Just because Cain’s campaign started as a book tour doesn’t mean it can’t end in serious fight for the nomination. It’s still ten weeks to Iowa and a few more to New Hampshire. Michelle Bachmann’s entire New Hampshire operation just quit, and Herman probably has the money to hire them. Even though his Q3 money report was weak, he was a nobody also-ran during most of Q3, and his campaign claims that they’ve raised a couple million bucks in the last two weeks, now that he’s a real threat.
I’m not man or woman enough to watch the entire debates, but the few snippets I’ve seen of Cain are nothing like the complete fail of Rick Perry. He enunciates his lies clearly and with vigor. He’s able to quickly generate new nonsense when his old nonsense has been challenged — his 999 plan is now the 909 plan for “the poor”. If 909 doesn’t work, it will be 409, or 666, or 528(c)3 or whatever other number Cain pulls out of his ass.
Finally, there’s something very strange that goes on with the Tea Party and black candidates, and Cain is tapping into it. I don’t pretend to understand it completely, but I have witnessed it. In my Congressional District, there was a fairly unqualified black candidate who could at best parrot a little bit of teatard rhetoric. She didn’t make the ballot, but during her short run she caused a lot of excitement from the teabillies. My best guess about the interest she generated was this: If you think that Obama is an unqualified affirmative action candidate who stupid liberals voted for simply because he was black, then you also think it’s awfully clever to put up an unqualified black candidate to oppose a Democrat. This supposedly puts the stupid liberals in a bind, since they can’t criticize the TP’s black candidate, because they give any black candidate a huge pass due to their race. Part of the attraction is also that the black candidate gives the tea partiers immunity from all their past racism by virtue of supporting him or her.
I don’t want to emphasize this last point too much — Cain is mainly surging in the polls because he’s the flavor of the month for a party that can’t stand Romney. But he’s the only one left who hasn’t run for President before, so it’s him or the RINO from Massachusetts. I’m not counting him out.