I am not a train expert. I’ve never worked on trains, and only been on a couple. However, when I started thinking about exactly how trains are derailed, I came up with three ways I believe you can derail a train. Operator error, mechanical failure, or an outside force. So then I began to look at the “Cain Train,” or more specifically the Herman Cain campaign. Over the last few weeks poll numbers have been dropping and the media has been having a field day with allegations, mismanagement, and gaffes. I thought I would analyze the possible derailing of the Cain train.
1. Operator Error
When the operator makes a miscalculation, even the smallest error in speed can cause a train to derail. In this case, the operator is Herman Cain. It’s his train. He makes the final decisions. Cain is a proven leader. He’s managed major corporations and an association. He’s supervised hundreds of employees, stockholders, board members, etc. Cain has been running an unorthodox campaign. He’s gone against the grain of the expected. Most of the time, to the surprise of the pundits and experts, his numbers went up. However, he clearly has weaknesses. And despite his likability, there are things that a portion of the voter base will not overlook. Die hard followers make excuses, and usually they are right. But a lot of America is not so forgiving.
So where do I think Cain has had operator error? He is campaigning on surrounding himself with the best, and being a leader. A manager. When his communications person, and his campaign manager, both had horrible dealings with the media, they should have gone. I’ll get into this more in the next section. But as a leader, the buck stops with him. They reflected poorly on his campaign, and showed an un-united front and disorganization. He also made an error by playing the race card. This campaign was supposed to surpass race. I believe bringing it up was a cop out.
On a real train, there are all kinds of mechanical things that can go wrong. From track problems, to wheel problems. Engine issues. On the Cain Train, the mechanics is the staff, and the inner workings of the campaign. His vice president of communications, J.D. Gordon, had a horrible time when the allegations of sexual harassment first came out. And his campaign manager, Mark Block, made the false claim about one of the accusers sons working for Politico. I also believe the campaign never should have called out the Perry campaign for being behind the story. With the latest issues, it’s clear that whoever is coaching Cain on foreign policy is not getting the job done. Cain is intelligent, and I know he can learn what he needs to know. So why is he coming across so weak? These are failings coming from within the train itself. They began to plant doubt in the minds of some that Cain cannot manage, and cannot get organized.
3. Outside Forces
The final area comes from outside forces that the campaign has no control over. The biggest being the biased news media. I can’t even say liberal this time because even the right wing news media has already declared Prince Romney to be the nominee. There is no other option, and anyone who rises in the polls is immediately beat down in ways that are nearly impossible to come back from. They fear Obama. So as Cain began to rise, the GOP panicked. He wasn’t vetted. He wasn’t part of the inside clique. They can’t control him. So he had to go. The democrats on the left feared they could lose the black vote and couldn’t use the race card if they were going up against someone blacker than THEIR token black candidate. They attempted to attack his policies. When that didn’t work they went after his character. That got the train rocking on the tracks. But not quite off them. So they kept going. Now they are attacking his intelligence and competency. While anyone who really knows Cain, and has followed him for a length of time, knows this is false, the media is very good at painting a picture that they want people to see.
The one thing that is so far keeping this train on the tracks is an unseen force of volunteers. Every time the train shimmies or shakes, these unsung heroes are there to pull and push and force the train to stay on course. There is a huge grassroots effort to make sure that Cain is the nominee. They come from all over the country. They host blog radio shows, make t-shirts, bumper stickers, posters, flyers. They are very well educated and informed about the issues. They have become a tight night family that keep in constant communication and brain storm new ideas together. If the Cain Train is going to last, it will be because of these people. I am proud to be one of them. And I am proud to know them all.
But in reality, there is more pressing issues. Herman Cain has control over two of these areas. Operator Error and Mechanical Failure. Cain IS the best candidate for President. And his die hard followers can tell you a million reasons why. Cain likes to say once you get on the Cain Train you don’t get off. And for the most part, from what I’ve seen, it’s true. But if he is going to pick up new passengers, he needs to limit his mistakes. There is a very thin margin for victory and America is less forgiving than they have ever been.
We are desperate to put this country back on the right track. I stand firmly in support of Herman Cain for president of the United States. These opinions of mine are in no way meant to belittle or disparage the campaign. We cannot ignore the reality of the situation though. This is one of the hardest fought battles a person can face. And they have brought out both guns blazing against Mr. Cain.
Despite what the main stream media wants to believe this train is NOT derailed. It’s a bullet train flying down the tracks. We may have gotten a little slowed down, but the team behind it is not giving up. We will not settle. I hope the campaign listens and makes a few adjustments. This is a winnable election.