Herman Cain told PBS’ Judy Woodruff Tuesday night he is worried China is trying to develop a nuclear bomb. China has had a nuclear bomb — in fact, an entire functioning nuclear program — for 47 years, since 1964. Once again Cain has made it perfectly clear he has never had any real intention of running for president as a serious candidate, and that he’d rather just stay on his book tour.
And, ludicrously, veteran journalist Judy Woodruff, who has covered Washington almost non-stop since 1977, let it pass. No follow-up, no, “Mr. Cain, you do know that China has had a nuclear program since the mid-1960′s.” Nothing.
Monday, once word of the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain broke, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank noted,
And so Cain did what he always does: He turned a devastating situation to his advantage. “By the way, folks, yes, I am an unconventional candidate,” he told the overflowing crowd. “And, yes, I do have a sense of humor. And some people have a problem with that. But . . . Herman is going to stay Herman.”
So the women who filed the complaints didn’t get his sense of humor? And that’s the end of it?
It just may be. This sort of scandal would end the career of many a politician. But the usual rules don’t apply to Herman Cain. He survives gaffes and scandal the way he beat colon cancer – and whatever doesn’t kill him makes him stronger.
He says he would negotiate a swap of terrorists at Gitmo – then claims he misunderstood the question. He claimsabortion should be an individual choice – then again says he misunderstood. He proposes an electrified border fence that could kill immigrants from Mexico – then says people didn’t get the joke.
Evidence that he has said something dumb, or offensive, only confirms to his supporters that he is not another polished pol like Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. And so Cain doesn’t need to know what a neocon is, he can weather campaign-funding irregularities, he can have his campaign manager blow cigarette smoke in a campaign ad, he can skip the early primary states in favor of a book tour of the south, and he can sing about pizza to a John Lennon tune. If Herman Cain were found to be a serial killer, his supporters would take this, too, as reassuring evidence that he is not just another career politician.
He is not just another career politician. A career politician would know that China has had a nuclear bomb — in fact, an entire functioning nuclear program — for 47 years, since 1964.
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