What the ...? Herman Cain announces campaign stop in ....Alabama?

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That state's 47 delegates will be on the line on March 13 - which, if Cain is still in the hunt by then, will all be important delegates.


But if he does in fact lose out to Romney in all of those early states (and he may not - South Carolina and Nevada are extremely competitive), Alabama may mean nothing by the time their primary rolls around.


The point is, there's a reason you're not seeing the other Republicans spending too much time there. It's too far away. But by campaigning there this weekend, Cain is playing into the narrative of his critics that this is more about improving his brand and his speaker fees, and not a serious run to lead the nation.


Okay, but how's the campaign going otherwise? Well, to read Susan Saulny's piece in the NY Times today, not very well.


Here are some highlights:


Some staffers say they received a memo that said when traveling with the candidate: “Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to."


Staffers said over the spring and summer he did not spend much time with workers, nor did he plan conference calls or staff meetings, and was given to changing his mind about appearances.


Staffers also said basic supplies like signs and bumper stickers were difficult to find, and in "many cases," they had to buy their own.


And then there's this choice anecdote:


In July, a businessman and Tea Party supporter, Bill Hemrick, invited some 200 friends to the private Standard Club in Nashville to meet Mr. Cain. Mr. Hemrick said the Cain campaign had asked him to serve as its financial chairman for Tennessee.


After speaking to the crowd, Mr. Cain was to attend a private club dinner for a select group of conservatives, who were in a position to donate the $2,500 maximum.


But somehow Mr. Cain forgot, or his staff failed to follow through. After his speech, Mr. Cain called to thank Mr. Hemrick for the evening. “I said, ‘I’ll see you upstairs,’ Mr. Hemrick recalled, where the potential donors had gathered. “He said, ‘Well, I’m at the airport.’ ”


Among Cain's Florida hires named earlier this week includes Tampa GOP media guru Adam Goodman, considered one of the best in the country at what he does. If Team Cain were smart, they'd hire Goodman for the entire campaign, and not just to work here in Florida. Because he needs some adult political supervision now, before it all blows up.


“I thought, wow, good communication there,” Mr. Hemrick said.


Mr. Hemrick, a founder of the Upper Deck trading card company, said that shortly afterward, the Cain campaign named someone else as its Tennessee financial chairman — which he first learned from his replacement.


Among Cain's Florida hires announced earlier this week is Tampa based GOP media consultant Adam Goodman. Goodman's portfolio for now is strictly Florida, but if Cain is serious, he should bump up this new addition to a national post, since he apparently needs some serious, grown up political help now.

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For those of you who believe that GOP voters are enjoying dating Herman Cain right now but will ultimately marry Mitt Romney (excuse the metaphor), that belief might have been cemented Wednesday when a new CNN/Time/ORC poll revealed that the former Massachusetts Governor leads Cain in all four of the early primary states, with double digits leads in New Hampshire and here in Florida.

But if you really have doubts about Cain, check out today's devastating story in the New York Times about the lack of discipline and execution in the Cain camp.

But before we check out those details, there's also the news that Team Cain sent out yesterday revealing that the co-front runner in many polls for the nomination would be campaigning in the critical early voting state of.......Alabama?

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