1:42 p.m. ET: Cain says he is suspending his campaign.

1:41 p.m. ET: “I am at peace with my God. I am at peace with my wife. And she is at peace with me.” Chants of “Gloria! Gloria! Gloria!”

1:40 p.m. ET: “False and unproven accusations . . . It hurts the American people.” Chants of “Herman! Herman! Herman!”

1:39 p.m. ET: “I am the very first to own up to my mistakes . . . I handle it my way.”

1:38 p.m. ET: “I am proof that a common man can lead this country.”

1:36 p.m. ET: “We can say, I’m in the Final Four.”

1:34 p.m. ET: Cain jokes that his name recognition is now “probably 99.9 percent.”

1:32 p.m. ET: Cain’s verb tenses indicate he will quit?

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air doesn’t link me.

1:30 p.m. ET: Cain says his supporters are not “warm weather supporters.”

1:29 p.m. ET: Herman Cain takes the stage. “Well, you all are great. . . . I love y’all, too.”


We are awaiting Herman Cain’s appearance at an event where he is expected to announce whether or not he will continue his campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

UPDATE: I’ve been told that Cain’s speech is actually likely to begin at 1:30 p.m., instead of the announced 1 p.m. time. The cable TV networks are full of speculation of what Cain will do if he quits. My sources say: “Full speed ahead.”

UPDATE II: Invocation prayer by Alveda King. The pledge of allegiance by Col. Michael Steele.



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  • Adjoran

    Gordon was hired in September, just before Cain’s big surge in the polls after the Florida debate and straw poll.  At the time, it seems to me there was nothing but high praise for the guy.

    Gordon may not have been all he was cracked up to be, and Block is clearly out of his depth in a national campaign, but blaming them for the collapse is just scapegoating. 

    They had nothing to do with what Cain did before he hired them.  They could not know more than Cain told them about the allegations.  They surely didn’t advise him to tell multiple contradictory stories on Day One after the Politico story so that even if the accusers turned out to be phonies, Cain would still be caught lying about what he knew about their settlements.

    Gordon and Block didn’t make Cain get that deer-in-the-headlights look when asked fairly simple policy questions, and I seriously doubt they advised him to ignore the early states and keep to his part-time campaign and full-time book tour schedule when he became a contender.

    No sir, no ma’am.  This is 100% on Herman Cain, and the sooner everyone admits it, the sooner we can move on.

    Conservatives need to stop falling for every candidate who throws them some red meat.  It is just too easy.  If we only needed someone to lacerate the leftists and the media, we’d nominate Dennis Miller.  We need someone capable of helping to actually straighten out the mess, and that will be an extremely demanding task.

    Despite what you see in Obama, the Presidency needs to be about more than making speeches, playing golf, taking vacations, steering contracts to your donors, and riding a bike with a stupid-looking helmet.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I have been told by supporters of Rick Perry that a turnip would be better than Obama.

    I have always said it is wrong to blame the campaign staff for failure, in that it was the candidate who hired the staff, and he is responsible for his choices.

    Mark Block? His early and steadfast loyalty to Herman Cain was his chief qualification for the job. And as someone who values loyalty, I understand that.

    J.D. Gordon? Talked himself into a job for which he proved to be unqualified and, in the process, pushed Ellen Carmichael out of the campaign.

    Does that make Gordon a bad person? No, because he evidently didn’t realize the vast gulf between being a military public affairs guy and being communications director for a major election campaign. Yet Gordon’s errors — his failure to hire people who could have helped him do the job — were his responsibility.

    Should Herman Cain have hired better advisers and staff? Yes. Did any of the people he hired ever listen to any of the advice I gave them? No.

    And the fact that my advice went unheeded is my fault, because I evidently failed to impress any of his staff as someone who knew what he was talking about.

    Plenty enough blame to go around, you see.

  • ThePaganTemple

    Whoever offers him a plum spot, like the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve, which is probably what he was originally after to begin with.

  • ThePaganTemple

    Perry, the guy who thinks he can cut congressional staff and pay and put them all on part-time, just on his say so? If he’s the best we’re all screwed.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Disqus generic email templateIt’s on the OWN Channel on Sundays.
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Disqus
    Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 3:45 PM

    ThePaganTemple wrote, in response to Bob Belvedere:

    No, I’ve never even heard of it.

    Link to comment

  • Quartermaster

    Given who is left, we are all screwed anyway.

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  • Ladd Ehlinger Jr.

    Mark Block, JD Gordon (and Ellen Carmichael before that) were ALL morons.

    When competent people DID manage to get on to the campaign (you know who
    I’m talking about, Stacy) they weren’t listened to. In point of fact,
    they were stiffed and ignored and marginalized.

    Consider: why the hell was he hiring all these people at the NRA who would turn around and sue for him harassment? Pretty bad recruiting
    practices, wouldn’t you say?

    Cain was always supposedly about hiring people who would suck up to him, coddle him, never say a thing in constructive criticism, or an
    independent differing opinion.

    Cain was a one-man cocoon.

    He was Tracy Jordan from 30 rock with a fedora.

    Cain was all talk about hiring the “right people.” Which ultimately means, he would have been an absolute disaster running mano-a-mano against the one billion dollar Obamabot.

  • Bruce
  • Joanie Scott

    Stacey, you wrote: “…and J.D. didn’t even know that media (including a Fox News reporter) were on the call until it was over.”

    This is complete incompetence on J.D.’s part.

  • ThePaganTemple
  • Anonymous

    Cannibals? Yeah, but so does the Iowa GOP caucus.

  • Denverwindowwashing

    I’ve made two political contributions in my life.

    Rudy in 2008 and Herman.

    The lesson I’ve learned is to never make a political contribution again to anyone for any reason, because my judgment sucks and, as far as I know, could be some sort of candidate curse.

  • Anonymous

    Plan C: NRC Chair Priebus hires Cain and Palin to slay the Dem Distraction Machine and promote conservative candidates.

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  • Zilla of the Resistance

    That is SO true! Which is why I always tell the people  who I link to that I linked to them. 🙂

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    They’ve got mohamadeens there too, which is why you’ll want to work as ambassador for a guy who gets that islam is a problem, a guy like Rick Santorum. 🙂
    I already linked my post (earlier in this thread) about why what I say about RS and islam is true, I’ll try to resist the urge to get too spammy here.

  • Bob Belvedere

    The whole Mike Foxtroting GOP does.

  • Bob Belvedere

    No…try this: donate to those who your gut tells you not to donate to.  See?

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