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I'm not sure how to describe this. I've seen it described on Twitter as Herman Cain out-Rick Perrying Rick Perry, but it goes so much deeper than that.
In this interview, Herman Cain is asked a relatively simple question -- at least, to the extent that Republicans have a set of talking points on this -- about Libya and the President's handling of it. We've all heard the Luntz talking points about "leading from behind", letting Al Qaeda take over the rebellion, and so on. I could recite them in answer to a question like this without thinking too much about it. This is why Republicans win media battles. They adopt a single set of talking points and don't deviate from them.
Well, except for Herman Cain, who seems to even have trouble pulling up the right set of data points when asked the question. He hesitates, hesitates again, repeats what he thinks are the complaints about how the President handled Libya, and ultimately just tries to craft a non-answer to a simple question.
After his initial hem-haw session, he is pressed to articulate specific differences between the President's decisions on Libya and what he would do, if elected. In high-school BS essay 101 technique speak, he launches into the classic non-answer about gathering opinions and then making a decision. Oh, yes. Consensus building. That's what they call it.
Gosh, I know another candidate who said similar things, except he knew what he was talking about. I will also note that Americans -- and Republicans in particular -- are rejecting consensus politics out of hand, forcing the consensus builder of 2008 to become the class warrior of 2012. That's not entirely bad for anyone but a Republican candidate named Herman Cain who just said he would be a consensus builder, when he managed to say anything at all.