The Other McCain

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

Dear Mr. Cain

Posted on | December 21, 2011 | 22 Comments

Who cares, at this point, that Robert Costa got “the exit interview” instead of me? I’m over it, and too busy planning for my Iowa trip to worry much about it now. But this kind of bothered me:

The media: When Cain launched his campaign, “I didn’t realize how vicious it was and I didn’t realize how one-sided it was,” he says. “For the people who say we could have handled it differently, send me the plan. . . . If I make a mistake, criticize me fairly. But if you’re going to take a tape that’s 40 minutes long and pull out 15 seconds and forget about the other 39 minutes and 45 seconds, that’s a disservice to the American people. It gives [journalism] a bad name.”

Agreed. But if you’re wondering now how you might “have handled [the media] differently,” be aware that some of your friends who actually work in the media tried to offer advice, but were ignored by your staff.


22 Responses to “Dear Mr. Cain”

  1. Lisa Graas
    December 21st, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

    What Stacy said.

  2. Anonymous
    December 21st, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

    Stacy is the Rodney Dangerfield of the conservative blogdom.  He gets no respect.

  3. Anonymous
    December 21st, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    It’s just so sad — a candidate with such potential, a staff so incompetent.

  4. steveegg
    December 21st, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    Dammit, you beat me to it.

  5. karen martin
    December 21st, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    ditto. plus there were plenty of us in the grassroots of various states who discussed how strategy should be handled in our particular states, were eager to give insights and assistance to the Cain campaign and were ignored.  consultants eager to help, even on unpaid basis, who had run successful campaigns in our areas were ready to be working on the ground, but reaching out was not reciprocated.

  6. Anonymous
    December 21st, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    As I started telling people in October, I’ve heard dozens of reiterations of the same basic story: The more someone was willing and able to help the Cain campaign, the worse they were treated by the campaign staff. It seemed as if the staff was consciously trying to destroy enthusiasm for the campaign.

  7. Ladd Ehlinger Jr.
    December 21st, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    Seriously, he’ll hire the “best people.” 

  8. steveegg
    December 21st, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    What frustrated me about watching the campaign, mostly from the outside, was it never really “grew” from the impressive opening speeches given in the pre-exploratory stage.  Even the late-developed “interim” tax plan had the feel of being half-baked, combining the worst of all the plans out there.

  9. ThePaganTemple
    December 21st, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

    Oh he probably would have done that. The problem is, when they gave him the best advice they could give him he wouldn’t have a clue what the fuck they were talking about.

  10. Zilla of the Resistance
    December 21st, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

    That’s some douchebaggery right there by Herman Cain. 

  11. just a conservative girl
    December 21st, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    I have this feeling that he never really expected it to take off the way it did.  I personally don’t believe it was to sell books, I think it was to tack the debate to the right.  I think all conservatives owe him debt of gratitude, he got people talking about tax code.  

    Also – I offered to help the campaign many times and was just ignored.  I just stopped asking and then I realized that if this is how he managed and chose people, he wasn’t all that and a bag chips.  

  12. Grumley
    December 21st, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    Makes one wonder if he hired his campaign staff from the John McCain ’08 campaign. Apparently, they didn’t really want to win.

  13. K-Bob
    December 21st, 2011 @ 11:18 pm
  14. K-Bob
    December 21st, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

    Meh.  It gave us something to do during the early going.  Beats watching them gang up on Newt or Michelle Bachmann, or whatever.  Uncle Ron isn’t fun to watch anymore.

    The latest timekiller is the noise from Palin fans that we can maybe mount a write-in campaign.  Hell, I’d send money to that effort, just to give me something else fun to watch.

    I’ll gladly write in Palin.  I just don’t think it matters anymore.

  15. ThePaganTemple
    December 21st, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

    No they were trying to protect their own positions and didn’t want anybody else to come along that might minimize their own influence. That’s all these damn professional consultants are good for. Even if they know deep down it would be to their candidates benefits, they aren’t going to warm to an outsider. They see you or anybody else from outside their circle as a threat.

  16. ThePaganTemple
    December 21st, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

    He didn’t add a damn thing, other than more distraction and more watering down of the conservative vote.

  17. Catholics4Cain
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 12:42 am

     i’m sorry but you don’t kick a person when they’re down. All things considered regardless of a few errors Herman Cain was the front runner at 23% beating Romney. He plummeted to 8% the day the Ginger White story broke. Seemed ppl were more anxious to believe some half baked story than Mr Cain’s insistence of innocent. Could he have stayed in the race and replaced some staff? Sure.What good would it do when ppl are more than wlling to believe the media. I’m sorry there’s people here with a big chip on their shoulder but it seems to me it’d be more productive to investigate the origon of the accusations at Politico. For my part i am PROUD to be part of the write in Cain movement.

  18. Adjoran
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 1:59 am

    The old advice to young doctors on diagnosing ailments is, “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.”

    The simplest explanation is often best.  The whole thing makes more sense if we take it from the point of view of what Cain did NOT do.  When he ran for Senate in 2004, he briefed his inner circle on the possibility of a sexual allegation.  In 2011, he did not. 

    With months to prepare, an experienced executive could not only gain a working knowledge of the major issues and world players, but work up positions and rehearse talking points to explain them before the first debate ever happened.  He did not.

    When he won the Florida Straw Poll, shot to the top of the polls, and was the hottest story in politics he could have built his staff with the influx of money and concentrated on Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina.  He did not.  Instead, he added a few appearances (many of which he missed or was late to despite the light schedule) in those states but kept up with his book tour.

    He could have made a renewed pitch to the uncommitted fundraisers and bundlers.  He did not.  He could have availed himself of the help of experienced but outsider experts like Stacy and Ladd, or the many volunteering like just.  He did not.

    The most logical explanation is that he wanted the platform of running for President to deliver his message, but also to sell books and increase his speaking fees.  He never expected to be a contender and was like a deer in the headlights the minute he actually became one.  It was more than he bargained for, and he was completely unprepared.

  19. ThePaganTemple
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    While you’re at it maybe you can write-in John Edwards to be his running mate on a kind of fusion ticket. Edwards might be able to give him some balance. Like for example, he can explain things to him, like where Libya is.

  20. Jamie Timon
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    You remind me of all the hopeless Paulbots who can’t accept logic when it is smacking them in the face. Herman Cain did not have a strong Herman Cain support group. Herman Cain had a few dedicated supporters and a ton of NotMittens supporters.
    You need to face reality and accept that Cain was not presidential material since he refused to better himself and improve from his mistakes. I was an avid Cain supporter until I accepted that it was quickly approaching a dead end.
    That’s not light at the end of the tunnel, it’s headlights – you’re going the wrong way down a one way street.

  21. Red
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    The same can be said for Rick Santorum. He may be a ‘good guy’ but he’s got a snowballs chance. Why work so hard to support a candidate that you know won’t make the cut? “Sorry Stace. It just ain’t gonna happen.”

  22. Anonymous
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    Sorry….it was all about the allegations.  Only a few democrats have gotten past such issues in the past.  Republicans can’t even think about sex…let alone have it.

    You can pin the blame on the Cain staff all you want…but until the sex grenade was thrown by the press…

    Newt…with his awful staff has gotten to the top….but instead of sex, people are concentrating on his non-Conservative positions to knock him down. 

    The media has tired themselves of the “sex” story and now transitioned to they “infighting”  story (they will of course bring up the “sex” story if Newt can keep up his poll numbers…which it look like he isn’t).

    As Obama has shown, being President is about the candidate, not the campaign.