Dave Weigel attended Herman Cain’s event at the capitol last weekend and a conference at a nearby hotel and he explains why Herman Cain has followed in Newt’s footsteps in building a series of organizations that can keep the money flowing in — but is not far better off than Gingrich because he pulled out of the race sooner:
Quitting the presidential race worked out brilliantly for Cain. Contrast his life with that of Newt Gingrich, still technically running for president. Cain now heads three organizations, with loosely defined goals—Cain Connections, Cain Solutions, and the Herman Cain Foundation. At this reception, he will announce a video channel called CTV. Its flagship show, confusingly enough will be called Cain TV. A short preview shows the host, a beefy joke writer named Rodney Lee Conover, mocking the life and loves of Sandra Fluke as a cartoon of the birth-control advocate sprawls lazily and lustily on a dorm room bed.
It compares awfully well to the no-end-in-sight tragedy that is Newt 2012. When he left Congress, Gingrich started founding think tanks and holding conferences that people actually showed up to—the strategy that Cain is Xeroxing. Those think tanks, now Newt-less, are shutting down. Running for president doesn’t give Gingrich space in the media to share his grand ideas. It gets him headlines about being bit by penguins. The life of the professional has-been is sweeter than the life of the has-been candidate.
There is a difference though. Gingrich could sell his connections and his legislative experience and act as a pseudo-lobbyist; Cain can’t do that. I suspect that’s why his rally and conference fizzled and attracted few people. He’s a sideshow attraction now, but he’ll continue to make money giving speeches in the finest Holiday Inn ballrooms across the country on the Christian rubber chicken circuit.