Herman Cain’s presidential run burned bright for awhile, but after the missteps and the scandals that led to him suspending his campaign today, will Cain’s run be considered a setback for black conservatives? TheGrio contributor Robert Traynham reflects.
When Herman Cain burst onto the national scene, I’ll admit that I was the first to say that I was intrigued.
Not because I was a former staffer for a Republican Senator who also served on President Bush’s re-election team and by default a Republican loyalist. That would be too easy of an association. The intrigue went deeper than that.
Here we had a handsome, articulate, successful business owner who just happened to be African-American and a Republican.
Okay, I thought. This is different. Let’s take this out for a test drive and see what kind of muscle this new showroom beauty has, I said to myself.
Well we all know that the test ride we all experienced was a bumpy one, to say the least; with many wishing that Cain would have ended his campaign sooner than today — in order to end the prolonged embarrassment, which is exactly what Cain’s campaign has ended up to be.
Cain’s run was a national embarrassment for all concerned: the young staff that hitched their fortunes to a losing candidate with no sense of professionalism or direction; the donors who invested in his candidacy, hoping for some type of modest return (maybe a bumper sticker, lapel pin, or a candidate that was on message); and the volunteers and voters who believed in the vision that Cain tried to articulate.
Cain often came short, with rambling statements that often contradicted the material that his staff handed out. I’ve lost count of the many times his spokesperson had to backtrack on the candidate’s statements because he found that Cain would say things that were contradictory.
There’s one other group of people who understandably feel let down by Cain’s missteps: African-American Republicans. For all of the strides that were made by Colin Powell, JC Watts, and Condoleezza Rice over the last decade, Cain’s candidacy has erased some of the glow.