November 11th, 2011
Friday Four Cents: Crisis Communications for the Cain Campaign
Having successfully managed two grade school student council campaigns, I thought I might share some thoughts on how to manage a sex scandal with Herman Cain’s presidential election committee. I appreciate that early whispers of a scandal had little to no impact on Cain’s polling numbers; however, some awkward denials , followed by recollections by Herman now warrant that a little more thought be put into the response than simply refusing to speak about the topic. My open letter follows.
The good news? The public is tired of the kabuki of denial/admission/apologies of indiscretions and pretending that powerful men don’t take advantage of women. Besides between wide stances and hiking the Appalachian Trail excuses, it would seem unnatural to think that an old porn cliché, the pizza boy, would be above taking his work home with him.
The better news? America has turned a corner on race relations. We’ve come to terms with our uglier past and with some remarkable developments that crossed racial lines, we have demonstrated to the world that previous notions of inequality have been put to rest. I’m speaking of course about “The Help.”
So what’s a candidate to do? Don’t fight the momentum! After McCain, a virile Republican candidate would be a good change. Use this as an opportunity to broaden your message. “9-9-9” We heard it. It cut through the clutter, and whether it’s bad math & questionably regressive or not, I’m not applying for economic adviser, I simply want to avoid turning a last name into a verb, a la “Borking.” What’s that? Shit, let’s get to it.
What if, flash mob style, 300 women came forward and accused Cain of harassment Spartacus-style? The media would spend months tracking down who was protesting vs. who was serious, who got paid and who merely allowed Cain to cop a feel. No? Perhaps that does play into their hands too much.
Okay, let’s talk campaign branding then. Some new slogans to consider:
– Don’t hate the contenda, hate the game.
– Raising Cain. It’s not just HR’s dirty little secret anymore!
– If you’re Cain, I’m Abel. (Need to test market that one with the evangelists.)
– The Cain Train – legal in every state except Utah.
– I was for legalizing pot before I knew what a Libertarian was.
Too much? Really?
Then tell me this, why, WHY is Mark Block still managing your campaign? Aside from the mismanagement, aside from easily discerned lies, you’ve got somebody so incompetent that he’s advertising on YouTube. No, YouTube itself makes sense, it’s the videos he’s chosen: “Blazing Saddles”?!?!
Untouched Screen Shot:
That’s right, next to a “Blazing Saddles” clip, there’s Herman asking for your support. The ad is not every where, say Coldplay videos, but yes, also on “Jungle Fever.”
I’ll need a retainer.