Cain should not have had his wife stand on stage behind him during his announcement; and how do we stop being seduced by candidates who are wholly unsuited for the presidency?
As Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post points out, the cruel convention of the humiliated wife at the side of her humiliated husband-politician (the ravaged face of Mrs. Eliot Spitzer as she stood at the podium next to her whore-addicted husband during his announcement of his resignation from the New York governorship in 2008 comes to mind) seemed to have been mercifully fading in recent years. Herman Cain unhappily brought it back, by having his wife situated prominently behind him on the stage during his campaign “suspension” announcemen last week. He thus underscored again that it was all about him, not about his wife, notwithstanding his claims to the contrary.
On another point, Marcus informs us that Cain in his withdrawal speech boasted, while broadly grinning, “Right now my name ID is probably 99.9 percent.” Doesn’t that support my point (here and here) that the main reason he ran for president—and the reason he didn’t mind that his messy private life would inevitably be exposed and destroy his candidacy—was not to be president, but to promote himself and expand his ego? Yet millions of Republican voters, as many as a quarter of them in some polls, took this clown seriously and supported him for the GOP nomination. After their flirtation with Cain (followed by their even more energetic flirtation with Gingrich), how can the Republican Party be seen as serious?
Answer: by taking the bull by the horns, going to the root of the problem (sorry for the mixed metaphors) and rejecting the hyper-democracy of the primary system, in which every self-seeking, out-of-work jokester in America is given a chance to run for the highest office in the land. The smoke-filled room is not a perfect way of selecting a presidential nominee, but it would be a helluva lot better than the embarrassing national circus we have now.