Visual source: Newseum
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.
It’s an operation that has repeatedly contradicted its own candidate, leveled baseless charges, and put Cain in difficult political spots with little apparent forethought.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.
Oh? And where were you last month with this assessment?
But what does mean for Iowa and elsewhere? A Republican state operative figures that “If Cain’s supporters (which I peg at 7-8 percent) stuck by him this long, they won’t have any qualms about [Newt] Gingrich’s past indiscretions.” Well, at least his marital ones. But he also says that “there is not really bad blood between him and [Mitt] Romney so I would ping that as a close second” (in terms of where the Cain voters go).
Romney supporters willing to talk at least on background suggest that either this report doesn’t make all that much difference (since Cain’s support was plummeting anyway) or it may provide a mild boost for Gingrich.
I’ve got another theory: This gives Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Rick Santorum an opening to restate their case to values voters, making this as much about Cain as it is about Gingrich.
I’ve got yet another theory: all the GOP candidates in the race have little chance of winning in 2012, including Romney—who has the best chance but will be damaged goods by the time this is over. Unhappiness with Obama (less Wall Street and more Main Street attention, Mr. Plouffe) will make this competitive, but the battle for the soul of the GOP will hurt the candidates and hurt the tea party (remember them?) immeasurably by exposing the big business at all costs/soak the poor Republican establishment to the light of day.
On top of powering his rise, Gingrich’s base groups are some of the most likely to actually show up and vote in GOP primaries.
Tea party districts sour on tea party – The tea party movement has become markedly less popular in the same districts that sent tea party officeholders to Washington, according to a unique analysis of national polling by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released Tuesday. Almost as many Americans who live in tea party congressional districts now disagree as agree with the movement (25 percent agree, 23 percent disagree), a rapid shift from one year ago, when adults in these districts supported the movement by nearly two-to-one (33 percent agree, 18 percent disagree)
This year, however, a candidate like Mitt Romney would have more time to regroup after an early setback. I’m not just picking Mr. Romney’s name out of a hat. It seems that the candidate who could benefit the most is one who had stronger “fundamentals,” like fund-raising, campaign infrastructure and institutional support, which could potentially outlast transient swings in polling. That describes Mr. Romney better than it does someone like Mr. Gingrich, who does not perform well in these areas…
To be clear, this would not be Mr. Romney’s preferred path to the nomination. If party elites seemed to want to overturn the will of the voters, their intervention might not be successful — and it could tear the party’s base apart in the process. So to have any chance, Mr. Romney would have to perform credibly well in the early states even if he didn’t win most of them. He’d also want to avoid a strong performance from a candidate like Jon M. Huntsman Jr., who has similar credentials to Mr. Romney and who could compete with him for the remaining sliver of the party’s establishment’s support. But if Mr. Romney passed these tests, he could still be viable.
Game on? Mitt Romney calls Newt Gingrich a ‘lifelong politician’
Mitt’s feeling the heat. He stopped ignoring Gingrich.
NY Times on why the market went up:
The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index advanced for a second day Tuesday as stronger-than-expected consumer confidence data and hopes for further progress on a solution to Europe’s fiscal problems bolstered sentiment.