Your morning jolt: A smokin’ Herman Cain ad flares

Like a smoldering cigarette, Herman Cain’s Internet ad had lain unnoticed for nearly a week.

On Tuesday, it flared. Exhaling a white cloud has once again become a symbol of rebellion. Not in an unfiltered, James Dean fashion. More of a style that shouts, “Get off my back. Medicare will eventually cover it.”

Cain’s campaign manager Mark Block takes up most of the 56 seconds. The GOP candidate’s smile – how does that grab you? – makes a cameo at the end:

The video was at once variously dissected as iconic, bizarre and baffling. Cain’s people rolled with it. Block on Fox:

“You walk into a veterans’ bar in Iowa and they’re sitting around smoking, and yeah, we are resonating with them. I’m not the only one that smokes in America for God’s sake. It’s a choice that I made, and was at the end of the ad,” he said.

But by putting the focus on Block, you also shine light on his biography – not the candidate’s. From the Daily Caller:

[Block] was also banned from politics in Wisconsin for three years and forced to pay a $15,000 fine after being accused by the Wisconsin State Elections Board of violating election law in 1997 as campaign manager to state Supreme Court Justice Jon P. Wilcox….

Block settled with the Wisconsin State Elections Board without admitting guilt. Broke and unable to work in politics under the settlement, he stocked shelves at Target.

His political rehabilitation includes meeting Herman Cain several years later, when Block was working as the head of the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

And from the left, Mother Jones was reminded of Cain’s previous life in Washington:

And as a lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association in DC in the 1990s, Cain was one of the tobacco industry’s best friends on K Street. His group received big bucks from major cigarette manufacturers, and returned the favor by opposing things like smoking bans.

One view from abroad was withering. From Richard Adams of the Guardian in the U.K., who raised this possibility:

Alternatively, the Cain campaign is a “Springtime for Hitler” production designed to fail, as in The Producers, which those involved now furiously trying to derail because it’s turned successful. My money is on the whole Cain thing being a giant decoy operation run by the Romney campaign.

Expect many parodies to come. One of the first was by New York hip-hop radio personality Jay Smooth:

***
Meanwhile, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll has this dose of reality for Cainiacs this morning:

[M]ost Americans and about half of the most conservative Republicans and independents— 49 percent—have unfavorable impressions of what has become the featured policy for GOP contender Herman Cain, his “9-9-9” tax plan. Cain has suggested spiking the federal income tax in favor of twin 9 percent taxes rates on personal income and corporate taxes and a new 9 percent national sales tax.

***
State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, City Councilman Derrick Boazman and civil rights leader Joe Beasley were among those arrested at the Occupy Atlanta camp-in at Woodruff Park last night. And if you look at the opening seconds of this amateur seven-minute video, presumably shot by a protester, you catch a glimpse of a monitoring state Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, outside the barriers.

***
At a Tuesday’s show-and-tell in Atlanta, both Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed emphasized the need to pass next year’s transportation sales tax in order to enhance the port’s value. From Walter Jones with Morris News Service:

“It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to get larger vessels into the ports if we can’t get the cargo distributed around the state,” he said at a luncheon sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Ports Authority.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today examines a post circulating on Facebook that criticizes the House Republican majority for not focusing on job creation.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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104 comments Add your comment

TeaRocker

October 26th, 2011
9:17 am

Cain supporters are such hypocrites if they continue to support the “Joker” in the race. How many GOP supporters have been vocal about the “bad example” that Obama sets by smoking in the White House? Just look at past twitter feeds when Michelle Obama came out with her “you should eat” plan…”Hey Michelle, you worry about O’s smoking, I’ll worry about what I eat” etc.

It’s almost become a joke or reality TV opportunity on how many major screw ups can a POTUS candidate do and still get support?
-Cain…”I”m an outsider, non-Politician” truth be told he should have said, “I’ve been plotting a POTUS run sense 1999 and lobbied for the big cigarette companies at the Federal level to attempt to block State and Local level smoking bans…(Big Government) and hey Federal guys, stop the States and Local governments from dropping the DUI blow limit to curb drunk driving…who gives a damn about life, we need to protect the bars and restaurants profits with alcohol.

-Cain – Lets electrify the Mexican border fence…Oops, I was joking, then on CBS, maybe I wasn’t joking…What do you think? What side of the fence are you? Tell me, I’ll tell you what you want to hear!

-Cain – I’m pro-choice, I mean I’m pro-life…Oh hell, I’ll sign an amendment and make all abortions illegal. Really? Who cares about the life of the mother.

-Oh and lets not get started on his church connections. You can’t hang and preach for years and not lean left in a mega black church. But hey, Herman is already proving he does with his true Big Government experience and wanting the Federal Government to have more control over State and Local issues, proven by his past and present.

God save us all if Cain becomes the nominee…a pandering joker who’s turned the GOP race into a joke.

If the GOP doesn’t wake up

Gman

October 26th, 2011
9:24 am

You southern gentlemen will never let Herman “Silas” Cain run the Barkley Ranch!

GLK

October 26th, 2011
9:24 am

This snide liberal crap reminded me of why I stopped reading the AJC. Guess getting rid of Cynthia Tucker didn’t change the rest of that worthless rag all that much.

TeaRocker

October 26th, 2011
9:31 am

Oh look, GLK is a Cain supporter who can’t admit that Cain has made a major mistake, instead just says “This snide liberal crap”…and I thought us Tea Party Conservatives were the only ones who got general negative statements thrown at them when there was no legitimate response.

Keep reporting the truth Jim…some of us Tea Party people appreciate seeing both sides of the coin and are just about sick and embarrassed to call ourselves Tea Partiers anymore because of the hypocrisy of supporting people like Cain who are all about Big Federal Government and not smaller local control…a key platform in the beginning. But hey, don’t get me started on the tax plan either, which does and now won’t raise taxes on the poor and no longer makes sure everyone has skin in the game and his “opportunity” zones that allows the Federal Government to dictate State minimum wages, etc.

clem

October 26th, 2011
9:36 am

cain’s brain starts smoking when he has to think hard

findog

October 26th, 2011
9:45 am

the governor and mayor pimping the transportation tax because the state legislature cannot provide the most basic of state services without raising taxes

Vote NO and make them do their jobs

td

October 26th, 2011
9:48 am

I see on the main page that the governor decided to get rid of the fleabaggars from the park last night. Good for him. It is time the 47% realize that they must work for a living and the time for them to live off the government is coming to an end soon.

findog

October 26th, 2011
9:54 am

td, governor or mayor?

MD

October 26th, 2011
9:57 am

When the American people realize that career politicians don’t give a rats ass about them,but care only about their agenda to control America and everything you do.Well folks term limits are the answer and the only way we the people can force the elected officials to do their jobs and tend to the operation of government within a controlled budget.That would ease the tax burden on every one of us and limit power to the politicians that truly don’t give a rats ass about you.

td

October 26th, 2011
9:57 am

findog

October 26th, 2011
9:54 am
td, governor or mayor?

Thank you, it was the mayor that stood up and took out the lawbreakers. Good job Mayor Reed.

thewindwhistler

October 26th, 2011
9:57 am

I am sortof getting to like Cain, he grows on you. I would like to see him in office. Let us face the facts, government can run without any chief exectutive at all. It runs much like the “drone” aircraft all by remote control with the pilot in a seat at the command center 1000s of miles from the intended tARGET. It is much like a super container tank ship, from beginning to end loading to unloading all across the Atlantic or Pacific, with the pilot in an office in Tokyo or Singapore.

MD

October 26th, 2011
9:58 am

Vote for HERMAN CAIN.

findog

October 26th, 2011
10:00 am

td, agreed – they ran their through their time limit and now need do the 6a-6p deal if they want to continue to bring attention to their issues

td

October 26th, 2011
10:05 am

findog

October 26th, 2011
10:00 am

I agree. Exercise your right to free speech all you want within the law.

Ol' Timer

October 26th, 2011
10:07 am

This whole Republican/Tea Party campaign is a parody.

SNL has pulled the biggest practical joke of all time. This cannot be for real folks, it’s all a joke!

So, let’s all have a big laugh. The real Republican/Tea Party campaign will begin 11/01/11.

td

October 26th, 2011
10:08 am

I do not know yet if I will vote for Herman or not in the primary but I give him a huge congratulations for framing the debate where it needs to be framed. Taxes and regulations = jobs.

Buck Hayek

October 26th, 2011
10:09 am

The wingnuts are being punked by “Herb” Cain. He is a total fraud – a con man and grifter whose mediocre record at a flailing pizza delivery chain is his only credential.

But conservatives love to be preached to. There is an Elmer Gantry in every generation.

DannyX

October 26th, 2011
10:11 am

Wow, Mark Block, Herman Cain’s manager is one of those lawbreakers td hates so much.

Herman, why do you have a lawbreaker as your campaign manager?

DannyX

October 26th, 2011
10:19 am

Uh oh. Looks like Herman Cain is also a lawbreaker.

Herman didn’t pay his state income taxes in 2006, the state had to file a tax lien against him that wasn’t paid until late 2008.

James Dupree

October 26th, 2011
10:19 am

Td, you have not been yourself lately. I am beginning to worry about you.

The Austrian Brotherhood

October 26th, 2011
10:21 am

If you’re serious about beginning to remedy this country’s many problems, you vote for Ron Paul.

If you’re not serious about beginning to remedy this country’s many problems, you don’t vote for Ron Paul.

Mark

October 26th, 2011
10:22 am

@ td

I see you so called conservative Tea Bagger’s are at it early. Dude do you even have a job? You are on these blogs all day and night. I’ll bet you are one of those in the closet Republicans.

Independent voter

October 26th, 2011
10:28 am

Mark you is telling the true about Td I bet they dont have a job. She a lonely teabaggar

deegee

October 26th, 2011
10:29 am

Maybe Mark and Herman were aiming for Halloween creepy. If so, they hit the bulls eye. It was overcast, the close up camera showing Mark’s unhealthy complexion and his creepy fingernails, the cigarette smoke, the happy music playing while Herman’s bigger than life smirk appears. It’s just right for Halloween.

LMAO

October 26th, 2011
10:33 am

Strange no mention of the Tea Beggars with a weapon at the park yesterday. It was tweeted by a number of folks.

DannyX

October 26th, 2011
10:36 am

Herman does a great Iron Chef impersonation.

Today’s secret ingredient is cheese.

Independent voter

October 26th, 2011
10:38 am

I seen a white man with a blue shirt on carrying a rife it was on the news. I bet it was a setup by the teaparty to have this guy walk around with a riffle saying he with occupy atlanta. Nobody in the group never seen this guy before please dont go by what you see on the news he prolly work for the teaparty of atlanta.

td

October 26th, 2011
10:45 am

I’m a tea baggin sonnuvabitch.

Frederick Douglass

October 26th, 2011
10:54 am

This guy should have his AAA (African American Alliance) card downgraded to A (Ass).

Aquagirl

October 26th, 2011
10:58 am

Maybe Mark and Herman were aiming for Halloween creepy. If so, they hit the bulls eye.

Parents, if you saw men who look like this lurking around your kids wouldn’t you end the trick or treating early?

findog

October 26th, 2011
11:00 am

the brillance is that another free internet ad is taking all the oxygen out of the room that should be filled with a debate on the issues; like the transportation tax that should be voted down

Southern Gentleman

October 26th, 2011
11:28 am

I know Cain and Romney are polling well now, but just wait until Florida Pastor Terry Jones announces his candidacy. He will easily sweep Southern states and get the GOP nomination.
His courage and intelligence are the epitome of what characterizes Southern GOP voters.
This is a candidate with a good sense plan that Southern Republicans can understand.
Don’t tred on me, and reed the constution! What part of ilegal moslim do you not understand>????

Aaron Polino

October 26th, 2011
11:29 am

A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for throat cancer.

MrLiberty

October 26th, 2011
11:38 am

Check out Ron Paul’s ads on YouTube. Those are powerful, coherent, well-made, and principled. Cain is rapidly being shown to be the clown many of us thought he always was. I mean you don’t get to be a Federal Reserve director without having a few screws loose.

Ron Paul 2012.

td

October 26th, 2011
11:50 am

To the fake me, I know you are simply jealous of my superior knowledge. It just goes to show that I am politically more educated than you. That is why you are stealing my identity. I have the right to condone military torture and kid-touching priests. That is my right man!

oldfart

October 26th, 2011
11:56 am

The Governor promised to get rid of the toll on GA 400 during the campaign. Now that he is the figurative head of SRTA not only will that promise go unfulfilled the monies are being used to supplement the failing HOT lanes by SRTA. Future expenditures for HOT lanes alone tally 20-30 BILLION dollars metro-wide for lanes that SRTA asserts are not for revenue generation, will not even pay for themselves and WILL NOT RELIEVE TRAFFIC CONGESTION. I guess we have to wait for Cobb to deal with the construction backups and ensuing traffic nightmares to follow in the next phase of 1 BILLION dollars to build the HOT lane on I75 for people to pay attention.

I can assure the Governor that his cut to a teaser toll rate has not mollified the taxpayers who had already paid for a lane they are now restricted from in Gwinnett. With this gross betrayal of the public trust the chance of TSPLOST passage is about the same as a Hollywood starlet only wearing a fur coat knocking on my door.

The stewardship (ahem) of previous SPLOST money in Gwinnett may doom its extension as well but without a total scrapping of all this HOT lane/Peach Pass blarney TSPLOST can already be considered DOA. Guaranteed.

I LOVE OLDFART!!!

October 26th, 2011
11:58 am

OLDFART FOR GOVERNOR!!! A TRUE JEFFERSONIAN BABY!!!

Jon Lester

October 26th, 2011
12:04 pm

I think Cain will find that even cigarette smokers can figure out that he’s promising to significantly raise the cost of the habit.

cartoon

October 26th, 2011
12:17 pm

Obama 2012. face it.

The Snark

October 26th, 2011
12:23 pm

@ thewindwhistler:

Just one question for you, from someone who works in government:

ARE YOU ON CRACK?

DannyX

October 26th, 2011
12:26 pm

“The Governor promised to get rid of the toll on GA 400 during the campaign.”

Lol, he also promised not to accept federal Race to the Top funds but immediately did an about face and begged Obama for the billion strings attached dollars.

DannyX

October 26th, 2011
12:28 pm

“To the fake me, I know you are simply jealous of my superior knowledge.”

td, does this mean we’re not getting together for dinner tonight?

GA Realistic Voter

October 26th, 2011
12:32 pm

Let’s face it. GA GOP voters know a good thing when they see it. With the general election a certainty, we nominated the upstanding citizen Nathan Deal. He is a champion of small government and job creation, and he absolutely has no conflicts of interest in infrastructure expenditures.
We did the right thing for GA then, and we must do it now. We need Florida Pastor Terry Jones on the GOP ballot. He is the right man for this state and this nation. We GOP voters may not understand fiscal responsibility, and our governor may have been at the head of a now defunct “birther” movement, but we know classical buffoonery in the name of religion and good old fashioned hate when we see it. We need a President who will stand up to these commy liberal Moslims. Don’t take No for an answer. Terry Jones 2012!

aikenite

October 26th, 2011
12:32 pm

I thought the ad was a bit strange but it WAS an internet ad. Now I think it may be a stroke of brilliance. Let me explain. The government has a way of telling us what we should do and not do. It seeks to infiltrate every segment of our lives. We are a free nation. The government is not America, the people are. This ad demonstrates an American performing a legal activity that he, as an American has the right to do. This guy is saying “I don’t care if the government likes smoking or not. I am free to make my own decisions, even bad decisions!” If you think about it, this ad will resonate very positively, especially in this time of big government. Now that I think about it, I REALLY LIKE THIS AD!

double

October 26th, 2011
12:33 pm

Dumb to show smoking in ad.Will would you share your med. with TD? Ajc being partial to tea bags showing their film of occupy ATL.

td

October 26th, 2011
12:38 pm

DannyX

October 26th, 2011
12:28 pm
“To the fake me, I know you are simply jealous of my superior knowledge.”

td, does this mean we’re not getting together for dinner tonight?

Does this mean that it is you X that has been staling my screen name? I thought you had more integrity but hey maybe the true lib in you came out.

brandon

October 26th, 2011
12:39 pm

I wouldn’t run this type of ad but I don’t have the “balls” to. It left me scratching my head on the purpose and message of the ad.

Think of it this way…….a very low cost production that has been seen by maybe a million people now! It makes people stop and think. This might be closer to brilliant than stupid!!!!!!!!

double

October 26th, 2011
12:42 pm

Aikenite-Yes you have freedom.So do I. I do not want to breathe your secondhand smoke.where is the brilliance? Where is the common sense?

oldfart

October 26th, 2011
12:44 pm

From Jim’s column 22 JUN 10:

Nathan Deal, a leading Republican candidate for governor, said today he’ll move quickly as governor to bring down the Georgia 400 toll before the end of 2011.

“As governor, I’ll swing the sledgehammer to bring down the Buckhead Wall,” Deal said Tuesday. “The state has collected more than enough money to pay the bonds for the highway. We are now using the tolls of Georgia 400 drivers to pay for other road projects. That’s not fair to the commuters in north Fulton and Forsyth counties. They’ve carried more than their fair share.”

Frederick Douglass

October 26th, 2011
12:46 pm

Look folks, you can always tell when it’s the genuine td, he’ll be making about as much sense as a conservative can make, then bam, a misspelled word.