Just as his bid for the GOP presidential nomination is picking up speed, Herman Cain is taking a break from campaigning to promote his newly released book, This Is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House. Following a strong debate performance and a surprise win in the Florida GOP's straw poll last month, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO has defied predictions and risen to join Mitt Romney and Rick Perry at the top of the latest polls. Is it a mistake for Cain to take this "curious" side trip now?
Cain is not even trying to win: This is Cain's moment, say Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Brooke Brower at MSNBC. And he's squandering it. Cain's communications director just left — and with the crucial Iowa caucuses just three months away, Cain is going to spend most of October on a book tour. "Those aren't just signs of someone who's unlikely to win the GOP nomination; they're signs of someone who isn't really trying to win, a la Mike Huckabee in 2007-2008."
"Raising (and lowering) Cain"
Actually, the book tour could give Cain a boost: Signing books isn't exactly a waste of time, says Christine Show at The Orlando Sentinel. On Wednesday, Cain is making one of his first stops in retiree-rich central Florida, where he'll sign books and woo voters in a giant retirement haven called The Villages. And Cain's not alone — Romney is also making an appearance nearby this week.
"Cain the latest presidential candidate to sign books in The Villages"
It still makes you wonder what Cain is after: The heavy hitters — Rick Perry and Mitt Romney — really have a chance to win, says David Grant at The Christian Science Monitor. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) can't win, but he wants to steer the party toward his libertarian views; Jon Huntsman has his eyes on 2016. But "when you take yourself off the campaign trail just to flog a book, it raises the question: Why are you still around, Herman Cain?"
"Herman Cain leaving the campaign trail: Why now?"