Video of the Day: Herman Cain and a Child Hate Stimulus ... and Goldfish

By David A. Graham

A breathtaking new ad from the former presidential contender

Step aside, Mike Gravel: we have a new contender in the category of bizarre, minimalist political viral videos featuring nature and water. This video is posted on Sick of Stimulus, a site for Cain Solutions, former presidential candidate Herman Cain's post-campaign project. Describing the ad doesn't really do it justice, but Sick of Stimulus says on YouTube that the goldfish was not harmed (we want proof!).

This spot neatly distills everything about Cain's late, lamented (by satirists and reporters, if not the Republican Party) run for president. Throughout the campaign, Cain was extremely talented at packaging widely held conservative tenets into delicious rhetorical truffles, but there was seldom much, or any, substance behind them. Everyone knows Cain dislikes stimulus, and this ad conveys that memorably. But it doesn't even attempt an argument about how or why it's bad, or what policies the U.S. ought to pursue instead. Maybe not dumping the goldfish out of the fish bowl?

Cynics also charged that Cain's campaign was a money-making, not policy-making ploy. Although Cain seemed to genuinely believe that he'd make it to the White House, it's worth noting that stickofstimulus.com consists entirely of this video, a place to sign up to get spam email from Cain, and a button for visitors to give Cain Solutions money -- though what it will be used for is unclear.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/video-of-the-day-herman-cain-and-a-child-hate-stimulus-and-goldfish/253856/