12.03.11

Herman Cain’s Failure to Be a ‘MackDaddy’ Killed His Campaign

If Herman Cain was serious about running for president, he would have at least been able to hide his alleged affair better, writes Mansfield Frazier.

There was always something vaguely familiar about Herman Cain, ever since I saw him with that cheap hat on (as a fairly dapper black man, I know hats, and if he paid a penny over $39 for that sucker he got robbed). Then it struck me: he's the "Kingfish."

For those of you too young to be in the know, there used to be a very popular radio show (which morphed over to television) named Amos ’n’ Andy. The forerunner of the modern-day sitcom, the show (which portrayed black life in Chicago) was originally conceived in 1920 and performed by two white radio actors, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, who pretended to be black. When television came along, black actors took over the roles.

One of the main characters—other than Amos and Andy—was George "the Kingfish" Stevens, the leader of the Mystic Knights of the Sea Lodge. He was always trying to lure Amos and Andy into his get-rich-quick schemes, or otherwise get the duo into hot water. The "Kingfish" popularized the catch phrase "Holy Mackerel!" and with his trademarked oversize Homburg hat and ever-present big cigar he came to epitomize the black huckster/MackDaddy of his day. He was the prototype for Herman Cain ... sans the white women.

The obvious difference was that the "Kingfish" was playing his role for laughs, while Cain was not—but the laughter was just as loud even if it didn't last near as long. But, like any bad sitcom, Cain's run had to end—we just didn't know how or when.

Herman Cain could be forgiven his self-admitted lack of sophistication in matters of international import and concern—he readily mocked himself for knowing nothing about "Isss-becky-becky-becky-stan-stan-stan," and the rubes he was playing to loved him all the more for his ignorance. They don't know shit either, but they knew he couldn't look down on them for their own shortcomings in the brains department. Plus, his candidacy gave the right-wingers the perfect opportunity to say, "See, we're not racists!"

But Cain's candidacy wasn't torpedoed by his well-known ignorance (something he was being given somewhat of a pass on). He was undone by his failure in the area he should have excelled at: MackDaddying.

Come on, you've got an (alleged) 13-year affair with a woman who, by her own admission, is as broke as the Ten Commandments, and with your wealth you're not MackDaddy enough to at least keep her quiet—if not ecstatically happy?

Come on, you've got an (alleged) 13-year affair with a woman who, by her own admission, is as broke as the Ten Commandments, and with your wealth you're not MackDaddy enough to at least keep her quiet—if not ecstatically happy?

If Ginger White is telling the truth, Cain actually is giving real MackDaddies the world over a bad name, and here's why: when you have a main squeeze for that long (as opposed to playing 'hit it and quit it" with a woman for a few months), she becomes akin to a crime partner and you're joined at the hip with her forever. She knows where the bodies are buried (probably helped you bury a couple of them) and the details of all your other high crimes and misdemeanors. Under any and all circumstances you've got to keep her happy—and quiet.

Any MackDaddy worthy of the title would have been able to accomplish this with ease. This dude couldn't manage a sordid little sex affair (she says it never was about love) and he wanted the American public to entrust him with managing sensitive, delicate, and potentially explosive world affairs? Please.

The man never was serious, and going out like a sucker proves it. He was just being kept in the race for comic relief; so the other candidates—before taking the stage for a debate—had a head to rub for luck.