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Monday, May 9, 2011

Reviewing Citizen Cain

As The Wall Street Journal notes, there is a mini-boomlet for longshot GOP candidate Herman Cain. Not all is going well for him, however. Despite a rousing welcome at the South Carolina debate last week, he stumbled on key details.

And with prominence comes oppo. On Friday, David Weigel wrote in Slate: "It begins! Today, I have been pointed once again to a column Cain wrote right as TARP was passing through Congress. It wasn't a highly-read column at the time, insofar as Cain's not really competing for Kathleen Parker for syndication. It will be highly read if he keeps dominating Twitter and Google searches." Cain's article endorsed TARP: "Owning a part of the major banks in America is not a bad thing. " An October Princeton Research poll for Newsweek found that 79 percent of Republicans thought that the "government bailout of the financial and banking industries" was bad for the country, compared with 64 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats.

And watchdog groups will be watching. On the same day, Michael Beckel wrote at the Open Secrets blog:
Businessman and conservative radio host Herman Cain argued his outsider status was one of his strongest assets during the first Republican presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle Thursday night in South Carolina.

But while Cain has never occupied elected office, he is no stranger to Washington's world of money in politics.

A former chairman of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and senior adviser to the 1996 presidential campaign of Republicans Bob Dole and Jack Kemp, Cain has regularly opened his wallet for political allies, and he even operates his own political action committee, called the Hermanator PAC.

Since the 1990 election cycle, Cain, along with his wife, Gloria, has donated $134,100 to federal candidates, parties and committees, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, including $25,600 during the 2010 election cycle