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Remembering Cain’s Libya flub: Competency expectations and the presidency December 4, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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While not as devastating for his campaign as rumors that he had multiple extramarital affairs over the years, Herman Cain’s horrendous response to a question about Libya helped crushed his electoral hopes. Cain was asked by a reporter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in mid-November whether he supported Obama’s handling of Libya. Cain fumbled, and the video went viral.

Why did the moment matter? The video clearly indicated that Cain lacked the policy know-how to be president. In many ways this was why his moment was worse than Rick Perry’s “Oops” gaffe during the presidential debate in Michigan. In addition to the sexual harassment and affair rumors, the fumble was enough to spell disaster. Days after claiming that the moment was exaggerated, Cain confessed that he was embarrassed to be caught off guard.

For more on Cain’s Libya response, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Was it fair for the media and the electorate to react negatively to Cain’s Libya gaffe?

2.  How did the Libya moment combine with Cain’s sex scandals to tarnish his image and crush his electoral hopes?

3.  Could Cain reemerge as a candidate for Vice President? Why, or why not?

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