Posted Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, at 12:39 PM
Chris Moody, one of the really underrated scribes covering 2012, hangs out with Herman Cain during a stop at Orlando's eschatologically-correct Holy Land Experience theme park.
He did have a slight worry at one point during the chemotherapy process when he discovered that one of the surgeon's name was "Dr. Abdallah."
"I said to his physician assistant, I said, 'That sounds foreign--not that I had anything against foreign doctors--but it sounded too foreign," Cain tells the audience. "She said, 'He's from Lebanon.' Oh, Lebanon! My mind immediately started thinking, wait a minute, maybe his religious persuasion is different than mine! She could see the look on my face and she said, 'Don't worry, Mr. Cain, he's a Christian from Lebanon.'"
"Hallelujah!" Cain says. "Thank God!"
The crowd laughs uneasily.
I was taken aback until I remembered that Cain has said this before. My colleague Will Saletan pointed that out over the summer, linking back to this video of Cain speaking in Georgia, in February, at Rock Springs church. Go to 5:00: He tells the story, and the crowd laughs along, with a faint hint of "eh, should we be indulging him in this?"
At the risk of flogging the hair off this dead horse, I see another stupid aspect to this story. Lebanon is the most Christian nation in the Middle East. Around 35 percent of people living in the country now are Catholic or Orthodox. Cain hears the last name, though, and panics. You're left to wonder what would have happened had the doctor been a Muslim or a Druze or something. You're also left asking: Uh, why does Cain think this story's such a home run with Christian audiences?