The debate didn’t really use a Lincoln-Douglas model, and we ended up hearing from the moderators far too much, but both Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich delivered on their promise to give America a substantive debate on the biggest issues of this cycle. For 90 minutes, the two men discussed entitlement reform and associated issues, and even if the two only rarely disagreed, the format allowed for lengthy responses, nuanced proposals — and plenty of opportunity to hit Barack Obama’s performance as President.
Who won? It’s pretty clear that Gingrich had the better of this debate. He had better command of both the issues and the facts, offered plenty of corroborative studies and resources, and managed to make all of it accessible to the average voter. Cain did well at times, but twice had to ask Newt to handle questions first, which isn’t exactly a confidence builder. Cain seemed confused about the difference between defined-benefit and premium-support approaches on Medicare, getting confused between pension plans and health care later on the same point. While Cain discussed philosophical approaches to these issues confidently, Gingrich had actual data at the ready, and the difference was telling.
I concluded than this Ivy League elitist has ordained himself with the authority to declare who is black. Although Herman Cain gave a spirited interview, he showed the obvious restraint of a presidential candidate leaving the host visibly frustrated by his defiance. I guarantee that if this was 1840, O’Donnell would have filled Cain’s back with welts like the Democrats used to do to non-compliant blacks. Nonetheless, since I am not a presidential candidate, and have no restraint and can directly address his racist assumptions.
I challenge Mr. O’Donnell’s and his newfound authority to a “black contest.” Conservative black Americans are regularly challenged on their racial integrity, and I say this from experience. While I believe that there is no standard “black experience,” there are experiences, conditions and traditions that tie the millions of African-Americans together that are distinctly different from other groups of Americans. Unfortunately, racist liberals like O’Donnell and self-proclaimed “black leaders” like Cornell West have given themselves the authority to decide who can call themselves black.
For years conservative African-Americans have tried to convince the brethren that despite political differences, they are no different. Too often these pleas fall on deaf ears as their “black cards” are revoked for simply exercising Constitutional rights; at the same time we people like Obama, whose descendents were not forced into slavery, and Bill Clinton who continues to be touted as the first “black” president.
Now’s the time for liberals to stop all of the innuendo and baseless accusations. Since they are quick to insult the racial integrity of conservative blacks, here is their chance to prove it. Mr. O’Donnell, let’s mutually agree on a measurable standard based on the experiences of descendants of enslaved Africans in America, pitting myself against President Obama. If I lose, I am willing to profess that my conservative beliefs make me a sellout to my community. If you lose, you must profess to your audience that you are indeed the biggest racist in America.
I realize the that idea of a “black contest” may be considered immature. So is having to rebut being called an Uncle Tom during an otherwise intelligent debate on policy. I am addressing absurdity in-kind. I fully expect O’Donnell to cower inside of his ivory tower at MSNBC by ignoring me. That’s why I need you help to me challenge the racists at MSNBC. Copy and paste this editorial with “Don’t Be A Coward O’Donnell, Accept The Challenge” in the title. E-mail it directly to Lawrence O’Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get all of your friends to do the same. O’Donnell acts like a tough guy when standing on the bully pulpit, time to find out if that NBC mascot is really a peacock or chicken.
The unique ad above is creating a lot of creation among political observers.
In the video, posted this week on You Tube, Cain’s top aide Mark Block, in close up, says the candidate “will put the united back in United States. … We’ve run a campaign like nobody’s ever seen. But then, America’s never seen a candidate like Herman Cain.”
The kicker: Block takes a long thoughtful pull on a cigarette and blows smoke into the lens.
No one but villains has smoked onscreen for decades, so Block’s drag quickly became the puff of legend. The video was picked up by political news shows and blogs and parodied on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. It scored more than 870,000 views on Cain’s YouTube channel.
It was also awarded a slot on several lists of the wackiest political ads ever. Democratic consultant James Carville, echoing a pundit consensus that the ad made little sense, concluded Block was “drunk or stoned,” he said Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Fox News has reactions:
David Letterman reacts:
Jimmy Kimmel reacts:
Jon Huntsman Parodies:
(or more specifically: Jon Huntsman’s 3 daughters are the ones doing the parodying)
“There was no subliminal message,” he told Kelly. “In fact, I personally would encourage people not to smoke. It’s just that I’m a smoker and a lot of people on the staff said, ‘Just let Block be Block.’ That’s what it’s all about.”
Well, that may be the least plausible interpretation of all. After all, much of the perplexity stems from Block’s obscurity. Who is this guy, anyway, and what does he do? Since no one has ever won an election based on his chief of staff’s personality, letting ”Block be Block” hardly seems like a winning communications strategy for Herman Cain.
More plausible is that Block’s smoking telegraphs defiance and independence. Smoking has been de-glamorized and marginalized for decades, and it has been killing people for even longer. But that hasn’t stopped 46 million U.S. adults from doing it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As Block said later in his Fox News interview, “You walk into a veterans’ bar in Iowa and they’re sitting around smoking. I’m not the only one in America who smokes, for God’s sake.”
In other words, Block, and by extension Cain, may be keeping it real for both nicotine slaves and those who don’t like to see them pushed around.
Cain talked about the ad on the radio (starting at 7 minutes):
Bob Shiefer asked Cain what the point was and added that he himself, a cancer survivor was not amused (editors note: Shieffer calls it a “television ad” but this was not run on tv and was never intended to. it is a web only ad).