Herman Cain has been criticized recently for making a host of political mistakes, including snubbing potential donors, focusing on the wrong states for votes, and although the public may be enamored with him, his staffers are fed up.
This July, Bill Hemrick, founder of the Upper Deck trading card company, organized a dinner for conservative Tea Partiers like himself. Hemrick had been asked by Cain’s campaign to serve as financial chairman, so he and 200 other potential supporters were gathered at the Standard Club in Nashville to for Cain.
Cain never showed up, most likely because that minor detail slipped through the cracks.
Cain, who had given a speech earlier that night in Nashville, phoned Hemrick to thank him for organizing the event. Hemrick responded saying, “I’ll see you upstairs,” where the donors were waiting.
Cain said, “Well, I’m at the airport,” according to the New York Times.
Soon afterwards, Hemrick found out that Cain’s campaign had found another financial chairman. They didn’t inform him, however: he found out from the person replacing him.
Hemrick says, “I wish he would have called… but he never did.”
This highly publicized mistake is just the first of a slew of missteps by Cain and his campaign.
One error could cost Cain many voters: his lack of appearances in important states. Although Cain’s book tour is over, he’s failed to aggressively promote himself in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Both states are historically important to winning a major party nomination. Since 1972, the Iowa caucus has functioned as a major factor to the presidential election. Then-senator Barack Obama won Iowa by 38 percent, as compared to John Edwards’ 30 percent and Hillary Clinton’s 28 percent.
New Hampshire is significant as well because of its place as first among state primaries. Often, it has functioned as an early indicator of which candidate will perform well in the election.
Cain has a total of six paid staffers working in both states, according to The Times.
And Cain’s workers are starting to get annoyed.
“It was frustrating because we couldn’t get him here as much as I was led to believe he was going to be here,” said Kevin Hall, a former Iowa staffer for Cain.
Incidents like this, along with campaign-wide memos commanding staffers “not to speak to [Cain] unless you are spoken to,” have make being part of his under-funded movement difficult.
Cain’s tour is vastly lacking in donations, with a total of only $2.1 million raised last quarter and $482,000 on hand, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In comparison, both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney have raised substantially more. Perry has gotten over half of his $17 million from Texas, while Romney has fundraised a sizeable $34 million over the last six months, says the Globe.
All three major Republican candidates’ donations pale in comparison to the President’s though: his campaign and the Democratic National Committee grossed a staggering $70 million in contributions for the third quarter of this year.
In contrast, reports have suggested Cain’s campaign can’t even purchase bumper stickers for their staffers.
Regardless of the Cain campaign’s organizational problems, the former Grandfather’s Pizza CEO has succeeded in polls by playing to his strengths: likeability, lack of a political record (to attack), and his business and financial acumen.
Cain might not have the resources needed for a presidential campaign right now, but the race isn’t over yet.