More Painful Than The Perry “Oops”

Ken AshfordElection 2012Leave a Comment

Herman Cain.  What a joke. 

Last week, questions swirled around sexual harassment allegations.  Cain kept on saying it was a conspiracy against him, and he wanted to talk about policy. 

Cain got lucky.  Perry's master boner in the last GOP debate distracted everybody, and when that started to fade, the "sexual harassment" story was soooo last week.  And then, Cain started getting substantive questions on policy. Cain was meeting with some Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editors, who asked a rather straightforward non-gotcha question: do you agree with President Obama on Libya? The response has to be seen to be believed.  Watch.  

Even if you're not following the 2012 race yet, watch:


It takes almost a minute and a half for him to get his head around the question.  Then he tries to bluff an answer, he stops, starts again, and says things like he did not support Ghadafy killing his own people.  (Wow, way to take a stand.  What's next?  Coming out against the Holocaust?)

Saw this a lot in law school when the prof called on a student who hadn't done the reading.

And you just know what was going on inside Cain's head at the time, yes?


This is worse than Perry.  Perry forgot part of his talking points; Cain doesn't feel the need to understand foreign policy at even the most basic levels. The former is embarrassing; the latter is disqualifying.

And does it get worse?  Oh yes it does.

For all the guff that Perry took for his "oops" moment, his damage control was very good.  He did a full media blitz of self-deprication.  He laughed at himself.

Self-deprication doesn't seem to be in Cain's DNA, so he's left with making bad excuses.  Cain's spokesperson said Cain was "going on four hours sleep, so he was tired."

That's the reason?  Not convincing.  For one thing, we've all had occasions in which we've gone on four hours sleep, but managed not to become quite this ignorant. It's not as if Libya is an obscure issue.  And besides, sometimes the president gets fours of sleep.  And it's scary that President Cain could become so doddering.

Cain himself has made his car crash worse.  NBC News campaign embed reporter Andrew Rafferty (@AndrewNBCNews) asked Herman Cain about his Libya gaffe yesterday, and he got a surprising response:

Herman Cain NBC Twitter

Rafferty later tweeted that he was not making a joke… Cain really did say "999", as if that broken record could sweep the gaffe away.

Cain has dropped a little bit in the GOP polls as a result of the sexual harassment.  The plunge wasn't total, simply because those who support Cain could believe that the allegations were false.  But this is an implosion that cannot be denied, despite wishful thinking.  The man is not ready to be President.

He's toast.