Values Voter Summit: The Cain Train and Its Enemies

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 7 2011 2:34 PM

Values Voter Summit: The Cain Train and Its Enemies

Here's one example of how the hotbox of a conference can affect political reality. In Orlando, before Herman Cain won the GOP's Presidency 5 Straw Poll, there was absolutely no anti-Cain material to be found. Cain's emergence as the poll's landslide winner came organically, and quickly, as voters who liked both Cain and Perry switched their allegiences.

Inside the Omni Shoreham, there is no real anti-Cain agitprop, but there is an unhelpful one-pager at the National Organization for Marriage booth which informs people how candidates have answered the 2012 Pro-Marriage Presidential Pledge. This is the one that commits candidates to establish a special commission to investigate crimes against gay marriage opponents, among other things. And it tells us that Gingrich, Paul, and Cain have NOT signed the pledge. Will he "advance legislation to return to the people of the District"? UNKNOWN. Will he support a federal marriage amendment? NO.


I met two conference attendees, Larry and Lois Gladfeiler, who said they'd learned this, then seen Santorum speak, and moved their allegience accordingly.

Of course, they're saying this before Cain gets a chance to blow the doors off the place. Gary Bauer, the former FRC head who now runs American Values, made sure that I knew Cain got 45 percent in an e-mail poll of his members. Of course, "this is a really fluid race. The people who say they're for Cain right now, maybe in a couple of weeks they decide they like Michele Bachmann.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Dear Prudence
Sept. 22 2014 3:33 PM Killing With Kindness My in-laws want to throw me a get-well-from-cancer bash. There’s no way I can go.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.