Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cain Touts Skills as Manager; Ex-Aides Describe Chaos

Personally, my view of Herman Cain is that the man's an ego maniac nutcase. How he ever rose to the position he did at Godfather's Pizza is baffling based on the interviews of the man and such that I have seen. Yet, Cain touts himself as a skilled manager - even though logic and objective facts don't appear to figure very high a priorities to Cain. His ideology and ego seem to trump everything else. Now, some of his former aids are speaking out and they do not paint the picture of Cain that he's trying to sell to the public. Admittedly, logic and rationality are not things considered important by the Christianist/Tea Party base of the GOP, yet one would think large, well heeled GOP contributors would want at least some semblance of these qualities. The New York Times looks at the emerging conflicting image of Cain. Here are some highlights:

If Herman Cain feels his management skills are up to any challenge, some of his former staff members think he should have started with the disorder in his own campaign.

Mr. Cain has hardly shown up in New Hampshire and Iowa, they said, spending the bulk of his time on a book tour through the South. He occasionally mishandled potential big donors or ignored real voters. His campaign churned through the small staff; last week, his campaign announced the appointment of the veteran campaigner Steve Grubbs, his third Iowa leader in four months.

And then there was that e-mail to the staff about traveling in a car with Mr. Cain: “Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to,” the memo said.

[I]nterviews with Mr. Cain’s former staff members, volunteers and supporters give a glimpse of a candidate who appeared to show ambivalence toward basic campaign management, which led to problems in hiring, scheduling, fund-raising and messaging.

Together, these problems are at odds with a central theme of his candidacy. Because Mr. Cain does not have a legislative or political track record, his campaign rests heavily on the contention that he would bring proven, executive-level expertise from the business world to the White House.

Several former workers interviewed for this article said they were directed by the campaign not to speak with reporters. (Two said they had signed nondisclosure agreements, a rare demand within political campaigns, and they had been reminded, they said, by the campaign not to speak with the news media.)

Management problems extended to important events. In July, a businessman and Tea Party supporter, Bill Hemrick, invited some 200 friends to the private Standard Club in Nashville to meet Mr. Cain. Mr. Hemrick said the Cain campaign had asked him to serve as its financial chairman for Tennessee.

After speaking to the crowd, Mr. Cain was to attend a private club dinner for a select group of conservatives, who were in a position to donate the $2,500 maximum. But somehow Mr. Cain forgot, or his staff failed to follow through. After his speech, Mr. Cain called to thank Mr. Hemrick for the evening. “I said, ‘I’ll see you upstairs,’ Mr. Hemrick recalled, where the potential donors had gathered. “He said, ‘Well, I’m at the airport.’ ”

On a trip to Iowa last weekend to participate in the Faith and Freedom Forum, a meeting of evangelical conservatives, Mr. Cain stayed on his campaign bus until it was time to take the stage, while other candidates worked the crowds. Shortly after he finished speaking, he left the room.

This is clearly not a picture of how one would want to see an occupant of the White House to conduct business. Add to this Cain's extremism and one can only hope he soon crashes and burns in the polls.

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