Captain Kirk: There must be something to do, something I’ve overlooked
Spock: In chess, when one is outmatched the game is over, Checkmate.
Captain Kirk: Is that your best recommendation?
Spock: I’m sor…,I regret that I can find no logical alternative.
Captain Kirk: Not Chess Mr. Spock…Poker!
Star Trek: The Corbormite maneuver 1966
Patton: “Remember the words of Frederick the Great: ‘L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace!'”
Evidence or lack of it not withstanding, the MSM and the blogosphere are all buzzing over the “impending implosion” of the Herman Cain Campaign. The specter of conventional wisdom is hanging over the head of the campaign like vultures over a dying man in the wilderness.
Considering the stress the Cain Campaign must be under (things are grim in NH today) it might be worth noting that we’ve seen this play before and recently too.
May 18th Jon Ward The Huffington Post: GOP Donors Deserting Newt Gingrich
May 18th My friend Tabitha Hale at Red State: Make room for the new guys, Newt. (take a look btw at the link, the first title was “New Gingrich flames out, worst POTUS launch in history)
June 9th Jonathan Martin Politico: The Newt Gingrich campaign implosion
June 9th Seeing Red in Arizona blog: Gingrich: Campaign implosion worsens
June 9th Chris Cillizza and Karen Tumulty Washington Post: Gingrich presidential campaign implodes (note the reverse of Tabitha Hale above, Tabitha a blogger/activist with an opinion started with a pejorative headline and instead published with less of an edge, our unbiased journalists of the MSM started with a factual headline “Gingrich senior aides resign” in the link and went pejorative.
June 9th JEFF ZELENY and TRIP GABRIEL New York Times: Gingrich’s Future in Question After Aides Quit en Masse
June 10th Brian Preston PJ Tatler: Why the Gingrich implosion is different from the McCain implosion in 2007, and how it relates to Gov. Perry
July 5th Zeke Miller Business Insider: Imploding Gingrich Campaign Raises Paltry $2 Million
July 6th My friend Robert Stacy McCain The Other McCain: I Bet Doug Hoffman Is Laughing Today
Looking at those headlines, from all kinds of sources, from a small blogger in Arizona to the “paper of record” you would judge that Newt Gingrich was all but finished and owed it to himself and the field to exit gracefully, and I can think of several people (Bachmann, Cain, Huntsman, Johnson, Paul, Perry, Roemer, Santorum and perhaps Romney) who wished he did just that. Instead of embracing convention wisdom he rejected it and currently finds himself at the top of the polls.
Meanwhile a rather competent Governor by the name of Tim Pawlenty took the opposite route, consider these stories:
Aug 5th Peter Ingemi The Conservatory: An Important Detail, and Pawlenty’s Last Stand
Aug 7th Fox News: Pawlenty: Iowa Straw Poll is Marker, Not a Must-Win
Aug 8th John McCormick Bloomberg News: Failure in Iowa Straw Poll Could Doom Pawlenty’s White House Bid
Aug 13 Zeke Miller Business Insider: Pawlenty Loses Top Advisor, Cancels Ad Buy Before Iowa Straw Poll
Aug 13 Peter Hamby CNN: Questions for Pawlenty after straw poll finish
Aug 13 Reg Chapman CBS Bachmann Gains Steam In Iowa, Pawlenty Loses It
Aug 14 IMTIYAZ DELAWALA and MATTHEW JAFFE ABC: Pawlenty Drops Out of Presidential Race After Disappointing Straw Poll Finish
Note the Aug 7th comment by Pawlenty. He says explicitly that the Iowa straw poll is not a must win for him. In fact on my radio show that weekend Stacy McCain said this:
the Iowa republican part hosts this event at Ames, and the campaigns, each of the campaigns buys a place in the event and they bring their supporters too, tickets are for sale so it’s a fundraiser for the GOP of Iowa, but many Campaigns buy tickets for their supporters and hand them out, and so so as I said it’s viewed as a show of organizational strength. who has the money who has the manpower who has the volunteer enthusiasm to get the people out to the straw poll to vote for their candidate.
Yet despite this reality, Tim Pawlenty decided that he could not continue while other candidates who did much worse are still in play. Why? Because he embraced the conventional wisdom, followed the lead of the MSM and decided it was time to go. He was unwilling to fight for the votes he didn’t have.
And this brings us to Herman Cain.
Tim Pawlenty has a cerebral reputation, like Spock he’s playing chess and found himself checkmated. Herman Cain is more Kirk, he needs to play poker but Cain’s position is the reverse of Kirk’s. Herman Cain knows if his foes have the cards, or if they’re bluffing.
So what does he do? Well if Cain knows they hold the cards (meaning he’s lying) the right move is a speech saying something along the lines of: “Unfairly or not these charges have raised questions with the voters and with so many other excellent candidates in our field to choose from I simply don’t have enough time to properly reassure voters before election day.” That’s the rub, in an internet age, particularly since the MSM will not abandon their curiosity at the door (as they have for Obama) there is no way the press can be kept from playing a winning hand, and if Mr. Cain doesn’t understand that Sarah Rumph notes his lawyer sure does.
Now if he knows they’re bluffing it’s a different ballgame. In that case he is absolutely foolish to abandon the race.
It’s plainly clear that the majority of the GOP and Tea Party base simply don’t trust Mitt Romney, they see him as the candidate of the GOP establishment candidate who they don’t trust and the current front runner Speaker Gingrich is only a hop, skip and jump from the same problem and while other candidates have not surged your frugal use of campaign cash assures your ability to hang in there.
I am not a political consultant, but if you are going to fight, here is what I think you do:
1. Go on the offensive, point out that these accusations started when the subject turned to tax reform and your 9-9-9 plan. Point out it’s not you they are after, it’s the specter of real reform. Tell the voters it isn’t the media out to get you, but the status quo.
2. Do a couple of small tea party events: Interact with the average voter, answer their questions not the MSM. If you convince them what NBC/CNN/MSNBC/ABC/CBS says means squat, their viewers and readers are not your target audience. Winning them will win their friends and more importantly make a difference in their social networks.
3. Do lots of local media: For smaller papers it would be a big get and they are more likely to give you show your campaign some deference to get the interview. (DaTechGuy on DaRadio on WCRN would be an excellent choice btw). All politics is local, make that work for you.
4. Play up conservative stories: Operation fast and furious, and the calls for Eric Holder to resign are ignored by the MSM, every time you answer a question from them should include a reference to this. Force those ignored stories into the mainstream. It will make you many friends among the voters you need.
5. Hit local dems at every stop In any location you are in bring up the name of any democratic Representative and or Senator currently in congress that represent that location. Link them to president Obama and call them out on the lack of a democratic budget. Every time you do that you help the entire ticket and win friends.
6. MEND FENCES WITH FRIENDS: You need to talk directly to people like Dan Riehl, Ladd Ehlinger, Robert Stacy McCain and anyone else who the hardcore conservative voter reads and believes. Be straight with them, acknowledge the mistakes the campaign has made. All of these people want to beat Obama and want a true conservative alternative. Give them a reason to believe that person is you.
7. Take the advice I’ve been giving you for weeks HIRE JIMMIE BISE or ROBERT STACY McCAIN or whoever they recommend (Sarah Rumph?). Put them in charge of new media and DO WHAT THEY ADVISE. Facebook, twitter and the social networks are the battlefield where you can turn this around. Bypass the MSM.
In this business perception becomes reality, but if you are strong enough and bold enough and have right on your side you can change that perception. People are looking for leadership and someone willing to fight. My own vote is still available. If you want it then fight for it and don’t give up until the math says otherwise.
The choice is yours. Make the right one.
Update: two sixes should have been one.