Herman Cain’s 15 Minutes of Fame Are Up

Herman Cain's 15 Minutes of Fame Are Up

J. Getz/MCT

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain announced he’ll suspend his campaign for presidency in Atlanta, Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011.

Helen Britto, Staff Writer

Officially announcing his intentions to run for the Republican presidential ticket in August of 2011, Georgia native Herman Cain unexpectedly took the polls by storm. Gaining recognition with his 9-9-9 plan, the virtually unknown businessman soared over many of the favored Republican candidates. However, along his road to the White House, Cain encountered more than a few road bumps that showed his 15 minutes of fame would have eventually run out one way or another.

Cain entered the spotlight with his 9-9-9 plan, and it was certainly a leading factor in causing him to leave it. The presidential hopeful emerged with an idea in which taxes would be simplified to include a nine percent income tax, a nine percent business transactions tax, and a nine percent federal sales tax.

While the first two parts of Cain’s plan look like cuts, researchers at the University of Southern California have found his math to be anything but clear. Cain’s reform would in no way help the U.S. receive enough revenue to close the budget deficit and would significantly raise taxes in many states. Critics continued to emerge, and the Tax Policy Center recently displayed findings that showed Cain’s plan would cause a $23,522 federal tax cut for the top 20 percent, and an increase in taxes for the other 80 percent.

However, there are definitely those who don’t care much for facts and statistics, so fellow Republican candidate Michelle Bachmann convinced many that Cain’s plan was faulty by saying: “The 9-9-9 plan isn’t a jobs plan, it is a tax plan. When you take the 9-9-9 plan and turn it upside down, I think the devil’s in the details.”
Whether you choose to go with researchers’ argument or Bachmann’s, it’s clear that in an effort to simplify the tax code Cain has over-simplified to the point of distortion.

It seems the only thing Democrats and Republicans have in common these days are the ever-present sex scandals, and apparently Cain didn’t want to be left out on all the fun.
Allegations over sexual harassment quickly began popping up right and left, and the first person to speak up against Cain’s sexual harassment was Sharon Bialek. Bialek said while coming to Cain for help in securing a new job, he repeatedly attempted to grope her.

Since her announcement, two more women have come forward publicly, and two more privately. With a total of five women claiming they were sexually harassed by Cain, it only seemed obvious the presidential-hopeful would step up and tell the truth.  However, in true politician fashion, Cain repeatedly denied the incriminating charges.
Cain’s lawyers took a less direct approach, never fully denying the charges, but saying this was a personal matter for Cain that shouldn’t be discussed publicly. Unfortunately someone forgot to inform them that in politics your business is everyone’s business. Just take Anthony Weiner, or Larry Craig, or even Bill and Monica.

However it wasn’t until a woman named Ginger White came to the press with evidence of a 13-year-long affair with Cain that the GOP hopeful and his lawyers began to reassess his path towards the presidency. They began to realize where there’s smoke there’s fire, and even more importantly where there are text messages and photos, there’s undeniable evidence of an affair.
Cain’s lawyers weren’t the only ones working hard this campaign season. The GOP hopeful’s advisors worked full time to create an ad that would catch the attention of those around the country. And that it did. Cain’s ad is only 30 seconds, but it left viewers throughout the nation wondering what in the world his staff was smoking.

During the ad, Cain’s Chief of Staff pleads with the country to help elect Cain, and by doing so, they would make the America a better place. This technique is nothing new to campaigning circles, but this ad took an interesting turn when the chief of staff unexpectedly whipped out his cigarette and began to smoke as patriotic pop music played in the background.
To make matters worse, the camera cut to a creepy image of Cain attempting to smile for a full eight seconds. Cain’s ad left people around the nation outraged and confused. In the wise words of Stephen Colbert: “With this ad Cain not only shot himself in the foot, but in the lungs.”

Now it’s obvious you’re doomed when most of the country sides with Sarah Palin over you. When Palin predicted Cain was just the “flavor of the week,” not many questioned her; because from the fuzzy math in his 9-9-9 plan, the constant arrival of new stories from Cain’s juicy love life, and his odd campaign ad, it was only a matter of time before Cain’s 15 minutes of fame began to run out. However, as the Cain Train screeches to a halt, the nation seems to have jumped aboard the equally adulterous Gingrich Express. You have to appreciate the nation’s short attention span.