Herman Cain's Harassment Problem May Not be a Problem

By | November 6, 2011

The media, led around by Politico.com, have been doing everything possible to make a real story out of anonymously sourced, hard to corroborate sexual harassment claims against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. While the media is paying a lot of attention to that, a good swath of primary voters don’t seem to be.

At AFP’s Defending the American Dream Summit in D.C. this weekend both Herman Cain and Mitt Romney were keynote speakers at the kick-off session. While Mitt said everything Conservatives might want to hear, it still felt ..  unbelievable – as if he were telling them what they wanted to hear and only what they wanted to hear. He did manage a standing ovation during his speech, but nothing like what happened when Herman Cain took the stage.

Herman got things started by asking “who’s teleprompters are these? I don’t need them!”  And then broke into a reverend-esque revival-style speech that seemed to electrify the crowd. Many may have seen the live stream of his speech on Fox, but I am fairly certain it could not have captured the energy coming from the crowd back at Mr. Cain.

Within just a few minutes of starting his speech, the crowd was on it’s feet. More cameras were in use by the crowd than for any other speaker, including Mitt – by far.

What’s important to note is not just that he did well with a crowd, but that he did well with this crowd. Conservatives that would spend money on a conference ticket, travel and hotel are very likely to be representative of “the 12%” – registered Republicans that actually vote in the primaries.

Throughout the speech Herman Cain received six (not that I was counting) roaring, full-room standing ovations from the crowd while communicating his major policy initiatives:

On foreign policy Herman said that we should persue “peace through strength and clarity.” “We should clarify who our enemies are and we should clarify who our friends are.”

Domestically he again discussed his 9-9-9 plan and went after the EPA’s recent over-reaches.

In addressing recent assertions that he was closely associated with the Koch brothers, Herman said, “I am the Koch brothers brother from another mother.”

As campaign stump speeches go, this one was successful. It was lackluster on detail and rich in soundbites. The upcoming debate between Herman and Newt may help voters understand his policies more in-depth, but this speech shows that he can excite the base even with allegations of sexual harassment hanging over his head.

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