Thank Joshua Green of the Atlantic, who recently profiled Cain, for digging this up. I’m not sure if the clip was considered “lost,” exactly, but I’d never seen it before and a quickie YouTube search of “herman cain bill clinton” reveals nothing on point until Green uploaded this yesterday. He writes, “If this video goes viral among conservative activists, Cain’s candidacy will be even more interesting to watch.” Let’s see what we can do about that.
This takes awhile to get hopping but stick with it for his rebuttal to Clinton at around five minutes in. You’re not watching for fireworks here — the two are perfectly polite — and, really, you’re not even watching for the economic substance of their dispute about payroll costs and health insurance. This clip will end up being used by Cain’s campaign as evidence of his foresight and his conservative authenticity, with Romney the prime target of the contrast. I don’t see Cain raising his profile enough to make a real dent in the field, but having this ad in rotation will only brighten the spotlight on Mitt’s record by implication. Tough stuff, Romneyites!