Thursday, July 28, 2011

Herman Cain Backpedals On Muslim Fear Mongering.

One time pizza magnate and awful gospel singer Herman Cain's presidential aspirations get less likely with every Michelle Bachmann surge in the Iowa polls. It's not like anyone expected Daddy Green to make it to Super Tuesday anyway. We all know the end game here is a Fox News show. Cain has already plied his trade as a conservative talk radio hack for years, so it's not like this would be a major stretch. If a boring guy like Mike Huckabee can cash in handsomely for his longshot 2008 run, the far more dynamic and entertaining Cain could surely find a similarly lucrative cable news show in his future.

That said, he's got to maintain the appearance that his run for the Presidency is serious to gain the legitimacy and name recognition needed for the job. His run thus far has been a roller coaster is surprising debate performance, followed by lousy debate performances, with a cluster of news grabbing flubs thrown in for entertainment value. Perhaps nothing's gained Cain more media coverage (and scrutiny) than his comments about Muslims, most of which began with this YouTube Instant Classic.

With this dominant "he hates Muslims" narrative beginning to define him, Cain kept putting his foot in his mouth, trying to backpedal only to make the situation worst. Of course, being blatantly racist/xenophobic/bigoted/insert your own "ism" here isn't good for business, even on Fox News. So Cain (finally) apologized yesterday.
Herman Cain had his much-ballyhooed meeting with Muslims Wednesday, and he emerged, he said in a campaign statement "humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends."

Cain stood behind his past remarks about Islam and sharia law, but he apologized to the Muslims he may have offended. In a recent interview, Cain said that Americans should be allowed to ban mosques from their communities if they so choose.

"While I stand by my opposition to the interference of sharia law into the American legal system, I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends," he said in the statement. "I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it."

Cain's meeting came at the ADAMS Center, a Northern Virginia mosque complex that recently hosted deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough. At ADAMS, Cain met with Imam Mohamed Magid, the executive director of the center, as well as several other top officials. In the statement, Cain said he found common ground with the Muslims he met with Wednesday from his own past.

In the past, Cain has been less willing to take his own experiences and connect them with the lives of Muslims in modern America. In the Fox News Sunday interview July 17 where he said American communities have the right to keep out mosques if they wish, Cain rejected a direct comparison with discrimination from the Civil Rights era. Show host Chris Wallace asked Cain about the mosque comment as well as Cain's past promise to use special precautions to ensure Muslim applicants for his administration are not not "terrorists." Wallace said that sounded like religious discrimination to some.
I suppose I should give Daddy Green some credit for going into the belly of the (figurative) beast, taking the heat and apologizing. It would have been easier to simply duck the topic or issue a cowardly press release. On the other hand, with his sham of a campaign on the rocks, partially because of this issue, did he really have any other option?

Question: Was Cain sincere in his apology, or is this mere political maneuvering to salvage a sinking ship? Has Michelle Bachmann stolen most of his Christian evangelical thunder? Is there any way his campaign makes it to South Carolina?

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