Herman Cain confuses us. And he confuses many others. Apparently, that’s just a strange characteristic of his entire presidential campaign. Yet he’s still leading in the polls. Welcome to Dimension X.
This week, one of Cain’s campaign ads went viral, mostly because it features the candidate’s chief of staff, Mark Block, taking what looks to be a very satisfying drag off of a cigarette. So for the past few days, folks have been analyzing what this could possibly mean. Is it a sign that Cain and his camp are rebels, bucking the system and to hell with your “proprieties”? Is it a secret message to the tobacco industry or to smokers nationwide? This may very well be the Inception of political ads.
Block told Fox’s Meghan Kelly, “There was no subliminal message.” Rather it was a decision to just “let Block be Block.” The Washington Post isn’t buying it.
The New York Times paints a much more decisive picture of the Cain campaign in an article today, quoting former staffers and supporters who say things are generally in a state of disarray. The disorganization and lack of internal communication has “led to problems in hiring, scheduling, fund-raising and messaging,” the story says, which is a problem for a candidate running on the platform that, as a business CEO, he’s best suited to get the job done.
As though to prove just how all over the place the Cain campaign is, Gawker has another Cain campaign ad that stars some actor from Guam in a Western scene in the forest, drinking margaritas, closing with Cain doing the Cain creepy smile.
Crazy ads aside, Cain has contradicted himself repeatedly, indicating that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about much of the time. The inability to convey his message in a clear and cohesive manner is a problem that will eventually catch up with him even if he’s somehow managed to get people to support him right now.
There’s no doubt that at this time when distrust in government is at an all-time high, people are looking for alternatives to what they have. Apparently, anything would be better. But one gets the feeling that as his campaign gains a higher profile, Cain is becoming a mere curiosity, like the wall-to-wall coverage of Charlie Sheen’s implosion. It’s just too crazy to be real, so we keep watching until we just stop.