The Fulton County Republican party had thought of tonight as an opportunity to celebrate Herman Cain’s spectacular rise to the top of the polls in the GOP race for president – but it will have to do so without the candidate.
A spokesman for Cain’s campaign confirmed to my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin that he won’t be able to make the Atlanta gig. No reason was given.
Cain’s rapidly growing staff has been struggling to keep up with increased demands. But last week, his spokesman also said a slower, more deliberate pace would help Cain reduce the number of missteps he’s made in interviews and speeches on such topics as electric fences and abortion.
And, no doubt, an appearance in Buckhead would attract a scrum of reporters who aren’t finished talking about sexual harassment.
So instead, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich will be providing the keynote address – but even that will be via a taped message from Iowa.
The 5:30 – 10 p.m. event is at the W Atlanta – Buckhead at 3377 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30326.
At the Washington Post, The Fix notes that – even before news broke of sexual harassment complaints against Herman Cain – the GOP presidential candidate was drawing his strength from Republican men, not women:
If even more women turn against Cain, it could give Romney — who already does better with female than male voters — the chance to pull ahead in the GOP presidential primary.
The Des Moines Register wrote Sunday that in the new Iowa poll that showed Cain and Romney neck-and-neck, men were behind Cain’s success — 26 percent prefer him while only 18 percent backed Romney. The numbers were almost exactly the reverse for Romney with female respondents — the former governor beat Cain 27 to 17 percent.
The Georgia Democratic party is about to launch a debate over whether to empower its county organizations to make endorsements in primary contests.
Chairman Mike Berlon said that and other changes have been recommended by the Democratic National Committee to increase grassroots participation.
“For years the Democratic party has been an offshoot of our highest elected official,” Berlon said. “The idea is to give more authority at the local level. We’d like the counties to have more decision-making authority.”
There’s another reason. Berlon said some tea partyers have been threatening to run in Democratic primaries. The rule change would allow county Democratic party leaders to single them out. “They know they’re candidates, they know their leaders,” Berlon said.
The chairman said the change will be proposed at a Dec. 3 meeting of the party’s state committee, with a vote in January or Febuary next year.
With Bob Barr more interested in a return to Congress (as a Republican, no less) than a second run for the White House, the Libertarian party will be looking for another candidate.
Jason Pye, a blogger who follows such matters, says he’s been contacted by the “Committee to Recruit Gary Johnson.” Johnson is the two-term former governor of New Mexico – a largely ignored candidate in the Republican presidential race.
Other Republicans are holding out hope that Texas congressman Ron Paul, also in the GOP race, could be persuaded to make another Libertarian-party bid – as he did in 1988.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider