A Very Political Podcast.

History might be written by the winners, but presidential politics is often shaped by the Long Shots. In a new podcast series from Inside Voices, veteran journalist Conor Powell and executive producer Gary Scott explore eight presidential candidates who lost the race for the White House but permanently changed America’s political landscape – right up to today.

Available on:

Herman Cain: The Godfather

In 2012, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO ran for president and struck a nerve in a party that was craving a candidate who would 'tell it like it is'. He lost, but someone else was watching by the name of Trump.

Many people dismissed businessman Herman Cain as an entertaining, if inept, sideshow during the 2012 Republican presidential primary. But the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO struck a nerve among conservatives craving a candidate who would 'tell it like it is'. Indeed, Cain, who came up in the Tea Party movement, led the GOP contest just weeks before the first votes were cast – then an avalanche of sexual misconduct accusations derailed his campaign. A closer look reveals Cain was an entertainer, yes, but also a window into the soul of the modern Republican Party, which would come to embrace another entertainer, Donald Trump, four years later.

Herman Cain: The Godfather Transcript

PART I:

NARRATIVES MEAN A LOT IN PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS.
TAKE 2011.
FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY BEGAN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY AS THE CLEAR FRONT RUNNER.
HE HAD THE BACKING OF MUCH OF THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT – WITH FUNDRAISING NUMBERS TO PROVE IT.
BUT HE WAS LOATHED BY THE HARD-CORE CONSERVATIVES AND TEA PARTY ACTIVISTS.
SO LONG BEFORE ANYONE VOTED, THE NARRATIVE OF THE 2012 GOP CAMPAIGN WAS -WHO WOULD BE THE ANTI-ROMNEY CANDIDATE.

ENTER THE GODFATHER

***Bret Baier ***
‘now back to tonight’s Republican debate. Five perspective candidates will try to break into the top tier with a strong performance tonight.

WHEN FOX NEWS HOSTED A PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE ON MAY FIFTH 2011, MUCH OF THE TALK WAS -WOULD ANY OF THESE CANDIDATES CHALLENGE ROMNEY.

ON THE STAGE THAT NIGHT WAS THE GOP’S “JV” SQUAD. THE HEAVY HITTERS INCLUDING ROMNEY SKIPPED IT.

FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY WAS THERE, AS WELL AS LIBERTARIAN CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL, FORMER NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR GARY JOHNSON, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR RICK SANTORUM AND A LITTLE KNOWN BUSINESSMAN NAME HERMAN CAIN.

*** Jan Crawford/CBS***
“The big surprise of the night was businessman Herman Cain. Most people have never heard of him. He really proved to be a fan favorite”

CAIN WAS UNIQUE IN A LOT OF WAYS.
HE WAS A RARE AFRICAN AMERICAN IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.
HE HAD NEVER HELD PUBLIC OFFICE BEFORE.
MORE THAN ANYTHING – HE HAD A BIG AND FEISTY PERSONALITY UNLIKE MOST OF THE GOP FIELD

****Herman Cain ***
“most of the people who are in elective office in Washington DC they have held public office before. How is that working for ya. HAHA. We have a mess. How about sending a problem solver to the White House.

THE PROBLEM SOLVER WAS THE OVERWHELMING WINNER THAT NIGHT.

****Fox News***
“and so who won tonight’s debate. For that answer we now go to our very own Frank Luntz.”

ACCORDING TO THE REPUBLICAN POLLSTER FRANK LUNTZ, CAIN STARTED THE NIGHT WITH JUST ONE SUPPORTER IN HIS FOCUS GROUP.

***Fox News ***
“who won the debate, lets go in alphabetical order. How many of you think Herman Cain won the debate. Well we can stop right there.

ONE BY ONE THE HANDS SHOT UP

BY THE END OF THE DEBATE MORE THAN HALF OF LUNTZ’S ALL WHITE PANEL RATED CAIN AS THEIR FIRST CHOICE. THAT JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN IN POLITICS.

***Fox News ***
John, a word or phrase to describe Herman Cain. He answers the question most direct. A breath of fresh air. Common sense.

*** Linda Hansen ***
He did so well at the debate. Mr Cain pretty much went off the charts.

THAT IS LINDA HANSEN, SHE WAS CAIN’S DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER AND WAS RESPONSIBLE ALONG WITH MARK BLOCK, THE HEAD OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR FIGURING OUT HOW TO TRANSLATE CAIN’S DEBATE SUCCESS INTO SOMETHING MORE.

NOW AT THIS POINT, CAIN WASN’T EVEN A DECLARED CANDIDATE.
BUT HE WAS VAULTING UP NATIONAL POLLS AND ALL OF A SUDDEN GAINING ATTENTION.

*** Linda Hansen ***
We knew at that point. That the time was now to announce.

TWO WEEKS LATER CAIN OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED HIS CANDIDACY IN FRONT OF 15-THOUSAND CHEERING SUPPORTERS – AS, WELL, ONLY HERMAN CAIN, COULD.

***Herman Cain ****
“My My My. Love ya. Aw shukey ducky as the man would say.”

WHILE NATIONAL MEDIA DISMISSED HIM AS MERELY AN ENTERTAINING SIDE SHOW, REPUBLICAN ACTIVISTS AND VOTERS DID NOT.
HE STRUCK A NERVE IN A PARTY CRAVING FOR SOMEONE TO TELL IT LIKE IT IS.
ALMOST OVER NIGHT HE SEIZED THE NARRATIVE OF THE OUTSIDER BUSINESSMAN WHO WAS GOING TO CHALLENGE ROMNEY

HERMAN CAIN THE FRONT RUNNER WAS ALSO BIG, BRIGHT, GLARING SIGN OR MAYBE A WINDOW INTO THE SOUL THE MODERN REPUBLICAN PARTY – AND HOW MUCH IT HAD DRAMATICALLY CHANGED

*** Linda Hansen ***
It was a long shot but we knew there was a possibility that he could become the leader of the free world.

PART II:

HERMAN CAIN IS ANYTHING BUT AN ORDINARY -HOWEVER HIS LIFE’S STORY IS VERY MUCH AN ALL AMERICAN ONE.

BORN IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, CAIN GREW UP POOR IN A WORKING-CLASS FAMILY.

HE MADE HIS MARK AS A BUSINESSMAN – A TURN AROUND SPECIALIST REALLY.
FIRST AT COCA-COLA, THEN PILLSBURY, BURGER KING -BEFORE TURNING AROUND THE STRUGGLING PIZZA CHAIN- GODFATHER’S.

HE BURST ON THE NATIONAL STAGE IN 1994, AS A SORT OF SPOKESMAN FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, WHEN HE ARGUED WITH PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON OVER HEALTHCARE POLICY DURING A TELEVISED TOWN HALL MEETING.

**Herman Cain ***
“If I’m forced to do this, what will I tell those people whose jobs I would have to eliminate?”

***Bill Clinton***
So you would add about one percent to the total cost of doing business would that really cause you to lay a lot of people off if all your competitors had to do it too.”

** Herman Cain ***
“Mr. President, with all due respect, your calculation on what the impact would do, quite honestly, is incorrect.”

NOT LONG AFTER HIS DEBATE WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON, CAIN LEFT THE BUSINESS WORLD FOR WASHINGTON, D-C – BECOMING THE C-E-O OF THE NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION.

HE SOON BECAME A SOUGHT-AFTER SPEAKER WORKING FOR THE POLITICAL ADVOCACY GROUP – AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY.

A CONSERVATIVE SUPER PAC FUNDED BY THE KOCH BROTHERS -THAT BASICALLY CREATED OF THE TEA PARTY.

BY THE TIME CAIN BECAME AN INSURGENT CANDIDATE, HE WAS WELL KNOW TO MANY HARDCORE GRASS ROOTS REPUBLICAN ACTIVISTS.

BUT FEW OTHERS

WHAT REALLY THRUST HIM INTO THE NATIONAL SPOT LIGHT IN THE SUMMER OF 2011 WAS HIS FOLKSY, CONFIDENT, PREACHER LIKE CHARISMA AND SIMPLE POLITICAL MESSAGE.

***Andrew Rafferty***
His messaging was so focused on this idea that we live in a time that people have to walk on egg shells to really not offend people

THAT IS ANDREW RAFFERTY. HE COVERED CAIN IN 2011 FOR NBC NEWS

***Andrew Rafferty***
You had Herman Cain come in and his rallies were totally different. He was way more engaging. He was telling jokes. He was resonating with the crowd. He was railing against this kind of PC culture.

CAIN’S ARRIVAL ON THE POLITICAL SCENE COINCIDED AT A TIPPING POINT IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

FOR THREE DECADES A WAR RAGED INSIDE THE GOP BETWEEN THE COUNTRY CLUB ESTABLISHMENT – THINK THE BUSHES, BOB DOLE, JOHN MCCAIN AND MITT ROMNEY.

AND THE ANGRY ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT GRASSROOTS – PAT BUCHANAN, SARAH PALIN AND JOE THE PLUMBER- REMEMBER THAT GUY FROM THE EARLY DAYS OF THE TEA PARTY

***Joe the Plumber***
“there are too many questions with Barack Obama and his loyalty to our country. I question that greatly.”

IN 2011 THE ESTABLISHMENT WAS CLOSE TO LOSING CONTROL OF THE PARTY.
GRASS ROOTS WERE WINNING ELECTIONS AT EVERY LEVEL.
THEY JUST HADN’T WON A REPUBLICAN NOMINATION CONTEST -YET.
AND THEY WERE VISCERALLY OPPOSED TO ANOTHER POLITICALLY CORRECT, WEAK-KNEED ESTABLISHMENT FIGURE.
THEY WANTED A FRESH FACE.

*** Linda Hansen ***
We personally felt the Republican Party at the time was a little out of touch with the grass roots people.

MICHELE BACHMAN AND NEWT GINGRICH WERE ALSO VYING FOR THIS ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT ROLE.

BUT THEY WERE BOTH LONG TIME POLITICIANS AND PRETTY CONVENTIONAL ONES AT THAT- EVEN IF THEY SAID OUTRAGEOUS THINGS ON TV

SO NOT REALLY OUTSIDERS.

CAIN HAD THE RESUME AND BRASHNESS OF AN OUTSIDER SAYS FORMER FOX NEWS REPORTER CARL CAMERON.

**** Carl Cameron***
He was charismatic. He was humorist. said things that made no sense and that made for great late night political comedy. And he got attention.

CAIN’S RESUME WAS HIS POLITICAL IDEOLOGY.

HE HAD COME FROM NOTHING AND MADE HIMSELF INTO A SUCCESS.

JUST AS HE HAD TURNED AROUND GODFATHER’S PIZZA, HE PROMISED TO TURN AROUND AMERICA

FOR THE GRASSROOTS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, CAIN RADIATED OPTIMISM AND AMERICAN VALUES WITH THE POTENTIAL OF SHAKE THINGS UP IN WASHINGTON.

***Jan Crawford***
“you listen to Herman Cain, no one, there is not one candidate in this field who can talk about America’s greatness, you know that shinning city on the hill. He really connects with people who want to believe America can get back on track, they think it is off track and be a better place for them and their children. He inspires people he reaches people.

PART III:

***Herman Cain***
“the American people are going to raise some Cain in 2012.”

TO SAY HERMAN CAIN’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN WAS UNCONVENTIONAL IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.

***Andrew Rafferty***
His campaign strategy was unorthodox to put it politely

TRADITIONALLY, IF YOU WANT TO BE PRESIDENT YOU PRETTY MUCH MOVE TO IOWA OR NEW HAMPSHIRE
BUILD UP HUGE CAMPAIGN STAFFS IN THE EARLY PRIMARY STATES, SPEND MONTHS EATING CORN DOGS, AND POSING FOR PHOTOS PRETENDING BOILER MAKERS ARE YOUR EVERY DAY DRINK OF CHOICE.

THAT’S NOT WHAT HERMAN CAIN DID.

***Andrew Rafferty***
While people were campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina I was going with Herman Cain to places like Tennessee and Alabama and Texas

DURING THE SUMMER OF 2011, CAIN WAS RISING IN THE POLLS -STILL FAR FROM A CONTENDER BUT BUZZ WAS BUILDING AMONG SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES.
IN SEPTEMBER, CAIN SHOCKED EVERYONE WINNING A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL IN FLORIDA -CRUSHING HIS NEAREST COMPETITORS- TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY, MITT ROMNEY AND NEWT GINGRICH.

***Andrew Rafferty***
That was kind of his first big victory that put him on national platform. All of a sudden, a number of polls came out, national polls, showed him leading.

INSTEAD OF RUSHING TO IOWA OR NEW HAMPSHIRE TO CAPITALIZE ON HIS VICTORY
CAIN TURNED HIS ATTENTION TO A NATIONAL BOOK TOUR FOR HIS NEWLY RELEASED AUTOBIOGRAPHY, “THIS IS HERMAN CAIN!- AND JUST SO YOU KNOW THAT IS THIS IS HERMAN CAIN WITH AN EXCLAMATION POINT.

***Andrew Rafferty***
They weren’t doing the things you see candidates who want to win the presidency and be taken seriously, were doing.

**** Carl Cameron***
It was completely odd. If any candidate does not kiss the ring of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina they are really not a candidate in the sense of someone running for office and expects to win. Herman Cain was exactly that kind of candidate who really wasn’t.

A DAY BEFORE HIS SURPRISING VICTORY, CAIN WASN’T SENDING EMAILS TO VOTERS TO RALLY SUPPORT.

INSTEAD, THE CAMPAIGN OFFERED A CHANCE TO BUY A COLLECTOR’S EDITION OF HIS BOOK.

***Andrew Rafferty***
There was one fundraiser where you could buy the book for $50 or you could get it for $100 if you wanted a signed copy.

NATHAN NAIDU, ONE OF CAIN’S TOP AIDES, DEFENDED THE BOOK TOUR, INSISTING IT WAS PART OF BUILDING UP CAIN’S NAME I-D.

***Nathan Naidu***
Every candidate who runs writes a book. It helps to show where they stand on policy. It helps to show their backstory. Helps you to learn all about them. And we utilized that platform to help share Mr. Cain’s story and what brought him to this point.

NOW IN ALL FAIRNESS, EVEN AS HE LED IN MANY NATIONAL POLLS, CAIN WAS STILL A VIRTUAL UNKNOWN TO MANY VOTERS.
BOOKS ARE A GREAT WAY TO RAISE YOUR PROFILE.
STILL PUNDITS CONTINUED TO QUESTIONED THE CAMPAIGN’S APPROACH.
STEVE DEACE AN IOWA BASED CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST AND CAUCUS KINGMAKER CRUSHED CAIN ON HIS RADIO SHOW- ASKING WAS EVEN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OR JUST LINING UP A BOOK TOUR.

*** Linda Hansen ***
Absolutely and I am smiling as I thinking of this. Because People did criticize us for that.

HANSEN TOLD ME, THEIR CAMPAIGN STRATEGY WAS ABOUT BUILDING MOMENTUM IN ALL THE PRIMARY STATES, NOT JUST THE EARLY VOTING ONES.
SHORT ON CASH COMPARED TO OTHER CAMPAIGNS, CAIN’S TEAM WAS BANKING ON WORD OF MOUTH SUPPORT AND ENERGY.

*** Linda Hansen ***
We were really building what I called the safety net states.

IN 2011, JUST AS TODAY, POLITICAL ACTIVISTS, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE COMMUNICATED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA.

HANSEN SAID THAT EVEN BY HOLDING RALLIES IN PLACES OTHER THAN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE, CAIN’S MESSAGE WOULD SPREAD TO THOSE STATES BY ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORTERS.

*** Linda Hansen ***
Those people are on social media they are talking to their friends and relatives in other states. You know newspapers are writing about them. Everything. There is a lot of organic earned media and earned grass roots enthusiasm that comes from that so it was actually part of our strategy to do that.

THIS STRATEGY WOULD NEVER HAVE WORKED IN 1980 OR EVEN 2004

ITS NOT A CRAZY STRATEGY. IT IS ACTUALLY VISIONARY -THINK BACK TO WHAT DONALD TRUMP DID IN 2015.

HE BUILT MOMENTUM AMONG GRASSROOT CONSERVATIVES BY TWEETING AND GOING ON TV. HE EVEN PAID FOR ACTORS TO BE AT HIS LAUNCH TO GIVE THE IMPRESSION OF HUGE SUPPORT.

EVERYTHING TRUMP DID AND SAID SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE EVEN THOUGH HE RARELY SPENT TIME IN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE IN COMPARISON TO MOST CANDIDATES

DESPITE THE CRITICISM, CAIN’S STRATEGY **WAS** WORKING WITH REPUBLICAN VOTERS IN THE FALL OF 2011.

MAYBE THE STRATEGY WAS UNORTHODOX OR EVEN FAULTY.
BUT HERMAN CAIN WAS SURGING.
THE LONG SHOT WAS NOW THE FRONTRUNNER

PART IV:

IN LATE OCTOBER 2011, HERMAN CAIN WAS ON THE COVER OF NEWSWEEK WITH THE HEADLINE “YES WE CAIN”
GET IT? COURSE YOU DO.

THE HEADLINE WAS A SIGN OF JUST HOW FAR THE ONCE UNKNOWN FORMER GODFATHER’S PIZZA CEO HAD COME

**** CBS News ***
“in a few short weeks Herman Cain has gone from an afterthought to a top republican presidential contender.”

REPUBLICANS FLOCKED TO CAIN FOR HIS HUMOR, UNORTHODOX STYLE AND CHEERY OPTIMISM
THEY STAYED FOR HIS SIGNATURE ECONOMIC PLAN

***Herman Cain ***
“9-9-9”

***Poppy Harlow***
“9-9-9 Tax Plan”

***ABC NEWS***
“9-9-9”

***Lawrence O’Donnell***
“Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan”

MORE THAN ANY OTHER ISSUE, AN AVERSION TO TAXES UNITES THE MODERN REPUBLICAN PARTY-
NO CONSERVATIVE POLITICIAN LAUNCHES A CAMPAIGN WITHOUT ANNOUNCING AT LEAST A FEW TAX CUTS PLANS.

IN 2011, HERMAN CAIN- THE BUSINESSMAN ONE – UP-ED ALL THE PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS.
IDENTIFYING THE ONE THING NEARLY EVERY REPUBLICAN VOTER HATES MORE THAN TAXES.

THE U-S TAX CODE.

***David Challen***
“but think about how popular it is for people inside the Republican primary electorate, Americans more broadly too. When somebody says lets toss out the entire tax code. Lets toss out the entire system. Its too complicated. Here is a simple plan

CAIN WASN’T THE FIRST TO OFFER A FLAT TAX – STEVE FORBES AMONG OTHERS TRIED IT IN THE PAST
BUT CAIN DELIVERED, PACKAGED AND MARKETED IT LIKE NO OTHER.

****Herman Cain ***
“You broaden the tax base and together you lower the net, net taxes for everybody.

9-9-9 WAS SIMPLISTIC AND CATCHY.

IT ROLLS OFF THE TONGUE. EVEN NOW, ITS FUN TO SAY, 9-9-9. I BET SOME OF YOU ARE SAYING IT ALONG WITH ME.

***Herman Cain ***
“continuing to pivot off this current tax code is not going to boost this economy. This is why we developed 9-9-9. Nine percent corporate business flat tax. Nine percent personal flat tax. And a nine percent national sales tax.”

IT DOESN’T MATTER THAT CAIN’S TAX PLAN WAS CRITICIZED AS BAD POLICY BY DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICAN. LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES.

ITS SUCCESS CONFIRMS A TRUTH ABOUT VOTERS – THEY LOVE CATCHY SOLUTIONS TO COMPLICATED PROBLEMS – LIKE BUILD THAT WALL. OR LOCK HER UP

IT MADE MANY VOTERS FEEL LIKE SOMETHING THEY HATED COULD EASILY BE FIXED.

IN OUR MODERN POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT WHERE SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES ARE SHARED AND RESHARED THAT IS POWERFUL, AND CHEAPER THAN A TV AD

THERE IN LIES THE BRILLIANCE OF HERMAN CAIN’S BRIEF CANDIDACY.

WHEN HE WAS ON HIS MESSAGE, HE WAS A DYNAMIC AND PERSUASIVE POLITICIAN.

****Herman Cain ***
“message is more powerful than money, and the American people like the message.”

CAIN WAS REALLY UNMATCHED ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE UNTIL DONALD TRUMP CAME ALONG WITH HIS “BUILD THE WALL” MANTRA.

BUT CAIN DIDN’T ALWAYS STAY ON MESSAGE

**** Carl Cameron***
What Herman Cain thought. Herman Cain said.

AS HE ROSE IN THE POLLS, AND FACED GREATER SCRUTINY. CAIN BECAME SOMETHING OF A GAFFE MACHINE

LIKE MANY OTHER POLITICIANS, CAIN FAVORED A BARRIER BETWEEN THE US AND MEXICO – BUT CAIN ALSO ADVOCATED FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN A FENCE TO STEM IMMIGRATION

***Herman Cain ***
‘and on this side of the fence I would have that moat that President Obama talked about. And I would put those alligators in that moat.

***Andrew Rafferty***
He would get blow back for that. he was joking but the reality was people who were at the rallies, it resonated with them they didn’t necessarily view it as a joke.

CAIN ALSO HAD TO WALK BACK COMMENTS THAT HE WOULD BE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH A MUSLIM IN HIS CABINET
AND THAT CITIES SHOULD BE ABLE TO BAN MOSQUES IF THEY WANTED TO.

WHEN IT CAME TO FOREIGN POLICY – NOT PARTICULAR A STRENGTH OF CAIN’S -HE WAS ALMOST PROUD OF HIS IGNORANCE.

***Herman Cain ***
“I am ready for the gotcha questions. And When they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I’m going to say, ‘You know, I don’t know. Do you know? Knowing who is head of some of these small insignificant states around the world I don’t think is something that is critical to focusing on national security and getting this economy going.

AT TIMES IT SEEMED CAIN WAS TROLLING CRITICS WHO WANTED HIM TO BE MORE SERIOUS

*** Herman Cain ***
“Who knows every detail of every country of every situation on the planet. Nobody. We need a leader not reader.”

AS CHRIS CILLIZA THEN OF THE WASHINGTON POST AND MSNBC POINTED OUT -CAIN HERE SEEMED TO BE QUOTING A SCENE FROM THE SIMPSONS
WHERE PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER WAS BEING BRIEFED BY STAFF AND HASTILY MADE A DECISION WITHOUT CONTEMPLATING THE RAMIFICATIONS. HAVE A LISTEN

***Simpsons**
“I’ve narrowed your choices down to five unthinkable option. Each will cause untold misery. I pick number three. You don’t even want to read them first? I was elected to lead not read.”

PART OF HERMAN CAIN’S ATTRACTION AS A CANDIDATE WAS HIS UNORTHODOX STYLE AND SENSE OF HUMOR.
HE REALLY COULD BE FUNNY. UNLIKE OTHER REPUBLICANS- MITT ROMNEY, TIM PAWLENTY- CAIN SEEMED TO ENJOY CAMPAIGNING.

NATHAN NADU

***Nathan Naidu***
At the end of the day, no one was having more fun than Mr. Cain was when out on the road.

CAIN MADE A POINT TO SAY AMERICA NEEDED TO LIGHTEN UP A BIT.

***Herman Cain ***
“I would bring a sense of humor to the White House. Because America is too uptight.”

CAIN ALSO USED HUMOR TO DODGE CRITICISM AND DEFLECT FROM HIS INEXPERIENCE – WHICH AS THE CAMPAIGN WORE ON BEGAN TO SHOW

THE CAMPAIGN WAS ALSO JUST DIFFERENT. MAYBE IT WAS THE LACK OF MONEY OR MAYBE IT WAS JUST A REFLECTED THE UNIQUENESS OF THE CANDIDATE

***Smoking Man Ad***
“Music…Mark Block here.”

THE SMOKING MAN AD, WHERE CAMPAIGN MANAGER MARK BLOCK IS LITERALLY JUST STANDING BY A WALL SMOKING WHILE TALKING TO CAIN’S SUPPORTERS IS UNORTHODOX, STRANGE, AND ALSO REALLY EFFECTIVE.
IN A SEA OF FORGETTABLE POLITICAL ADS, WE ALL REMEMBER THIS ONE.

***Smoking Man Ad***
“we need you to get involved because together we can do this. We can take this country back.

*** Linda Hansen ***
“It wasn’t ever meant to be a commercial. It wasn’t even a commercial. It was meant to be just a greeting to the supporters you know as you put it into your email message to the people who are your supports, right.

CAIN’S STAFF WAS IN LAS VEGAS FOLLOWING A DEBATE WHEN THE CAMPAIGN’S VIDEOGRAPHER CHRIS BRUGARD ASKED LINDA HANSEN WHERE MARK BLOCK WAS.

*** Linda Hansen ***
I said I think he is outside smoking which is where is often was.

*** Linda Hansen ***
Chris went out to video tape him. And it was totally spontaneous and unscripted.

*** Linda Hansen ***
At the end Marc took a drag on his cigarette and it is actually kind of cute because they came in afterwards, for those listeners who don’t know prior to my political work I was a home school mom.

*** Linda Hansen ***
They came in and laughed and said Hansen, which was my term of endearment. Hansen we need a home school mom’s opinion.

*** Linda Hansen ***
We have the cigarette in here and we need to know what to do.

*** Linda Hansen ***
So I watched that video three or four times and I said I hate smoking and I don’t like cigarettes but you need to leave that cigarette in there because it exemplifies who we are. It kind of signified get government out of the way, which is what we were trying to do with the campaign.

WHETHER INTENTIONALLY OR NOT, CAIN’S TEAM DISCOVERED IN THE ERA OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONNECT WITH THE YOUTUBE GENERATION YOU HAVE TO PRODUCE UNIQUE CONTENT.

THE SMOKING MAN AD WAS RIDICULED BY THE MEDIA AND POLITICAL OPERATIVES WHO ONLY KNEW ONE WAY TO RUN FOR OFFICE.

LATE NIGHT SHOWS HAD A FIELD DAY WITH IT

***Stephen Colbert ***
“Wow I don’t know what it is, but something about that guy just seems cool.”

DESPITE THE MOCKING, IT WAS PLAYED AND REPLAYED AND TALKED ABOUT FOR DAYS EVERYWHERE.
IT BROKE THROUGH ALL THE MEDIA NOISE. WHICH IS WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF A POLITICAL COMMERCIAL.

BUT TO SOME IT WAS JUST ANOTHER SIGN THAT CAMPAIGN AND HERMAN CAIN WERE IN OVER THEIR HEADS.

***Andrew Rafferty***
A lot of these gaffs were really adding up.

**** Carl Cameron***
That lack of discipline was very entertaining but it was also an obvious sign this guy not serious because you don’t say the kind of nonsense that he often came up with if you are actually thinking of running an election and win.

DESPITE THE GROWING LIST OF GAFFES, CAIN WAS STILL WELL POSITIONED HEADING INTO NOVEMBER -LEADING IN MOST POLLS AND WITH IOWA CAUCUS JUST A FEW WEEKS AWAY

THEN AS QUICKLY AS HE EMERGED FROM NOWHERE, IT ALL CAME CRUMBLING DOWN.

PART V:

ON OCTOBER 30TH, JUST AS HE REACHED FRONT RUNNER STATUS, HERMAN CAIN’S PAST COLLIDED WITH HIS FUTURE.

*** Linda Hansen ***
As he kept rising in the polls we knew eventually the attacks would come

POLITICO REPORTED THAT DAY, AT LEAST TWO FEMALE EMPLOYEES FROM THE NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION ACCUSED CAIN OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR WHILE HE WAS HEAD OF THE TRADE GROUP IN THE MID-1990S.

***Andrew Rafferty***
Herman Cain lands in Washington, DC the political media capital of the world, and all of a sudden this explosive article comes out. And there is literally no place worse he could be in the country than Washington.

RUMORS OF THE ALLEGATIONS HAD BEEN CIRCULATING FOR DAYS.

***Andrew Rafferty***
Some of the people covering the campaign back in DC had heard some of that stuff.

CARL CAMERON HAD HEARD ALL THE RUMORS AND APPROACHED CAIN ABOUT THEM A FEW DAYS BEFORE IN LAS VEGAS.

**** Carl Cameron***
He flatly denied it and said it was all untrue and it was all a bunch of lies. Its propaganda from people and the forces against his candidacy.”

ONCE THE NEWS BROKE THE CAMPAIGN WAS IN FULL DAMAGE CONTROL.

MARK BLOCK APPEARED ON MSNBC, WHILE CAIN WENT TO FRIENDLIER TERRITORY, FOX NEWS, TO DENY THE ALLEGATIONS CALLING THE STORY A WITCH HUNT

***Herman Cain ***
“I have never sexually harassed anyone. Yes I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association. I say falsely because it turned out after the investigation it to be baseless.

BUT THE DENIALS DIDN’T PUT THE STORY TO BED.
OTHER ACCUSERS CAME FORWARD.

AND IT TURNED OUT, THE NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION ACTUALLY REACHED FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS WITH TWO WOMEN.

CONTRARY TO WHAT THE CAIN CAMPAIGN INITIALLY SAID AND NOT A PARTICULARLY CONVENIENT FACT WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO PROVE YOUR INNOCENCE.

THEN AFTER THANKSGIVING A FIFTH WOMAN, GINGER WHITE, CLAIMED SHE AND CAIN HAD ONLY JUST RECENTLY ENDED A 13-YEAR EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR.

CAIN DENIED THE AFFAIR BUT ACKNOWLEDGED THEIR FRIENDSHIP AND GIVING WHITE FINANCIAL SUPPORT.

SUPPORTERS CALLED ALL OF THE ACCUSATIONS A HIGH-TECH LYNCHING, PARROTING CLARENCE THOMAS’S DEFENSE FROM HIS SUPREME COURT CONFIRMATION HEARINGS TWENTY YEARS EARLIER.

*** Linda Hansen ***
We had been told even during the exploratory committee times, really the only way they would be able to take him out would to quote Clarence Thomas him and make false accusations that would create doubt.

INSIDE THE CAMPAIGN, CAIN TRIED TO REASSURE STAFF.

*** Linda Hansen ***
He just basically said we can’t let it become a distraction. We have to keep focus.

***Nathan Naidu***
Mr. Cain said this is all baloney and we are going to fight it and just keep moving forward and we are just going to keep spreading the message.

TO THIS DAY, HIS CLOSE-KNIT GROUP OF ADVISORS INSIST THE TYPE OF ACCUSATIONS LEVELED AGAINST HERMAN CAIN WERE COMPLETELY OUT OF CHARACTER.

***Nathan Naidu***
I never once heard anything that could even be misconstrued as inappropriate.

EVERYONE I SPOKE TO FROM THE CAMPAIGN WAS RELUCTANT TO POINT FINGERS AT WHO LEAKED THE INFORMATION

***Nathan Naidu***
From the evidence we saw, and the things we heard about, I would not be surprised if it was previous consultants or folks who worked with him who had the research that wanted to put it out.

BUT IN 2011, CAMPAIGN OFFICIALS POINTED THE FINGER SQUARELY AT RICK PERRY.

THE TEXAS GOVERNOR HAS A LONG HISTORY OF PLAYING DIRTY, AND SEVERAL FORMER CAIN AIDES WERE WORKING FOR PERRY AT THE TIME THE STORY BROKE.

TWO WEEK AFTER THE ALLEGATIONS CAME OUT, THE MEDIA STORM HAD BARELY RECEDED, WHEN CAIN STUMBLED AGAIN- BADLY.

BOTCHING A FAIRLY EASY QUESTION ABOUT AMERICA’S MILITARY INTERVENTION IN LIBYA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.

**** Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ****
“So you agreed with President Obama on Libya or not?

**Herman Cain***
“Ok Libya”
Pause
“President Obama supported the uprising, correct?
“I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons. Um nope that is a different one.”
“I got to go back and see um. Got all this stuff twirling around in my head.”

***Andrew Rafferty***
It is one of the ultimate brain freezes of politics.

THE INTERVIEW RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS FITNESS TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF -AND SPREAD VIA SOCIAL MEDIA INSTANTLY.

ANDREW RAFFERTY WAS TRAVELING WITH THE CAIN CAMPAIGN IN WISCONSIN WHEN HIS PHONE STARTED TO BLOW UP

***Andrew Rafferty***
I get a call from some of my colleagues who are back at the bureau telling me about this video that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had just posted, and we need to get reaction immediately as soon as we see Herman Cain.

***Andrew Rafferty***
So I just hang out by this door. And sure enough he comes out. And I ask him something along the lines of do you think your Libya answer today underscores the idea you don’t have a thorough understanding of foreign policy

***Andrew Rafferty***
He just stops looks right at my camera and points and just goes 9-9-9 and walks away.

***Andrew Rafferty***
It was just so emblematic of the campaign no matter what the question was. The answer was always going to be 9-9-9

***Andrew Rafferty***
That was who he was. He was going to talk about what he was going to talk

PART VI:

THE ACCUSATIONS OF MISCONDUCT AND UNFORCED POLITICAL GAFFES WERE STARTING TO TAKE A TOLL ON HERMAN CAIN’S PRESIDENTIAL PROSPECTS AND HIS FAMILY, PARTICULARLY HIS WIFE GLORIA.

THE ONCE UNKNOWN BUSINESSMAN PLUMMETED IN SEVERAL POLLS AND EVEN MORE WORRISOME, THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICANS WHO VIEWED HIM NEGATIVELY SKYROCKETED.

ONLY THE MOST DIE HARD OF SUPPORTERS STUCK WITH HIM AS DONATIONS SLOWED TO A DRIP.

*** Linda Hansen ***
The grassroots did not dry up. I think they would have been there regardless. They were amazing.

CAIN REMAINED A STRONG VOICE FOR CONSERVATIVE ECONOMIC IDEAS
HE JUST COULDN’T GET THROUGH AN EVENT WITHOUT BEING ASKED ABOUT THE ACCUSATIONS.

***Carl Cameron***
In the bright light of political scrutiny. He got burned pretty hard because he was investigated as everyone else was, and had some things in his past

HE WAS SIMPLY RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO RE-ESTABLISH HIS CREDIBILITY.

*** Linda Hansen ***
He took a hard look at this and felt that we were damaged enough that we more than likely would not get the nomination

FIVE WEEKS BEFORE THE IOWA CAUCUS, AN UNAPOLOGETIC HERMAN CAIN SUSPENDED HIS CAMPAIGN CITING THE TOLL IT HAD TAKEN ON HIS FAMILY AND THE CONTINUED DISTRACTIONS.

***Herman Cain ***
“the pundits would like for me to shut up, drop out and go away. —– I am not going to be silenced and I am not going to go away.

***Nathan Naidu***
I of course was really upset. And didn’t want it to end

*** Linda Hansen ***
We started that campaign, I often say, with two crazy people and a candidate that nobody knew and basically no money.

*** Linda Hansen ***
We told him we can take you to number one. We did. But we peaked a little early

SOME CAMPAIGNS JUST FOLD UP SHOP WHEN IT IS OVER AND THE CANDIDATE GOES BACK TO DOING WHATEVER THEY WERE DOING BEFORE THE CAMPAIGN-
WITHOUT ANY CARE FOR THE STAFF AND VENDORS WHO WERE OWED MONEY.

CAIN’S SMALL CAMPAIGN TEAM WAS VERY MUCH A FAMILY AFFAIR.

TO HIS CREDIT, CAIN PAID OFF ALL HIS DEBTS – THE STAFF, VENDORS AND OTHER PEOPLE WHO MAKE A CAMPAIGN HAPPEN.

*** Linda Hansen ***
Mr. Cain made a decision to back out so that there would be enough money to pay all the bills and to make sure the staff could be paid through Christmas so they would not have to worry about how they would handle Christmas with their families.

THIS MAY SEEN TRIVIAL BUT MANY CAMPAIGNS JUST END, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE LEFT HANGING, HOPING THE DEBTS ARE AT SOME POINT REPAID.

CAIN DIDN’T DO THAT BUT HIS CAMPAIGN WAS OVER NONETHELESS.

PART VII:
WE WILL NEVER KNOW IF HERMAN CAIN COULD HAVE ACTUALLY WON THE GOP NOMINATION IN 2012, LET A LONE THE PRESIDENCY
HIS MESSY PERSONAL LIFE MADE SURE OF THAT

BUT IN HINDSIGHT HE DID TELL US A LOT ABOUT A SIGNIFICANT CHUNK OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

AND ITS DESIRE FOR NOT ONLY AN UNORTHODOX CANDIDATE BUT ALSO ONE WHO WAS PROUDLY OUTSIDE THE NORM.

***Andrew Rafferty***
why he resonated at the time that he did was he was totally different than most of the people running in 2012 primaries. And he promised to basically drop bombs and blow the system up

CAIN WAS HARBINGER OF THINGS TO COME. A CANARY IN THE COAL MIND.
SOME HAVE EVEN DESCRIBED HIM AS THE JOHN THE BAPTIST FOR DONALD TRUMP,
WHO LETS FACE IT, HAD AN EVEN MESSIER PERSONAL LIFE.

*** Linda Hansen ***
I often say if we had had Donald Trump’s money and Twitter I think Mr. Cain would have been president. But it wasn’t our time.

**** Carl Cameron***
There are real similarities, they are both hucksters. they are both showman kind of carnival barker types and they are not at all afraid to exaggerate and tell falsehoods if it suits the moment.

***Andrew Rafferty***
It just showcases there is a huge appetite at least the republican electorate, primary electorate, for a voice of someone who is going to come in and just drop a bomb and blow everything up.

HERMAN CAIN WAS A POLITICAL NEOPHYTE.
HE SHOULD HAVE NEVER COME CLOSE TO BEING THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE
IN HINDSIGHT HE WAS WAY CLOSER THAN MANY THINK.

IF HE HAD STAY IN THE RACE WITHOUT THE DISTRACTIONS, OR EVEN WITH THEM, HE MIGHT HAVE WON THE NOMINATION.

I MEAN, DONALD TRUMP FACED SIMILAR ACCUSATIONS FOUR YEARS LATER, AND JUST BULLDOZED HIS WAY THROUGH.

THAT IS REALLY THE LESSON FROM HERMAN CAIN’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.
DONALD TRUMP’S NOMINATION AND ELECTION SHOULDN’T HAVE COME AS A SURPRISE -BECAUSE HERMAN CAIN STRUCK THAT EXACT NERVE FOUR YEARS EARLIER

*** Linda Hansen ***
I knew we were doing something that was changing the course of history. I knew we were hitting a nerve across this country and we were speaking to the needs of people in a way that other candidates were not doing.

***END***

© 2020 Long Shots Podcast All Rights Reserved. Website design & development by Carimus