I’ve taken a few days off, from blogging, email and all things politics. But, tomorrow I go back to NYC and I know things will start moving very quickly again and I might not remember all that I wanted to say about this campaign. So, here goes.
I’m about to present the reasons I think Cain didn’t win this election. These opinions should be seen as just my opinion and not the reflection of the campaign’s thinking.
1. With a week to go in the election, Johnny Isakson and Mac Collins got desperate. Both slammed Cain with lies and half-truths. Isakson sent out a mailing that noted Cain gave money to ‘Sen. Kerrey’. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote at the time ‘Isakson has raised $5.5 million, but couldn’t afford to insert “Bob” in the line above.’ Cain had given money to Bob Kerrey, while head of the National Restaurant Association and living in Kerrey’s state of Nebraska. It was over 10 years ago. And, really, if this is the worst you can find on the man, I’d say that makes him pretty damn angelic. More on the flier from the AJC:
But, honestly, I don’t think that the Isakson flier had that much of an impact. All the calls I fielded in that weekend before the primary were about the Collins radio piece. Everyone wanted to know, was it true Cain had been endorsed by Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH coalition? No, of course it wasn’t.
The Collins staffers had basically warned us that they were going to hit Herman on, well, his being black. His staffers were giddy whenever we’d see them about Herman’s ‘questionable support’. As a very wise 19-year old friend said ‘is it just me or do you hear Collins trying to make sure everyone knows Herman Cain is a black man everytime he speaks?’ That’s exactly what was happening. The office got flooded with calls about the ad. I wonder about all those people that didn’t call to see if it was true.
2. Mac Collins was a walking disaster area. This one is, I would say, the conventional wisdom of those close to the race as to why Cain didn’t make the runoff. Mac had been hemmoraging staff for months. His campaigning was limited to, pretty much, just his district. And his positions were very similar to Cain’s. He pulled too many voters from Cain and not enough from Isakson. He even lost his own Congressional district. He conceded defeat at 8:30pm on election night, with a tiny fraction of precincts counted. Had he campaigned harder, he might have pulled enough Isakson votes to keep him under 50%. Had he dropped out of the race, his voters would’ve likely gone to Cain. He did neither.
3. Cain ran against two sitting Congressmen. A recent poll had Cain’s name ID at 50% with the Republican electorate. So, half the Republican electorate knew who he was and 30% of them voted for him. That’s pretty impressive for a first campaign. I wonder what would’ve happened if the other 50% knew about Cain. I have yet to meet anyone that hasn’t voted for him after meeting him.
4. This one hurts my heart the most. Cain had a party for his staff on Friday night. We all gathered and he invited people to speak up and say what they wanted to say about the campaign or anything in general. Every single black person present told the same story of coming to their polling precinct and being greeted with utter incredulousness when they asked for a Republican ballot (they don’t register by party in Georgia, you choose which party’s ballot you’d like on election day). Feddie at Southern Appeal noted this story:
Like I said, heartbreaking. Somehow I doubt this will be seen as disenfranchising of African-Americans. I don’t think there will be panels formed to look into this travesty. It won’t matter to anyone at all.
I have loved my time in Georgia. I saw a lot of the state and very little of Atlanta, just as I had wanted. The Notorious BIG sang in his tune ‘Going Back to Cali’ (modified slightly to remove profanity): ‘If I got to choose a coast, I got to choose the east, I live out there, so don’t go there. But that don’t mean I can’t rest in the west….’ I live in NYC and I do love it, in my own way. But I feel just as at home in Georgia, I feel like I really belong in a ‘red state’, that while I may live in Manhattan, I’m better suited to small towns where people love G-d, love their country and are good to each other. I saw some really beautiful moments in politics while I was here. I saw opponents sit together before a debate and I saw polite exchanges of ideas. It was pretty mind-boggling. I’m going to try to remember every second of it.
Herman Cain will be back. I saw him this morning when he dropped in on the staff having brunch. He says ’stay tuned’ and we all definitely will. If you work or volunteer in politics, I hope you will someday have the opportunity to work for someone that you admire as much as I admire Herman Cain. He is a breath of the freshest air, he is honest, direct, engaging, brilliant, funny and very, very real. He will never forget your name after meeting you. He will never try to pretend to be something he isn’t. It takes guts that I can barely understand to do what he did down here in Georgia. He shaped the debate, his opponents ended up using his language and positions as their own. He is a force, if you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, go do it. You will never forget it. You will not be the same when it’s over. I know he will do great things and I will be watching closely.
Posted by Karol at 06:43 PM
wonderful post. Welcome back!
I like to think that good things happen to good people so like you said “he’ll be back”.
…….still trying to digest #4.
I’m glad your back.
beautifully put, karol. i can honestly relate, too. coming back from the u of m to my parents’ house in the suburbs, spending the day with people who love america and americans of all colors but still believe they have a right to be safe on airplanes and shelter their kids from things that are bad for them, i’m totally refreshed. i get tired of small towns really fast, but there’s a lot of goodness in simple things like family, and courtesy, and generosity, and community, things i think people in big cities quickly forget about.
i was going to post about this, and i still might, but i think one reason why city people tend to be so much more liberal is because they forget about what life is like for most americans and what the average suburban family struggles with. there’s a lot of denial and a lot of naivete. your average american is not the average new yorker. the average american eats fried chicken, has a mortgage, and hasn’t been abroad, and hasn’t smoked crack, and doesn’t really see those as bad things. the average american is interested in having a home and a family and a good job and maybe a dog, or a few cats, and a nice car to get around in. city liberals write off so many things, like the meaning of private property to the average worker and the rationale behind not seeing boobs on channel five. i have to come back here more often, if only to remember all of that.
and most of our blue-blooded, jet-setting friends would do well to spend some time in georgia, or some small town in america, too. it would give them a much more accurate “perspective” on america than the summer in paris they think is so enlightening.
It’s the G.O.B. Network
Karol @ Spot On left NYC and spent several weeks in Georgia helping with Herman Cain’s campaign for the Senate.
Welcome to the big leagues, rookie.
I think Karol is spot on with Reasons 2 and 3. Cain had no base of support and reamined an unknown factor comapred to Issacson and Collins was not a factor besides hurting Cain. But where will Cain go ? The Senate ? Not any time soon with Chambliss and Issacson blocking the way (or if Issacson loses-yeah, right-maybe Cain will have his chance at 2010). I would guess that Purdue is there in the governor’s mansion until 2010. It seems that Cain has to head to the minor leagues before aiming for a Senate seat. Perhaps he could challenge Taylor for Lt. Gov. or go after Cox for Sec. of State. Now that Cain has some name recognition, maybe he needs to do some AA ball before trying out for the Big Show again.
Certainly the world of ready-made pizza has been forever marked (pun intended) by this courageous man.
Um, Candace, either lay off or up the dosage.
(1) Welcome to Republican attack politics…not to say that there is not attack politics going on on both sides, but the Republicans are often more vicious and more effective. Something you should think about.
(2) It was a 3 way race, right? If he had dropped out, your guy would not have scored 50%. The “he could have knocked the other under 50% if he ran better” is a probably a good point though.
(3) Ummm…I bet there were plenty of the other 50% who voted for him. Your assumption that he won a majority of those who recognized him is not likely accurate. Plus, those who are aware of less known candidates are more likely to vote (i.e., a higher % of the 50% who knew his name likely voted than the 50% who didn’t).
(4) That is shocking (ok, not really, I am too cyncial to really be shocked, but I want to be shocked). But, Karol, were you that outraged about the disenfranchising of black voters in a little state called Florida in a minor election in 2000. Something for you to think about.
And before you launch into some anti-Democrats tirade in response, know this…I don’t like the Democrats either. But I fear the Republicans and dislike their tactics more. I’m not trying to change you from being a Republican, or change your politics. I am asking you to be more introspective about the people who you politically affiliate with. And that includes challenging your boss man and your party when they do the things they do.
Well, we were still glad to have you for the time we did. Hope the trip back was good.
But, Karol, were you that outraged about the disenfranchising of black voters in a little state called Florida in a minor election in 2000
Do you have any proof of this outrageous charge? And if you try to say Michael Moore I’ll reach through the screen and rip off your handlebar mustache Senor.
I love any postmortem of a Republican campaign that invokes Biggie Smalls.
Radical Redneck – The massive purge of not-felons from the voter rolls in Florida is well documented and was judicially noted. I didn’t think anyone even questioned this anymore.
candace – That is the least informed post regarding the liberalism of city dwellers that I have ever seen. I don’t even have the space in the comments section to properly Fisk it. Get thee to a city and speak to a real person living there.
If you can, you know, get them to put down the crack pipe. Sheesh.
Radical Redneck – The massive purge of not-felons from the voter rolls in Florida is well documented and was judicially noted.
In other words you have nothing.
I’m sure there were some here and there. Election commitee incompetance leaves some voters out everywhere – deal with it. In areas heavy with negroes, guess to which party the district’s election commitee belongs? Think real hard. So any “dienfranchised” negroes were done so by Democrats. Something tells me they weren’t intending to prevent other democratz from voting.
Nice try – you lose.
That is the least informed post regarding the liberalism of city dwellers that I have ever seen.
you’re so funny, it only makes sense you perform at NY Comedy Club. You are a perfect example of a liberal city-dweller: when having no facts or arguments, just call your opponent “uninformed”, and say ’sheesh’. Funny, right?
Just got off my flight so will just comment briefly that every person about to be purged off the rolls got a letter months before the election informing them of what was about to happen. A lot of people responded with proof that they were not felons (via pay roll stubs for the time they were supposedly away or just their SS #) and were reinstated. So, yes the Florida disenfranchisement is all nonsense. When I usually have this debate, the person I’m arguing with then says (if they are liberally inclined): ‘but don’t you think stripping real felons of their voting rights is wrong?’ That’s a different argument.
‘but don’t you think stripping real felons of their voting rights is wrong?’
First answer: they don’t have any. Second answer: no!
The fact they are so desperate to have criminals vote their way says all about them and their message.
Save America: eliminate left wing scum (redundant)!
From the Report of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Gov. Bush and Harris “chose to simply ignore the mounting evidence” that voters were having serious problems on election day, perpetuating “a pattern and practice of injustice, ineptitude and inefficiency” that denied those citizens the right to vote. And “The disenfranchisement of Florida’s voters fell most harshly on the shoulders of African Americans,”
The report also concluded there was no conspiracy.
Also, Karol, you ascribed great weight to the personal stories of individuals you spoke to, why are you unwilling to ascribe such weight to the stories of many blacks in Florida (similar stories, like being delayed by road blocks, asked for extra identification, etc.).
The point is NOT whether there is an orchestrated conspiracy by the higher ups in the Republican party, it is whether a blind eye is being turned to individual acts of racism (or simply ignorance).
Radical, if you think that there was no disenfrancisement going on in Florida, why aren’t you attacking Karol’s claims as equally unfounded…after all, all she has is minimal anecdotal evidence. Play the game both ways.
Also, Radical, this is not about left or right wing views, this is about a portion of the electorate not being treated the same. I hope that you are not so far right wing that you don’t think everyone should be accorded equal opportunity to vote.
Signor, You’ve got to be joking. The head of the commission was a Gore supporter. There were only two Republicans on the board and four Democrats. Read this for a good take-down of the report (which, still, found no real evidence of any harrassment of black people). Their conclusions had nothing to do with the evidence they themselves presented. You should read Abigail Thernstrom’s dissent. If she’s written anything else, read that too. I went to hear her speak a few years ago and was shook by the unbelieveable things that went on during their research.
Karol – I didn’t know that those being purged were informed. That doesn’t change much, though. First, after registering, if you know your polling place do you necessarily read mail from the Board of Elections? Second, forcing someone to prove that they are NOT the felon listed in the prison records is not an easy task. I know that you will scoff when I point to an article in The Nation, but this is the first article I’ve found that gives a good enough description of how Florida isn’t really rushing to correct their mistakes. http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040517&s=palast
Radical Redneck – I never claimed that there was direct disenfranchisement of voters AT THE POLLS. I’ve heard anecdotal evidence but never considered it sufficient to support the charge. (The dissent is an interesting article, Karol.) Referring to precinct officials is a non-sequitir. The felon purge was requested by Bush/Harris on a STATEWIDE basis and conducted in such a way that kept a significant number of African-Americans from voting.
Ivan Lenin – Reread candace’s nut graf:
“your average american is not the average new yorker. the average american eats fried chicken, has a mortgage, and hasn’t been abroad, and hasn’t smoked crack, and doesn’t really see those as bad things. the average american is interested in having a home and a family and a good job and maybe a dog, or a few cats, and a nice car”
How am I supposed to respond to the charges that city dwellers do smoke crack but don’t eat fried chicken? Don’t care about family? Don’t think about things like mortgages and pets? Should consider travelling abroad a NEGATIVE?
candace’s description was not a serious one. The main reason city dwellers are liberal is probably because we tend to be less religious. A less religious population will tend to be more socially liberal. And I think social conservatism became tied to economic conservatism for much the same reason.
City dwellers are also typically better educated (in order to work in the professional jobs that tend to be city-based). I think the result of this is that socially conservative country folks are not as introspective about economic policy as those in cities. Country analysis is more based in “work ethic” and “bootstraps” which leads to reluctance to seek help from far away sources and a reliance on community that tends to more local solutions than a general desire to pull up the bottom en masse.
Trust me, the reason city folks are different isn’t because we don’t love our kids.
Ugarte, what do you say about the fact that white people were more likely to be purged off the rolls than black people?
The Burning Question, Continued
Because of #2 here I don't feel so bad about ditching Mac Collins for Herman Cain. Obviously it was time for Mac to retire. And I've seen/heard reports of something like #4 before, so it doesn't surprise me near as much as it appears to do …
ugarte, your post is an example of what happens when you demonize people: you miss the point.
i am a city dweller. i live in a central city apartment that does have families in it, most of whom live on the top floor, most of whom “live” there as one of several city apartments. one family that i’m closer to lives all over the world but stays in my city about 5 months out of the year. they’re lovely people.
noone said you smoked crack or didn’t love your kids. but as someone who gets to the suburbs quite a bit, i can’t help but notice the market change in perspective that i get when i’m here, and it’s a lot like what karol mentions.
i never charged city people of not liking those thing, i charged them of mischaracterizing non-city people. lots of americans don’t care to get abroad; why, when there is so much beauty in this coast-to-coast country? what’s the “classic” american vacation? a ROAD TRIP. not glamourous, maybe, but nothing for city people to look down on.
i get tired of being in the city because they think they know everything about how those silly suburban and rural people live — not all of them, certainly, but there’s a different attitude toward life in a high-rise than there is in a neighborhood with neighborhood codes, a crime watch, and backyards.
next time you want to get angry with someone, pick a real argument, instead of constructing a straw man out of mine.
I think you got defensive when nobody was attacking you.
Candace’s original post says that city liberals do look down on people from middle America. For example, they think they are better educated. Which brings me to my next point – they are not.
The typical liberal education rarely almost never teaches you to do anything useful. It teaches you to bullshit eloquently. Hence the dot-com bubble burst, for example. Slick, young city people convinced older rich people that the Internet will make millions for everybody. The dot-com execs didn’t know how to build anything; but they knew how to BS people into giving them money, and the rest we know. Same goes for peeps who work for NYTimes and Village Voice. They don’t provide value of actually informing their readers, but they still survive, because they can BS in a condescending, authoritative manner, which will resonate well with you, if you like to hear how you are smarter than the “regular people”
Reread your own words (and while you are at it, reread mine – I don’t “demonize” anything or anyone). You wrote about what the average American “is” not how they were characterized by liberals.
You said “the average american is different than the average new yorker because the average american does X, Y and Z.” The clear implication is that the average New Yorker does NOT do X, Y and Z. I, for one, am a fried-chicken-eating, road tripper with a mortgage who used to rent an apartment, but still manage to eat fancy food and travel to three other continents. I expect that there are a lot of me in Republican country also. You set up the strange David Brooksian dichotomy, not me.
The examples you elected to use (”fried chicken”; “crack”; “mortgage”; desire for “home and family”) indicate that city folk are caviar eating, crack smoking renters with little regard for possessions or family. The examples are yours, not mine, so don’t blame me when I point out how ridiculous they are. Making those criticisms from within the city limits doesn’t make them more credible, it only makes me wonder if you ever leave the house (much less, to take a ROAD TRIP or even, heaven forbid, to go abroad).
Forgive me, but your analysis is facile and insulting. That isn’t demonization, it is criticism.
Ivan Lenin -
Not sure how to respond. Your comment looks a lot like the product of the liberal education you bemoan. Long on form, short on substance.
City people aren’t SMARTER than country people, but they are (generally) more worldly. Circumstances force this. The business that goes on in large cities is different in kind than the local businesses that dominate most of the rural landscape. The internet and other technology and media is leading to a convergence that is likely to make this change irrelevant in fairly short order, but it isn’t untrue now.
I don’t know how NYT and VV got dragged into this, but I have no desire to defend either paper. I loved Ira Stoll’s smartertimes.com and think the VV lost its way a long time ago.
I need to think about it and source check the article. It would be very interesting if the truth were as simple as that sentence sounds. Don’t think that I didn’t notice the statistic, I just hadn’t heard it anywhere else.
Karol – The one sentence you refer to doesn’t appear supported by the Thernstrom dissent (it just isn’t a covered topic) and ‘Felon Franchise’ is not about the Florida purge at all, but the broader question of voting rights for felons. I can’t find Kirsanow’s source from the Miami Herald. It doesn’t sound like a credible claim to me.
It also doesn’t explain that when the 2004 purge list came out it included only 61 (more-likely-to-vote-Republican) Latino names out of ~50,0000 when Hispanics make up 11% of the Florida prison population.
The examples you elected to use (”fried chicken”; “crack”; “mortgage”; desire for “home and family”) indicate that city folk are caviar eating, crack smoking renters with little regard for possessions or family. The examples are yours, not mine, so don’t blame me
have you heard of a thing called “logic”? These examples don’t refer to how Candace sees city folks; they refer how they see themselves, and so far, you have only reinforced what she said.
Not sure how to respond. Your comment looks a lot like the product of the liberal education you bemoan. Long on form, short on substance.
As opposed to your highly substantial argument? Give yourself a break, honey.
Again, by trying to insult your opponent’s intelligence, ignoring their arguments, and constructing fictious ones, you keep providing proof that she is right, and you are simply full of yourself, and as a consequence, don’t know what you’re talking about.
What’s funny is not so much that you’re too lazy to think – we all are, at least sometimes. What’s funny is that you don’t want to see it. You will never make a career in comedy, unless you learn to relax your brilliant anus.
Ugarte, I don’t want to make this about whether felons can or can not have rights. As I said, it seems that liberals always twist the argument into that when they run out of facts to support the argument that blacks were disenfranchised in Florida. The Miami Herald is a liberal paper and only 40% of Hispanics went for Bush in the last election, I don’t see how that can translate to ‘more likely to vote Republican’, assuming that at least the other 50% chose Dem. It’s grasping at straws to say that disenfranchisement occured in Florida and it is the product of a segment of the population that still can’t believe Bush is president. As I said, I’m waiting for you (and others like you) to get as worked up over what went down in Georgia, where black people were treated like they belonged to the Democrats. But no one will say a word.
ugarte, you’re still not on the same page, and i wish you would just suck it up and let me speak me words instead of speaking them for me.
for your information, i just went on a road trip in april, and am going abroad in a few weeks. i was heavily involved in my community growing up and am heavily involved now. if you have to characterize me otherwise in order to “win,” you have no point.
i made a full post on this and i think you’ll be satisfied by ken’s good criticisms over there. the bottom line is, i notice a huge difference when i’m in seattle and when i’m in my hometown, one i’m not content to just write off. there is something significant there in the general liberal/conservative divide, and i’ll continue thinking about it and putting my theories out there until i figure it out.
Ivan – if you read that in candace’s post, you are a psychic. If you want to insult me, fine, but I’ve tried to be respectful. If you can’t see it, it’s because you have decided to treat all those to the left of you as if we run around screaming invective. I don’t. Thanks for the career advice. Just took a shit. I think it worked.
Karol – I don’t want it to be about felon’s voting rights either. I think the argument made by Kirsanow is a good one if it is true, I just don’t see where there is any evidence of it. It is an unsupported statement in the article. As for the black/hispanic divide, 40% is a lot better than was expected from black voters. And congratulations on being the first Republican strategist that doesn’t think that Hispanic votes are the key to Florida. What happened in Georgia was appalling; I’ve heard that it happens here in NYC to Republicans also, for what that’s worth.
candace – I’ll check out your post and comment there.
ugarte — why so vicious? it’s the free marketplace of ideas, they are out here for testing. if you could realize that i never said city people were evil, we would get somewhere. the bottom line is there is something to what i said, just like there is something to what karol said, and the task is figuring out exactly what it is. if you are just trying to prove that i’m a “nutjob” or whatever you called me, then … well it’s obvious that’s not constructive, and it’s also obvious that you’re wrong, but also obvious that you’re not interested in giving the issue real thought.
Carnival of the Vanities #97
Welcome to the 97th Edition of the Carnival of the Vanities. This week’s Carnival takes us on a tour of “On This Date in History,” highlighting important historical events which have taken place on July 28th. Each person who submitted an entry chose t…
I don’t have a problem with people to the left of me, or to the right of me. There are plenty of people, including here, with whom I disagree politically and whom I respect. I’ve tried to be reasonable. You seem to take yourself too seriously. Otherwise, I don’t understand why you would get so defensive, and so insistent at complaining of being demonized and stereotyped.
I’ve tried to be respectable as well, but if you lack the ability to laugh at yourself, you will take simple jokes as insults. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings.
It’s like you aren’t even reading what I write.
I know you think the same thing about me, so we might as well just all give up.
ugarte: sure, but let me apologize if it came off like i was trying to say city people smoke crack, hate their kids, etc. you are right about the religion thing, something i expanded on in my post. funny, i feel like we’re finally headed in the right direction, and you think it’s time to give up. oh, well. liberals.
I think what we ultimately disagree on is if the cosmopolitan, urbane perspective is the right one. That’s what elections are for, I guess.
If it weren’t for that damn electoral college …
Carnival of the Vanities XCVII
Jeff Doolittle hosted the 97th COTV this week. It contains my post about Colin Powell’s being not black enough for some people and how that undermines one of the primary motivations for affirmative action. I don’t mention this post at…
hmmmm! Can people control people? And, why would they want to? What is more intrusive? A television episode with something “offensive” or “different” or people unable to partake of the American dream because of harassment. I’ve never seen these “different” and “offensive” people knocking on neighborhood doors unannounce while forcing his or her views down people’s throats. If people can only be community oriented to their own “kind” while exchanging friendly diverse ideas and opinions without civil unrest, then the same can be delivered to all citizens.
Why assume about “city” people. Some of the comments are incredibly inaccurate and obviously uninformed. I for one would choose city living over rural or suburban living -not because of the “cold” or fast-paced living but because of having the freedom to live without “neighborly” intrusion in all aspects of my life. My experience in small towns have always been negative….and that’s with an extremely objective viewpoint. Everytime I would give someone the benefit of the doubt, allow them “inside my life”, and let them help whether I needed it or not the same predictable behaviors formed….CONTROL.
Politically speaking… It seems to me conservatives and republicans want to dumb people down and create dependent thinkers who appear to be religious, saints, community-oriented and all of those 50’s and “PLeasantville” type mentalities. Question. Why?
Democrats do have their faults as well as liberals. I think they should respond more intelligently to conservative attacks rather than the shock response to conservative hypocrisy.
I am a straight and decent human being in America and treasure our freedoms which stand out among all countries in the world. I would like to keep it that way. Communism is not my cup of tea no matter what flavor, shape or size it comes in. Control is control is control. What’s more important America? Your way? Or, freedom? I think that’s what most democratics treasure more than anything even with all of their imperfections. You can’t please everyone. This also includes conservative opinion regarding judgments towards democrats….”the pot calling the kettle black.” ….hence…”political correctness.” Why do you think these rules and laws were initiated? Because, people wanting their way. Spoiled children! It’s more important to walk through “pleasantville” than to tolerate an irritant everyday and maybe educate your children according to each family’s beliefs. Is that too much work? Maybe it is in comparison to teaching your kids to hate, be beligerant, play head games with others, threaten, bully, etc.
Wake up America! All empires fall eventually. Some sooner than others. Hmmmmm. Any clues to why! Anyone up for a history lesson here?