Herman Cain cannot stand the heat in the political kitchen, and now taxpayers must fund his security

November 19, 2011

While I understand someone running for political office might well get frustrated when he feels his message is being distorted, I don’t see how one could think he could completely control everything described or depicted of him. But that seems a favorite tactic among political candidates these days, particularly Republicans, it seems, who see all journalists as left-wingers and secret or not-so-secret fans of the Democratic Party.

After being rightly embarrassed by his major flub on a foreign policy question in a taped editorial board interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, GOP presidential primary candidate Herman Cain cancelled a meeting with the editorial board of the New Hampshire Union Leader, demanding that he not be videotaped (even though other candidates agreed to being video taped).

It is unclear, according to reports, what the reason for the cancellation was, if indeed there was one, beyond the fear of more embarrassment. The Cain camp, in addition to no taping, also wanted a shorter interview.

I don’t know, even if you hated the reporters or editors or the whole newspaper, what would it hurt to try to get their endorsement? What would it hurt to get your views out to potential voters?

The Union Leader has a tradition of playing an important role in the presidential election process (and as far as I know, it always supports the conservative cause). Making them mad, I mean it does not seem like a wise political move. Like it or not, to be an effective president, one has to be able to play the political game — no one has ever been able to take the politics out of politics.

How strange, when political candidates or important public figures have something to sell or boast about they call for media attention, but if things turn the other way, they have no use for the media, as if journalists had no more purpose than publicity writers, as such people were called before someone thought up the term (euphemism, really) public information specialists.

(While it was probably not the first time, my first memory of a politician trying to control the media message was when President Richard Nixon had his “Committee to Re-elect the President (the name itself, not mentioning Nixon the person, seemed to indicate it was a public duty to re-elect THE PRESIDENT). He conducted a whole re-election campaign, as I recall, without any actual open public appearances, just controlled photo ops. He did win, but I think I could have beat George McGovern.)

If I think what I am watching is simply an infomercial, why would I bother?

Cain thinks he could become president of the United States but his image cannot be seen unless he has complete control over it (edits out his flubs)? What universe, what country, is he living in? Maybe the pressure is just too much. It certainly seemed to be in that disastrous interview in Milwaukee. He actually indicated he had canned answers and got them mixed up, couldn’t remember the one he was supposed to use:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAGGpK7bSWc&feature=related

As Harry S Truman was often quoted as saying: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”.

Since such a prima donna as Cain really has no chance anyway in a general election, this is probably useless to comment upon.

But I for one resent the fact that someone who wants to be part of the public political life thinks he can control the free flow of information and that he does not have to subject himself to public scrutiny and even the unkind and even sometimes unfair things said and depicted about people in public life.

Grow up Mr. Cain or at least don’t bother us with your fairytale about being the president of the United States; you apparently cannot handle the job.

And now to add insult to injury, Cain has asked for and received Secret Service protection due to death threats. Certainly no civilized person would want to see anything bad to happen to someone trying to run for political office (except losing the election). But it is galling that someone who rails against wasteful government spending wants us to pay for his security. I would think such a reportedly well to do man could hire his own — you know, take personal responsibility.

I don’t know how many candidates have had to have Secret Service protection, but one story I read said that Barack Obama had it even before he was nominated by his party.

Coincidentally, or not coincidentally, both Cain and Obama are black — there is still a strong contingent out there who cannot accept a black in authority.

I am a supporter of the Second Amendment, but it is tragic that any nutcase can get a gun and threaten society. Think about poor Congresswoman Giffords of Arizona, who suffered devastating injury, and the others who were killed or injured while meeting with her. Just one crazy man is all it takes (and remember Oswald?).

P.s.

I read a quick bio of Cain via Wikipedia. I hate to be so hard on someone who has apparently worked his way up from humble beginnings, and who apparently had such a good example at home growing up, but as honorable as he may be (or may not be? the sex harassment questions?), he still does not seem to have the broad base of knowledge needed to be president (not that all who have served in the office have measured up to the job).

Another thing about Cain and his CEO mentality is that he keeps saying he would consult with knowledgeable people (he’s just the leader) — so why don’t we elect knowledgeable people in the first place? Heck I could do what someone tells me (if I wanted to).

Okay, there is such a thing as leadership ability (which life experience tells me I don’t have) beyond pure knowledge, but I think a leader needs wide knowledge as well.

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