For the past four years, the Republican Party has been doing backflips, trying to prove to America that they care about minorities. They’ve been trying to prove that they are an inclusive party. They’ve been trying to come up with the Republican version of Barack Obama ever since Barack Obama was elected to a Senate in Illinois. As far as I know, Allen West is the only Republican Congressman who’s black (I’m sorry I over looked Tim Scott of SC. My apologies.) and there are no black Republican senators. I don’t think that this is because the Republican Party would not embrace a black figure, because they seemed to be plenty happy with Condoleezza Rice and with Colin Powell, before he endorsed Barack Obama and before he said that torture was not the direction that our country should be going.
Three years ago, the Republican Party picked Michael Steele out of relative obscurity in Maryland politics. Michael Steele had no previous experience in the national spotlight and his inexperience showed. There were many times when it was unclear whether Michael Steele was representing the GOP or simply his own interests. So at their first opportunity the GOP gave Michael Steele the boot.
Finally, the Republicans found the perfect candidate – Herman Cain. His resume looked impressive. He ran a successful company. He made tons of money (almost a prerequisite to run for the Republican nomination). He had a conservative talk show, which had a decent sized audience. He had a personable, almost folksy way of talking at campaign events. The bread-and-butter conservatives really like this. He was the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. All of this was really cool!! Herman Cain for President!
Problems with Herman Cain surfaced almost from the start. He seems to do well in these rallies where he can talk off the cuff and get the crowd energized. He seems to have problems with interviews. He seemed to have problems during the debates. During his closing statement in the first Republican debate, Herman Cain quoted the song the movie Pokémon. He said, “A poet once said, ‘life can be a challenge, life can seen impossible, it is never easy when there’s so much on the line.'” Personally, I think if you have to stoop to quoting a cartoon (“I’m strong to the finish, ‘cuz I eat my spinach” – Popeye), your candidacy should be over. Then, Herman Cain came out with his 9-9-9 plan. This seems to be directly derived from the 2004 version of SimCity (“It’s clobbing time” – The Thing). He has no economist to stand up and say “I came up with this plan and gave it to Herman Cain.” He has no team of advisers who said that they were knocking around different ideas for flat taxes and came up with this 9-9-9 plan. By itself, it isn’t really all that crazy, but when he added the Pokémon quote, doesn’t that mean that you’re not a serious candidate (“You’re despicable” – Daffy Duck)? So, Herman Cain continues to campaign and try to sell more books (selling items that personally line your pockets seems to be a theme in this Republican race this year – see Newt Gingrich). He then has a softball question tossed at him. What do you think about president Obama’s handling of Libya? I’m not sure what was difficult about this question. Libya has been in the news for more than six months. I think was reasonable for Herman Cain to ask for a point of clarification, just in case the reporter was trying to ask about a specific aspect of the Libyan policy. Yet, even with prompting, he came up with nothing (“I think I should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque” – Bugs Bunny). I won’t even going to the Iran nuclear issue question that Herman Cain also fumbled. The bread-and-butter of the Republican Party since Richard Nixon has been foreign-policy. Yet Herman Cain fumbles and bumbles the most basic foreign-policy questions. Republican voters should have been running for the exits.
We must remember that the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan has embraced this idea that they are morally superior to the rest of us. They have courted the religious right. A Republican candidate who seems to have a new woman alleging unwanted sexual advances every week should be nauseating. Then, this week, we have a woman who basically stated that she’s had a 13-year sexual affair with the guy who is running to be the nominee of the “family values” party. Sure, it would be easy to dismiss this woman as Herman Cain has dismissed all of the other accusers. This woman had Herman Cain’s phone number in her cell phone. She sent a text message to that number and only a couple minutes later Herman Cain called back. (“That’s all folks!” – Porky Pig.)
For the last three or four days Herman Cain has been “evaluating” his candidacy. Why? The rest of us have moved on. Sure, some time later on today Herman Cain is supposed to make a big announcement. Do we care? My answer is no. I don’t think that Herman Cain was ever a serious candidate for president. I hope he sold the books that he wanted to sell. I have no animosity or malice towards Herman Cain. He just should not run for president. The thousands and thousands of Americans who were duped into supporting this man should have their money refunded. (Somewhere on my blog, somebody posted a comment telling me that Herman Cain was going to “kick Barack Obama’s butt” in the general election. I wonder what that shortsighted supporter is thinking now.)
Update: Cain has suspended his campaign. (“Are you still here? The movie is over. Go home.” – Ferris Bueller. [I couldn’t think of any more great cartoon quotes. Sorry.])