Herman Cain; A True Washington Insider

Herman Cain’s run for President has been nothing if not unique. He’s an African American Republican. That’s fairly unique. He’s a cancer survivor. That might now be so unique, but it breeds sympathy and empathy. He’s really into numerology. That’s unique. His tax plan sounds like a pizza special. That’s definitely unique. He vows to never sign a bill over three pages. That’s silly unique.

Now, Cain has released a bizarre campaign ad which shows his chief of staff showin’ his love for the Herman Cain campaign, followed by a deep and seductive inhale of a cigarette. (VIDEO)

As disturbing as that ad is, what’s more disturbing is what the ad really seems to be dramatizing, Cain’s long and profitable history with the tobacco industry.

Talking Points Memo has a different take on the ad, and Raw Story reports that master liar manipulator, Andrew Breitbart maybe behind the ad, but one fact is indisputable, Cain, who markets himself as a Washington outsider, has made a career out of being a Washington insider. After retiring from Godfather’s Pizza in 1996, Cain went to work as the head of the National Restaurant Association. He fought for less strict drunk driving laws. He lobbied against increasing the minimum wage. He fought against the Patients’ Bill of Rights. And, he lobbied with the tobacco industry to prevent restaurant smoking bans.

From the New York Times:

It was a role that gave him an intimate view of the way Washington works, putting him in close proximity to Republican leaders at the time, including Newt Gingrich, now one of his presidential rivals, and John A. Boehner, now speaker of the House. And it helped Mr. Cain lay the groundwork for the next chapter in his life, his entry into electoral politics, beginning with a short-lived bid for the White House in 2000.

Those who knew him then could see his ambitions developing. Rob Meyne, an official at the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which contributed handsomely to the restaurant group, wrote in a 1999 e-mail to his colleagues that Mr. Cain’s presidential plans were “not totally unexpected.” In the message, part of an online archive of tobacco industry documents (first noticed by the liberal blog Think Progress), a wry and somewhat skeptical Mr. Meyne assessed Mr. Cain’s chances.

“Nice to have goals, huh?” Mr. Meyne wrote, speculating that perhaps Mr. Cain wanted to be vice president or had a cabinet post in mind. “In any event,” he went on, “Cain brings some positives. He is a genuine ‘antigovernment mandate’ conservative who happens to be an African-American. He is a wonderful speaker and would be an effective and charismatic candidate. He is also good on our issues.”

Mark Block, the man featured in the video, was formerly the Wisconsin Director of Americans for Prosperity, a special interest group funded by the Koch Brothers and best known for lobbying for business interests, including union busting, low and no taxes, and cheap labor. Block’s branch of the group helped propel Scott Walker into the Governorship of Wisconsin.

Herman Cain might be running a unique campaign, but his history proves that he’s as unique to Washington as cronyism.