The Onion Explains Herman Cain’s Temporary Surge

The Onion Explains Herman Cain’s Temporary Surge October 22, 2011

Leave it to The Onion to explain perfectly why Herman Cain has suddenly — and temporarily — surged in the polls. It’s because the Republicans are desperately looking for any possible alternative to the man they will ultimately nominate for president.

In a dramatic turn for the 2012 presidential race, comatose former congressman John Clarkson ( threw his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination today, and early polls show the immobile, bedridden candidate already ahead of his competition.

Clarkson, who has been in a coma since 2003, has a four-point lead over previous frontrunner Mitt Romney among likely voters according to an Onion News Network poll. Surveys indicate that while Clarkson cannot move or speak, many see him as “more likable” than Romney. “Of all the Republican candidates, [Clarkson] is the one I’d most like to have a beer with, if beer can go in his IV,” systems analyst Paul Lancaster of Scranton, PA told Onion News Network reporters.

Clarkson’s entry into the race may also put a damper on the growing momentum of Herman Cain’s campaign. Polls show 54% of voters see Cain’s proposed “9-9-9” tax plan as “making less sense” than Clarkson’s plan of lolling his head to the side and breathing shallowly.

The poll also finds a majority of voters see Clarkson as having “better stage presence” than Texas governor Rick Perry. Clarkson, who is typically strapped to a gurney and wheeled onstage by a team of nurses for campaign rallies, was said to “look more engaged” during public appearances than Rick Perry by most of those surveyed. “Clarkson’s eyes sometimes appear to follow light or movement,” teacher Sara Kramer of Ventura, CA told pollsters. “But when you look at Rick Perry, and you can just tell there is no brain activity at all going on there.”

Ron Paul, while still maintaining a base of hard-core supporters, also polls behind Clarkson. “I like Ron Paul’s policy ideas,” said mechanic Michael Owens of Glassboro, NJ, “But I want to vote for someone who realistically has a better shot at actually winning, like this guy in the coma.”

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  • Oh, great. If I fail to find some third party candidate or rogue Democrat I’m willing to vote for, now I have a possible snarky entry to write in.

  • dingojack

    Australia has already been there, done that!



    “By 1982 it was evident that prime minister Fraser was manoeuvring to call an early election. Hawke began mobilising his supporters to challenge Hayden’s leadership. On 16 July Hayden narrowly defeated Hawke’s challenge in a party ballot, but Hawke continued to plot against Hayden. In December Labor failed to win the vital Flinders by-election, further raising doubts about Hayden’s ability to win an election.

    On 3 February 1983, in a meeting in Brisbane, Hayden’s closest supporters told him that he must resign. He reluctantly accepted their advice. Hawke was then elected leader unopposed. Later that morning, unaware of the events in Brisbane, Fraser in Canberra called a snap election for 5 March. At a press conference that afternoon Hayden, still chagrined, said that “a drover’s dog could lead the Labor Party to victory at the present time”. Labor under Hawke won the 1983 election, and Hayden became Minister for Foreign Affairs, a position he held until 1988.” – Wikipedia

    [Emphasis mine]

  • I’m actually hoping Cain gets nominated. I think that would be a hoot.

  • harold

    Two quick points –

    1) I am also rooting for Herman Cain; for one thing, just the fact that both major party’s presidential candidates will be black if he wins would be entertaining. Ed is probably right that Cain will fade again. One dynamic, though, is that many of the primary voters who hate African-Americans also hate Yankees from Massachusetts (or Michigan) and Mormons. At the end of the day, Cain doesn’t poll any better against Obama than Perry does, and Romney does poll better nationally than either of them. However, there is an irrational anger against Perry – he was brought in as a savior, didn’t live up to that billing, and is now personna non grata. Romney wins if they do whatever it takes to have the best chance of winning, and that’s probably what they will do. If an “I won’t vote for a Yankee Mormon under any circumstances” movement takes hold, Cain may have a tiny chance, due to the fact that Perry is crippled by having failed to meet unrealistic expectations, and Cain doesn’t have that problem.

    Full disclosure – I have spent a fair amount of time in Texas for business reasons. I speak standard “educated” English with a type of local Canadian accent that linguists can detect, but most people don’t. Many younger native Texans speak a standard sounding English, too, which is pretty hard to distinguish from mine, and I was never personally taken as a definitive outsider or mistreated on that grounds (I have been subjected to a suspicious attitude in other southern states, due to not speaking with a southern accent and/or being part of a professional convention known to include northerners and Europeans). In fact, it’s easier to be sure that I am not a native New Yorker than to be sure that I didn’t grow up in say, a suburb of Houston. However, I did get the subjective feeling that bias against definitive outsiders like Romney can equal or exceed bias against African-Americans who are perceived as being locals.

    2) All of these clowns are such jokes, including Romney, that Obama, despite his many severe flaws, would poll well above any of them in a sane world. However, in current national polls, Obama is just barely ahead of Romney, on average, and while Obama is consistently ahead of Cain or Perry by more than a margin of error, they both do terrifyingly well.

    My point here is not that polls 13 months out have much significance, but that in a sane world, Romney, Cain, or Perry wouldn’t poll as reasonable candidates, ever. It’s a very sobering situation.

  • Michael Heath

    Harold writes:

    All of these clowns are such jokes, including Romney, that Obama, despite his many severe flaws, would poll well above any of them in a sane world.

    Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy would make him a joke in a sane world but he’s not running in a sane world. He’s not a joke, he’s running to win within a party dominated by the insane.

    My rebuttal doesn’t imply I support Mr. Romney, I find that he doesn’t meet my standards to gain my consideration or support, partly because of his willingness to pander to conservatives and his own conservative positions. But he’s far from a joke given the environment within which he runs.

  • ah58

    There is precedent for this. In Nov. 2000 Mel Carnahan beat John Ashcroft in the race for Missouri’s senate seat, despite the fact that Mr. Carnahan had died the month before in a plane crash.

  • dingojack

    OK, thin is what the market thinks:

    Winner of 2012 Presidential Election (party)

    Democrats: 49.45%

    Republicans: 47.55%

    Other: 3.00%

    Winner of the 2012 Presidential Election (individual)

    Obama: 49.0% Chance of winning

    Romney 33.5% ” ” ”

    Perry: 6.4% ” ” ” (and falling)

    Cain: 3.6% ” ” ” (and falling)

    Chance of getting the Repulican Nomination

    Romney: 67.2%

    Perry: 14.1% (and falling)

    Cain: 7.0% (and falling)




  • Larry

    Here’s the winning GOP ad: Vote for our guy. He’s in a coma!

  • dogmeat

    The truly sad thing for our country is that while Obama is a seriously flawed candidate, he is worlds better than any of the Republican candidates and his really mediocre policies are better than anything that the Repulican electorate are willing to accept for a party platform.

  • Aquaria

    Here’s the winning GOP ad: Vote for our guy. He’s in a coma!

    That makes him smarter than the collective IQ of the Republicans running right now.

  • Michael Heath


    The truly sad thing for our country is that while Obama is a seriously flawed candidate . . .

    Seriously flawed? Really?

  • jamescownie

    Anyone else remember Peter Sellers’ film “Being There”?

  • Aquaria

    Seriously flawed? Really?

    How do you think it’s not a serious for a President to blatantly support a surveillance state.

    How do you think it’s not a serious for a President having anyone he doesn’t like killed, without a trial, without due process especially when he does it to American citizens?

    How do you think it’s not a serious for a President to stiff the American people by extending tax cuts for the rich while wrangling with a stifling deficit and a moribund economy?

    How do you think it’s not a serious flaw for a President to dawdle and hem and haw over health care–and ends up with a bill that the Republicans circa 1993 would have been ashamed to sign up for?

    How do you think it’s not a serious for a President to be so fucking inept that his idea of compromise is to hear from his opponents “We want X” and Obama to say, “Hey, guys, I’ll give you X, Y & Z–how about that?”

    He’s a disaster.

  • Aquaria

    I seem to be allergic to the word flaw today…

  • gocartmozart


    Hit me

    Going going gone

    Now I proposed 999 a long time ago

    Don’t you see how now they’re reactin’

    They only come and they come when I poll well

    I’ll get the right sound bite to sell well

    I don’t care ’cause I stay paid anyway

    I’ll teach ya like an ace that can’t be betrayed

    I know I stumble with no use people

    If your life is on the line, don’t care if you’re dead today

    I’ma late coming man with the late coming plan to getcha

    It’s a body bag in disguise y’all betcha

    I call it body snatchers quick they come to fetch ya?

    With a bankruptcy suit just to dissect ya

    We are the kings ’cause we swing low taxation

    Lose your arms, your legs to us it’s the enterprise system

    I can prove it to you just watch the juxtaposition

    It all adds up to a funky situation

    So get up get, get get down

    999 is a joke in yo town

    Get up, get, get, get down

    Late 999 wears the late crown

    999 is a joke

  • It appears that “The Coma Candidate” has withdrawn from the race, due to a sex scandal, per The Onion.

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