Herman Cain officially opened his Iowa campaign headquarters last night. Cain’s office should be familiar for Polk County Republicans as it’s the same space in which Brad Zaun’s 3rd District Congressional campaign was housed. Zaun is backing Michele Bachmann, whose office is located about 100 paces from Cain’s door.
Close to 85 supporters and well-wishers packed into Cain’s new office. Cain spent most of the time promoting his set of twelve common sense ideals that will help guide him in tackling the major issues that fact the nation if elected.
Cain also introduced his new Iowa staff to the crowd. Cain is on his third set of staff members since launching his campaign. Still, Cain insists, “We’re running this like a business, go figure. And guess what? It is working. That’s the important thing.” What’s working is Cain’s abundant charisma and engaging personality. His actual campaign apparatus on the other hand, has been rocked by staff departures.
Some of Cain’s staff departures occurred because they didn’t believe Cain was putting in the necessary effort in Iowa to be competitive in the state. His schedule seems to back up that claim. Last week, Cain backed out of a commitment to speak at the Fayette County GOP dinner just one week before the straw poll.
Cain’s website says that the candidate will instead be giving the keynote address at the 5th Annual Gathering of Eagles Conservative Grassroots BBQ in Turner, Oregon. The Oregon presidential primary is set to occur on May 15, 2012, and the nomination process will likely be over for all intents and purposes at that time.
In about a month, we will be able to tell if Cain’s team can transform the apparent interest people have for their candidate into actual support at the Ames Straw Poll. The straw poll is a critical early test of organizational strength for Republican candidates running in Iowa. Cain has told the Des Moines Register that he believes he can place in the top three. Cain needs a strong finish to prove that he’s more than just a gifted speaker.
Cain’s crowd last night wasn’t full of familiar faces, which indicates that his appeal may be bringing in new people to the caucus process. If that’s the case, it take a dedicated and disciplined staff to convince those supported to give up a Saturday in August to go to the straw poll and support their candidate.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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