The Other McCain

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

Herman Cain: ‘The Real Deal’

Posted on | October 19, 2011 | 35 Comments

Herman Cain answers reporters’ questions Tuesday night in the ‘spin room’
at the Sands Expo and Convention Center (Photo: Robert Stacy McCain)

This morning, I remember the first time I ever heard Herman Cain’s name: My brother Kirby called me from Georgia and said, “Have you heard about this guy? . . . He’s the real deal.”

The latest CNN poll shows Cain in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney, and here’s the latest about two NBC polls in key primary states:

Former businessman Herman Cain holds a narrow lead in South Carolina’s Republican primary, and he’s running neck and neck in Florida with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to two new NBC News-Marist polls.
These two states have played pivotal roles in past Republican presidential nominating contests: Since 1980, the winner of South Carolina’s GOP primary has gone on to win the party’s nomination, while Florida ultimately decided the party’s pick in 2008. This cycle, South Carolina’s contest will occur on Jan. 21 and Florida’s will take place on Jan. 31.
“The road to the convention is going to go through these two states,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion.

Last night I was talking to Steve Foley of Citizens for Cain and we agreed: We’re looking like political geniuses now. Nobody else saw the potential of the Cain campaign back when we first got fired up about it back around Thanksgiving last year. Here’s my American Spectator column today:

Scores of reporters and dozens of cameras surrounded the candidate in the “spin room” here at the Sands Expo and Convention Center following Tuesday night’s CNN Republican presidential debate. “Mr. Cain! Mr. Cain!” reporters shouted, shoving their microphones toward the man who was never expected to become a serious contender for the GOP nomination. If nothing else, the Las Vegas debate confirmed that Atlanta businessman Herman Cain is indeed now a contender. . . .

Read the whole thing. I filed it at about 1:3o a.m. ET and then enjoyed a night on the town with Smitty and Wombat, who were smoking Davidoff cigars. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Thanks to all the readers who helped send us here and in case you weren’t one of them, please: Hit the freaking tip jar!

Genius like this shouldn’t work for free, right?



35 Responses to “Herman Cain: ‘The Real Deal’”

  1. Joe
    October 19th, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    Let’s try to be a wee bit objective here. 

    Okay, you are a political genius for recognizing Herman Cain’s talents early…which is probably why you were not invited to Blogcon.  You scare them. 

    Herman is a most excellent candidate.  But he better get over these unforced errors or he is going to lose to Romney.  Cain is great on the stump and a naturally gifted communicator, both his greatest strength and greatest weakenss (he throws out answers without thinking them through and then its gotcha).  Romney is a cautious methodical politican, both his greatest strength and greatest weakness (he is overly cautious to the point of being disingenuous). 

  2. Elize Nayden
    October 19th, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    Political genius? You seem to support a candidate who cannot defend or explain his own tax plan beyond stating that allegations about this plan are not true and repeating the url of his website. And thats an issue that is supposed to be his selling point and one supposedly strong enough to counterbalance his disastrous remarks and cluelessness on foreign policy. After yesterday I would expect the guys on the Cain-Train to be in full damage control mode and not to congratulate themselves.

  3. Datechguy's Blog » Blog Archive » Looking at the Vegas debate from the outside
    October 19th, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    […] Apparently in the spin Room Stacy reports, like in Dartmouth, the press is still voting Cain: Ten weeks ago, when I followed Herman […]

  4. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi
    October 19th, 2011 @ 9:37 am

    Herman Cain makes a perfect Neocon Puppet
    former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman of KC

    Obama and Cain need plenty of on the job training.

  5. The end of Rick Perry? « Don Surber
    October 19th, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    […] Stacy McCain: “Herman Cain: ‘The Real […]

  6. Joe
    October 19th, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    Which candidate sent you here? 

  7. Joe
    October 19th, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    Which candidate sent you here?

  8. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    Sounds like a Ronulan.

  9. Bonnie_
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    Herman Cain had to stumble badly in this debate in order to fade, and he didn’t.  When the next poll comes out and shows Herman Cain maintaining his lead, I will not have a surprised look on my face.

    Republicans and Independents are desperate to pin their hopes on someone who is not Mitt Romney.  Perry shot to the top of the polls because he seemed like a true conservative.  His debate performance didn’t sink him, it was his answer on immigration and his crony capitalism.  Cain is now at the top of the polls and his performance and his answers were consistent and conservative in the debate.  All I can say is:  Thank God.

  10. Elize Nayden
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:18 am

    I have no candidate and wasnt “sent” here. I have nothing good to say about the whole lot. I am one of those who consider staying at home and Im actually sad that Cain disappointed.

  11. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    I, too, am sorry that Palin is not running, but in the short term SCOAMF must be deposed.  

  12. Joe
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    I am calling B.S. on that.  I have never seen you here.  You show up to say all the candidates are bad but that Cain disappoints?  You are a liar.  Who sent you? 

  13. Joe
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    I agree.  I still want him to work on his game.  Because the attacks will get worse.  A lot worse. 

    Ask Sarah Palin. 

  14. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    Roulans is a funny play on words, but if it’s really fitting then the Ronulans and the Vulcan (Romney) should – in theory – destroy eachother. In reality, though, the Ronulans pose little threat to the Vulcan.   

  15. Elize Nayden
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    Now thats what I call manners. How bout googling my name and Stacys blog before you accuse me of lying? I comment rarely, but its not like it has never happened before.

  16. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    Don’t be so paranoid. Do you forget that Mr McCain just got an Instalanche on the debate?

  17. James Knauer
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    Dude, I read this site every day via the Memeorandum.  Who died and made you gatekeeper?  Must everything be a Kenyan Conspiracy? None of those on stage last night can defeat Obama. Deal.

  18. Joe
    October 19th, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    James Knauer, I am not a gate keeper.  But none of those on stage can defeat Obama?  Who would you support instead? 

  19. Elize Nayden
    October 19th, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    With all that inevitablity talk going, the Romney campaign rather reminds me of the borg: “We are the Romneybots. We will add your financial and electoral distinctiveness to our campaign. Resistance is futile.”

  20. richard mcenroe
    October 19th, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    Note for Rick Perry, never go barehanded to a shoot out.  If you challenge a man to compare plans, YOU NEED TO HAVE A PLAN, son.

  21. Charles
    October 19th, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    As someone who took up Cain’s challenge to do the math myself, and was pleasantly surprised by the 25% tax cut I’d be in line to get, I thought his defense of his 9-9-9 plan was quite effective.

  22. Paul Zummo
    October 19th, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    Joe’s being a bit obnoxious, but please – none of these guys can beat Obama?  Really?  You think a guy polling in the high 30s/low 40s with 9+% unemployment is going to cruise to re-election?

  23. Joe
    October 19th, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    Sorry if I am being obnoxious, but I do not mind if you are pro obama or ron paul or whoever (you are entitled to your opinion)…just be honest about it.  Saying they all are bad and focusing on Cain strikes me as…well let’s just say a hamburger patty and a cow patty are not the same thing. 

  24. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    This is true. He should modify his 999 plan how/if needed while still keeping the marketing aspect of it.

    Also, he should speak up about those who approve of his plan (ask them if it is OK first…in case they might backtrack their support).

    He should also come up with a base case scenario of a family of 4 making $40,000 a year that he can spout off about in a 1 minuye time frame.

    The plan is great marketing at the moment, but he should develop some other plans regarding energy/education/FP that he can be BOLD on. That will give him wiggle room late in the primary calendar it during the general to de-emphasise 999, if it isn’t a political winner (its a $ winner that is for sure).

  25. Left Coast Red
    October 19th, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    Seriously. It’s great to recognize the raw talent early on that brought Cain to this point — I myself donated 10 bucks in Jan or Feb to help convince him to run. But if stars in your eyes are causing you to miss the serious (dare I say, disqualifying?) flaws that are emerging consistently now, you are in danger along with Cain of missing what is now a fast-disappearing window of opportunity for him — to address the problems of his candidacy. He MUST more effectively describe all the economic benefits of 9-9-9, as well as address the fears that his opponents are raising. And if he can’t stop screwing up regarding FP, he’s toast. Cain has very little time now, and these thing must be addressed.

  26. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    Let’s not get carried away here being for Obama is a serious character flaw.

  27. Jmvenczel
    October 19th, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    Have to agree with the Anti-Cain feeling here. Hate to say it but Obama would do to Cain what Newt would do to Obama in a debate. Totally destroy him…. His chance of passing his 9-9-9 plan are about the same as… well pick any OWS demand.

  28. Rick
    October 19th, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

    I was initially excited about Cain, but his enthusiasm for a national sales tax AND a national personal income tax (when previous discussions outside the Democratic Party involved one REPLACING the other) rule him out. And I tend to think he is nearly as gaffe prone as Biden. He seems like a decent guy to hang out with, but I don’t trust his political instincts. At this point in my ever-shifting opnion of the group, I’m circling back to Bachman. She is the most conservative person in the race by far.

  29. Rick
    October 19th, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    And I really hope Joe asks me what campaign sent me, ’cause crazy people make me laugh. :^)

  30. Left Coast Red
    October 19th, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

    On Mother Jones, Kevin Drum says he talked to the president of Fiscal Associates (which did the analysis on Cain’s website) who told him they were only instructed to analyze whether 9-9-9 is revenue neutral or not. Apparently, there is no ‘distributional analysis’ which would evaluate how different economic groups would fare under the plan.

    I mean, I want the guy to win — but is he just not ready for prime time? What contender would not realize this would be raised as an issue?

  31. Shawn Gillogly
    October 19th, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

    Nonsense on both counts.

    Obama is not a good debate. McCain was just a worse one.

    And you’re seriously trying to say 9-9-9 can’t pass a GOP dominated Congress? Why? Because Bachmann says so? What legislation has SHE ever passed?

    Because Romney and Santorum are willing to leave the utterly craptastic tax code we have now in place? Oh yeah, that’s a grand idea. 9/9/9 ends the embedded subsidies that are crippling our economy and increasing our debt, while broadening the overall taxbase at the same time.

    I’ll tell you who I’m anti. Romney, for any office, anywhere. Ever.

  32. Shawn Gillogly
    October 19th, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    Because someone who makes up a story to create a gotcha moment is truly deserving of the highest office?

    I liked Bachmann at first as well. Then I saw that, and I realized she has the same issue Romney does: Her ambition outweighs everything, including her personal integrity.

  33. Elize Nayden
    October 19th, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    Well, Stacys post was about Cain and so was my comment. Look, if you would put a gun to my head and force me to vote I would probably vote Gingrich right now, but thats really not a testament to my liking of Gingrich, but to the weakness of the field. And like I said, staying home is an option for me.

  34. Left Coast Red
    October 19th, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

    Disagree, that’s why I hope Cain does well. Debates a year from now, Cain’ll wipe the floor with Obama.

  35. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    The 9-9-9 transitions into a full Fair Tax.  If you think 9-9-9 is a tough sale…wait till we get to the Fair Tax.  Herman Cain and his team have realy thought this through.