Former pizza executive and fast food lobbyist Herman Cain has touted his “outsider” business experience as his main qualification for the presidency. But a new look at how he manages his campaign reveals a clumsy and disorganized effort that has failed to even set up campaign offices in key states. The New York Times’ Susan Saulny reports that a number of campaign aides have quit in frustration from Cain’s poorly managed campaign. One former employee told Saulny that an internal campaign policy — namely that staffers can’t speak to Cain “unless you are spoken to” — sparked his resignation from the Cain Train:
Even bumper stickers have been hard to come by.
And then there was that e-mail to the staff about traveling in a car with Mr. Cain: “Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to,” the memo said.
“I found it odd,” said a former staff member who liked to prep Mr. Cain for appearances while driving. The aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, quit not long afterward, citing the e-mail as one of the deciding factors.
One major complaint is that Cain is focusing on selling his book instead of campaigning in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. The Times spoke to several Republican strategists, some of whom seemed to suggest that Cain is more interested in publicity rather than a serious run for the White House.
A ThinkProgress investigation found gaping holes in Cain’s personal finance disclosure. Although the campaign was recently caught funneling campaign dollars to a private company owned by Cain for purchases of his book, Cain hasn’t disclosed how much that company is paying him. Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told us that the unusual arrangement is simply a case of “synergy.”
In any case, the mistreatment of the Cain for President staff is par for the course. Cain rose to prominence in Republican politics with his harsh treatment of workers. As a lobbyist, he fought to kill a federal minimum wage law. As ThinkProgress first reported, Cain lobbied to stop measures to ban indoor smoking. Cain told ThinkProgress he doesn’t smoke — but apparently has no problem subjecting his own workers to the same carcinogens he refuses to put in his own body. And most famously, Cain campaigned furiously against President Clinton’s efforts to cover the sick and uninsured. Although tens of thousands of American people have died unnecessarily since the failure of Clinton’s plan, Cain says he fondly remembers his contribution to the defeat of Clinton’s plan as his most treasured political experience.