The downfall of Herman Cain

What happened, Herman Cain?

Not long ago, you had taken the GOP’s political environment by storm.

You were the epitome of economic hope – you had likeability, personality and electability.

Fast forward to 3 months later.

You’ve endorsed Newt Gingrich for president of the United States.

Clearly, something went wrong.

Just over three months ago, I wrote a column praising Cain and calling for the GOP to embrace his campaign.

I saw the political potential that Cain represented and believed he could become a savvy politician who would achieve success.

The keyword being: potential.

Though Cain could have been a serious political force in the coming elections, he was not.

Whether or not he was prepared for the scrutiny that befell his campaign remains unclear. However, his bizarre answers to questions outside of his economic areas were uncalled for.

The topic of abortion clearly hurt his presidential poise.

“What it comes down to is not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision,” Cain told Piers Morgan of CNN, “It ultimately gets down to a choice that, that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family, and whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision.”

Yet Cain insists that he’s staunchly pro-life?

This seemingly blatant ideological divide is really not an ideological divide at all, but rather a representation of Cain’s failure to communicate.

What Cain was probably trying to say – at least what I picked up from the confusion -was that while he is pro-life, he recognizes it’s not the government’s job to legislate that morality into federal law, and believes it should be up to the family to decide whether or not to have an abortion.

We can all agree that a president must be an effective communicator. He must sympathize with Americans about their problems, argue intellectually, think quickly, and be clear along the campaign trail about his personal ideology.

Cain violates all of these assertions.

On the other hand, President Obama is an excellent politician – as much as I disagree with his policies. He is a great speaker, extremely intelligent and sly. I believe he had to be, as his background in politics was not quite as healthy as some of the political opponents that he overcame.

Simply, Cain and his downfall represent a severe flaw within the GOP party. He was never a serious contender.

The bigger problem, however, is that the GOP might have the same problem with their remaining presidential contenders. Will any of them transform into serious contenders?

The answer remains to be seen.

 

Reach the columnist at spmccaul@asu.edu.

 

Click here to subscribe to the daily State Press newsletter.