When is a reassessment not a resignation?
To most of us in the political biz, “reassessment”, the term Herman Cain used in a conference call this morning with senior staff, is code for “about to drop out.”
Yet those of us who have followed the Cain Train through its many ups and downs know that this isn’t a campaign that follows the well-worn rules of the game.
On a conference call this morning, Cain reminded his team that “during the summer we had to make some reassessments based upon our financial situation. We were able to hang in there; we reassessed the situation and kept on going. We also did a reassessment after the Iowa straw poll, and we made another reassessment after the Florida straw poll. When the previous two accusations, false accusations, came about, we made another assessment.”
These reassessments have often meant the candidate’s dipping into his own pocket for some extra cash. Then moving on.
In the days following the Iowa straw poll, for example, Cain dropped $175,000 of his own money into the campaign. He put in $50,000 on Aug. 15, just two days after his 5th place finish in Ames. On Aug. 22, another $50,000. Then another $25,000 on Aug. 30. On Sept. 14, less than two weeks before the closing of the third quarter deadline, Cain loaned himself another $50,000.
All told, Cain has loaned his campaign $675,000, most of it coming in $50,000 to $100,000 chunks.
This isn’t to say that Cain will try to simply buy his way out of this latest controversy. But it does suggest that political reporters may have to “reassess” their thinking about just what – or how – the Cain campaign will do next.