ATLANTA – Barbecue is on a grill and a blues band is tuning up to play songs about Herman Cain outside of a large stucco building that used to be a display room for selling floor tiles on the north side of town here. If this is the way a presidential campaign ends, it is certainly a new chapter in the annals of politics.
For days now, there has been speculation that Mr. Cain would terminate his embattled run for the Republican nomination during an announcement Saturday morning outside of the campaign’s Georgia headquarters. Facing an escalating sex scandal and a plummet in popularity, Mr. Cain said earlier this week that he would be meeting with his wife at home in suburban Atlanta to “reassess” his ambitions. And then he said he would make an announcement.
An 11 a.m. appearance has just this morning been postponed to early afternoon.
And despite the possibility of somber news, it looks more like a summer picnic is in the works.
I won’t be online to track developments but will try and keep up and post via Twitter while I’m out and about this afternoon. As I said last night, I believe he’ll drop out because the money well is drying up – and so is the support, if recent polls are any indication. I think many people were able to overlook the sexual harassment allegations as a “he said/she said thing”- or even possibly a Democrat ‘conspiracy’ of sorts, but his admission earlier this week that he knowingly gave “financial assistance” to a woman “friend” for 13 years without his wife’s knowing about it was just a colossal lapse in judgement that even diehards can’t really explain away. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t blow that off as an “innocent” mistake. If you’re going to be that dishonest with your wife for 13 years, to what level will you go to hide things you do from the people who support you at the voting booth?
It’s a shame, really. Cain really was in many ways refreshing and dynamic – the only true “outsider” in the campaign, which was appealing to many who are fed up with what they see is a ‘culture of entitlement’ with established politicians. He also avoided playing the political games that so many “insiders” do at this stage of a campaign. Until the last month or so.
I believe C-SPAN will be carrying both Cain’s speech and announcement later today. They’ve got it listed for noon, but Right Scoop, who also has a live feed link, just posted that he has a friend on the ground in Atlanta who says Cain won’t speak until around 1:30.
Stay tuned – and feel free to use this thread as an open thread to share your thoughts on Cain and the future of the GOP race for President.