Bonfire of the Vanities

By Tomasky, Michael | Newsweek, December 12, 2011 | Go to article overview

Bonfire of the Vanities


Tomasky, Michael, Newsweek


Byline: Michael Tomasky

In the end, it was Herman Cain's ego, not the women, that killed his campaign. The GOP's fatal arrogance.

It's the end of the line for the hit (for a month anyway) situation comedy The Herman Cain Show--as something worth tuning into, anyway. As the obituaries are rushed to press, most of the experts will chalk the demise up to the candidate's inexperience and his staff's ineptitude. It's not that those things aren't true, but they miss the real point. The real culprit is Cain's bottomless vanity, and even though he may no longer be very interesting, there is a lesson in his collapse for all the candidates.

First, on the subject of the Herminator (a nickname he seems to have bestowed on himself, which is always a bad sign). I urge you, when you next find yourself in a bookstore, to pick up a copy of his newish book, This Is Herman Cain!, and flip through it. You need only reach page three to read how he "redefined campaign history" (he may have, but not in the way he means). Then flip ahead to the closing chapter to read how Cain will handle his first 90 days in office. The tone of serene self-adulation leaches so fulsomely out of every page that it practically gets on your hands. Many pundits have assumed that Cain wasn't really "serious" about his candidacy--that he was just trying to raise his profile, sell some books. But the book, it's clear from page one, is not the work of man who wasn't serious about his candidacy. He thought that the presidency was his destiny. Actually, I wouldn't be shocked if he still thinks it.

"CEO of Self" is Cain's pet phrase. He even wrote an earlier motivational book with that title. He invokes the phrase with regard to practically everything, from how he ascended the corporate ladder to his decision to eschew the tonsorial establishments of Atlanta and cut his own hair. But the question we'll never get an answer to, from him anyway, is how such a disciplined man could behave in such un-CEO-of-Self-like fashion as to think that the stories of Ginger White, the woman who claims she and Cain had a 13-year affair that he ended just recently, and the women who accuse him of harassment would never see the light of day.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bonfire of the Vanities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.