“It’s a Phenomenon!” Why Herman Cain’s Campaign is Smoking


“It’s a phenomenon, but so is the Herman Cain campaign.”

That is the only explanation Mark Block, Herman Cain’s campaign chief, has for the white-hot focus on his new campaign video; the one where Block is smoking. In an interview with ABC News, Block says, “People know if they want to speak to me, they can find me outside with talking on the cell-phone with a coffee and a cigarette.”

So, yes, it’s for real. Yes he was smoking. But no, he wasn’t really trying to send any kind of coded message. The 57 year-old says he has been smoking since he was about 15. He now smokes about half a pack of Marlboro Lights every day. “I don’t condone smoking, it’s just who I am,” he says. In a statement the campaign said they have “heard overwhelmingly positive feedback on the video, most people think it’s hysterical.”

While there might not be a “coded” message in the video, the “just who I am” message is one that seems to be working for the Cain campaign. The latest polls show him leading the Republican field, despite a meager campaign war-chest and little political experience. “It’s obvious we are resonating with the American people,” Block told ABC News. “It’s the non-traditional campaign, but more importantly the message.”

Block says that is why Cain’s popularity seems untarnished by a string of perhaps contradictory, or at least confusing statements on everything from abortion to negotiating with terrorists, to even his 9-9-9 plan (which briefly seemed to be a 9-0-9 plan). It’s not that people either like or dislike these positions, Block says, what matter is, “people like Herman Cain.”

Read more here about Block and the ad in which he smokes.