Southern Politics

Herman CainHerman Cain getting out of the presidential race is one thing.

“Suspending” his campaign raises more questions than it solves.

While there are no guidelines of how candidates should act when running for the presidency, other than having to take certain steps to qualify for Federal funds for the campaigning, certainly the route that Mr. Cain has taken does not exactly put an end to his presidential ambitions.

It would be entirely a different matter if Mr. Cain had simply said, after all these allegations of nefarious activities, “I am no longer a candidate for the office of president.”

But he didn’t do that. Granted, he has many people across this country who have been really enamored with his presidential aspirations. These people caught his fervor in wanting to see real change in the country, thinking an “outsider” such as Mr. Cain, who was also a successful private businessman, would be just the person to move our country forward.

(Not all people like the idea of, in effect, bringing in a professional rookie who has never held elective office, to take on solving the many complicated problems of our country, both nationally and internationally. That’s neither here nor there. They just like having someone different, instead of the same old “pols,” to vote for.)

How in the world Mr. Cain, or any politician, thinks that they can bedazzle the American people and move toward the presidency, and not have any small or large skeleton in the closet found out, is the height of egotism. For someone, somewhere, is going to raise their hand and say in effect, “How about this?” And there goes another candidate down!

Yet for some reason Mr. Cain hasn’t explained, the campaign is now “suspended.” Perhaps Mr. Cain thinks that after a few months, and continued backing of his supporters, the campaign can be resuscitated. Perhaps he awaits some other bombshell dooming another of the candidates, with the Grand Old Party coming back to him and saying, “How about re-starting your campaign, Herman?”

We suspect it’s not going to happen.

Or perhaps Mr. Cain wants to continue to parade around the country trying to carry the Republican banner. For that he needs dollars, and by suspending the campaign instead of getting out, apparently he feels he can still rake in at least the Federal campaign funds, though get fewer supporter dollars. In effect, even though he may lose the many contributions from supporters around the country, this would allow the government to continue to pay for the Cain Train to voice his proposals.

This seems somewhat wrong, if he really isn’t a presidential candidate. It makes you suspicious of Mr. Cain’s promises to be a different candidate than others.

The Republican presidential sweepstakes seem destined this time around to be a continual battle of one person ascending the polls after another, only to see each of them fall from the top position for one reason or another. Best bet for the nominee is to hang around long enough. This candidate could be the last man standing, and win the nomination. But that doesn’t seem to be a really strong position to tackle taking on a sitting president.

Mr. Cain is the latest to, well, suspend, if not withdraw. Who’s next?

Editor's Note: This post also appears on Photo: From
Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County,, and Georgia news,