Quotes of the day

“A POLITICO analysis of candidate schedules reveals that Cain has logged less time in the kickoff states and held far fewer town halls and small town meet-and-greets than any of his competitors. In a nomination fight in which the first four states to vote hold a position of exaggerated importance, Cain has taken a different route — a haphazard approach that regularly takes him to places far from the primary and caucus action…

“The lack of focus on any of the key early states is at the heart of questions about just how serious Cain is about winning the GOP nomination. And it has many activists and operatives wondering if he will able to sustain his lead in the polls since organizing and face-to-face contact with voters are essential to victory in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina…

“Since announcing his campaign five months ago, Cain has spent just 13 days in Iowa — and he hasn’t been back since the Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll. That’s less than half the time spent there by Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. While Cain’s done 34 events there, it pales next to Santorum, whose campaign notes it has touched down in 67 of Iowa’s 99 counties and has done a total of 172 events there…

Yet Cain’s reported finances to date suggest he’s unable to even put together much of an organization in the kickoff states, let alone execute an unprecedented 50-state strategy. All of it has created the impression that Cain is running something of a Potemkin campaign, one that isn’t designed for the long haul.”

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“Though Cain lost by a 2-to-1 margin, 53 percent to 26 percent, those numbers don’t tell the real story of that 2004 race.

“Cain came out of nowhere: a virtual unknown banking on his business background, his message and his ability — honed as a paid motivational speaker — to hold audiences in thrall. And he very nearly forced Isakson, who was supposed to have it in the bag, into a humbling runoff…

“‘He learned from his mistakes,’ Perdue said. ‘That doesn’t mean he’s going to be president of the United States. But he learned, and that in itself tells you that he’s a smart man.’

“Though Cain is commonly depicted as a political novice who’s more or less lucked into his current position topping several national polls, he’s not the newcomer he once was, Perdue said. Cain knows now, as he didn’t then, that personal charisma and attractive ideas aren’t enough — you also have to be able to organize at the grassroots level, and you have to raise money.”

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“Last night on Erin Burnett’s show Cain revealed he only has several hundred thousand dollars in the bank.

“Yes, several hundred thousand

“Compare that to Romney’s $14 million or Perry’s $18 million and regardless of how much fundraising picks up it is an enormous gap to bridge. Too enormous?

“Cain’s only real option at this point is to put together a tight fundraising operation to capitalize on all these great polls. And fast.”

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“What does it mean? According to Michael Steele, the first black chairman of the Republican National Committee, the answer is … not too much. Is it promising? Sure. But let’s not get carried away.

“‘I think Herman’s doing well on the power of his ideas, his vision,’ says Steele. ‘I’d say to Republicans: ‘Look—he’s not a cosmetic fix who’s going to ameliorate that ugly stripe that black people see when they look at you. You’ve got that because over the last 40 years, you’ve done jack to empower them.’ People need to be careful, not to come at this with the attitude that it’s going to fix their image. It’s offensive to Herman. It’s offensive to me as an African-American.’…

“Anyone who sits up here and thinks, ‘Let’s put Herman Cain against Barack Obama and we’ll win,’ is so stupid that he should sit in his cellar and play around on the Internet or something,’ says Steele. ‘Voters are more sophisticated than that. Come on, now: Do you think black folks got up the day after I was elected and said, ‘Oh my God, there’s a black Republican Party chairman! I’ve got to join the Republicans!’ Steele laughs at the idea. ‘They’re not saying ‘Herman Cain is on the rise, let’s take a second look at that party!’ People aren’t like that.'”

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Via Greg Hengler.

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