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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cain’s candidacy stalled, but he’ll remain relevant

    Much to the surprise of almost nobody, Herman Cain’s candidacy is at a halt. It seems the “Cain Train” is stalled for an unspecified period of time. Cain was certain to state that he was not going away, and did not specifically say that he was completely withdrawn from the presidential candidacy.

    In preserving the possibility to return to the presidential race, Cain is still permitted to collect donations and use campaign funds in the name of the campaign. His campaign finance lawyers said this enables Cain to possibly fund his “Plan B,” which includes a national tour where he can travel from coast to coast touting his infamous 9-9-9 plan and talk about foreign policy. Essentially the campaign is in a holding pattern, but Cain can still go around making announcements, rallying supporters and gathering funds. More or less, very little has changed.

    Yes, it would seem that Cain’s candidacy is over, but a whole new tactic has emerged in its place. Cain seems to have swiped a page from Sarah Palin’s book and turned his candidacy into a profitable phenomenon where he never actually runs for office, no one ever actually votes for him, yet he reaps all the benefits, enabling him to accept donations, tour the country and drive up his asking price to speak at events.

    It’s difficult to decide whether to call Cain’s actions an ingenious business move or a scummy political exploitation. Cain himself has admitted that he finds politics to be a dirty game, but he seems to have mastered the rules and made them work for him.

    He came up with a simple economic plan that everyday Americans can remember and vaguely understand. He barked of missteps by Democrats, specifically President Barack Obama, but also set himself aside from other Republicans by presenting himself as a down-home, everyday, self-made American. He did his song and dance for the camera and he put on a show. Republicans were dazzled by the smoke and mirrors, but reality finally caught up to Cain.

    While Cain learned the tricks of the trade to politics, he forgot a simple rule. If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword — or in Cain’s case, if you live by the media, you will die by them.

    Cain was able to get away with limited foreign policy knowledge and experience by marveling in public appearances. He simply brought energy and tenacity that gave voters hope in a new breed of candidate. While Cain was a rallying uproar on television, nobody remembered that he had no idea what he was doing. As he was answering every question with “9-9-9,” he was keeping all eyes on him. But unfortunately for Cain, those eyes started searching for more.

    Cain became so popular that his skeletons in the closet were able to break out, and since he was so easily recognized, they caught up to him fast.

    Cain very well may have turned his scandal-based campaign hiatus into a positive outcome, which as a politician is an essential trait. You have to be good at turning a loss into a gain. While his image and candidacy have taken very hard hits, he’s still swinging. Although his aspirations of becoming president may very well never be realized, Cain can still keep himself relevant and keep the cash flow coming. Watch out Sarah Palin, somebody else figured out your game to stay relevant in politics without even holding public office.

    — Storm Byrd is the Perspectives editor. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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