Herman Cain’s Ignorance

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 and is filed under Blog

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Let’s be honest. Candidates slip up from time to time and say stupid things. The general rule of politics is “Candidates will say stupid things.” The goal of any campaign or team of advisors is to minimize the amount of stupid things a candidate says.

However, in the case of Herman Cain, he committed two huge gaffes on back to back nights. The first was saying he would release all of the prisoners at Gitmo for one American hostage, thereby nullifying (if he became President) a policy that reaches back to the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson: the United States does not negotiate with terrorists. It was a strike against Cain that got worse during the actual debate itself when Cain stumbled backwards on his previous statement and looked like an indecisive man. Michelle Bachmann, even though she is about to exit stage right, scored some huge points by calling Cain out on his previous statement.

The second gaffe came last night on Piers Morgan’s show as Cain told Piers in a convulted, John Kerry-esque way: “I am anti-abortion but pro-choice.”

So in roughly the span of 24 hours, Herman Cain unwittingly tried to roll back 200+ years of foreign policy and then doubled down by sticking it (again, unwittingly) to the pro-life crowd.

A friend emailed me this morning: “Does Herman Cain have a policy team?!” As in a policy team like most high level campaigns have? No, he does not. This is a man, as Joe Scarborough said, who was on a book tour and woke up one morning leading the Republican primary for President. Given the blindly fast pace of Presidential campaigns, I think he has been caught flat footed and will not recover in time.

It remains to be seen how many more of his 15 minutes of fame Cain has left. I am guessing that over the last 24 hours he lost about 10 of them.