Herman Cain is in the midst of “reassessing” whether to continue his 2012 bid, but its legacy is already settled: His campaign will go down as one of the most hapless and bumbling operations in modern presidential politics, setting a new standard for how to turn damaging press coverage into something far worse.
The botched responses to allegations of marital infidelity, sexual impropriety and his own gaffes — not to mention the puzzling strategic decisions — have, in the eyes of many veteran strategists, reached record levels of ineptitude. (via Herman Cain’s campaign a study in ineptitude - Jonathan Martin - POLITICO.com)
Well, that’s one way of looking at it. How many books has he sold, though? Cain is not measuring his success in terms of how well he did politically. In order to understand Cain, you have to understand his goals. He never thought he could win the nomination. Never. If he did, he’s insane, and I don’t think he’s insane. He saw a business opportunity. He went on a free road trip, paid for by his campaign donors, got his name out there, and sold lots of books. In exchange, he agreed to say things that a small group of passionate supporters wanted to hear. Easy money.
Cain will judge his success using the following formula:
number of influence points gained + number of books sold - negative effects on family
Now, there are those who will say that wasting the time of the American people in order convince them to donate to his campaign and sell books is bad behavior because it makes a mockery of our political system. To them, I say that’s irrelevant because the system itself mocks democracy and blaming anyone for taking advantage of that is typical scapegoating. The American people are to blame, not Herman Cain, or the media, or whomever else we typically blame because we are too lazy to accept responsibility and fix what’s broken. We receive from our political system whatever we put into it. If we treat it like a joke, it will be a joke, and that joke will be on us. Herman Cain is going to laugh all the way to the bank.
If the voters are kept entertained by a sideshow, they will rarely notice what’s being done to them. If we learn anything from Herman Cain, it should be that our system is broken because it is controlled by monied interests. If we finally recognize that and do something about it, Cain will have done us a favor. If not, this freak circus will continue to return every two years.