Saturday, January 15, 2011


Herman Cain, the teabagging, Joe the Plumber-endorsed African-American ex-CEO of Godfather's Pizza who's the first Republican into the presidential race, is the subject of a brief Atlantic profile by Joshua Green. Separately, Green has posted this commercial from Cain's time at Godfather's under the heading "The Wacky, Mildly Racist Godfather's Pizza Ad That Could Affect the GOP Primary":

Is that racist? I don't really see it. You want racist, Josh? Try this, from the 2006 midterm campaign (emphasis added):

A little-known Republican group that claims to have swayed the 2004 presidential election with provocative radio advertising aimed at black and Hispanic audiences is spending nearly $1 million this year to boost the GOP's chances of holding on to a majority in Congress.

... the most inflammatory spots pertain to abortion.

... [One] ad features a dialogue between two men.

"If you make a little mistake with one of your 'hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked," one of the men says.

"That's too cold. I don't snuff my own seed," the other replies.

"Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican," the first man says.

... The key financial backer of America's Pac is J. Patrick Rooney, 78, of Indianapolis....

Mr. Rooney declined to be interviewed yesterday. The group referred calls from The New York Sun to a conservative, African-American talk show host who voiced some of the ads, Herman Cain....

I don't think either of these is going to have an impact on the GOP primaries -- Cain has many admirers among movement conservatives, but he's still too obscure to warrant attacks from other candidates. But the radio ad is ugly, and if he was directly involved, he should certainly be asked about it in the (unlikely) event that his campaign gets traction. But I strongly doubt that fellow Republicans will do any of the asking.

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