Herman Cain steered clear of all things Libya in an at-times tense interview on the Late Show with David Letterman yesterday, which was probably for the best or the headline for this post would have said something like, "Herman Cain Says Nancy Pelosi Is a Libyan Princess" or "Letterman Tries to Get Herman Cain to Point Libya Out on a Map." He did, however, say "Ubeki-beki-beki-stan" again and argue that the only difference between himself and Donald Trump is that he's black and three inches shorter than The Apprentice master. Letterman, for his part, wasn't exactly hiding his real concerns (or is it contempt?) for Cain's pizza-box economic policy, while Cain, all smiles and gold tie, did his best to laugh (or, more accurately, titter) throughout it all.
It was a question about how Cain would deal with China — we have to outgrow them, he says — that led to one of the more memorable back-and-forths.
Cain: Well, you put in place an economic growth plan called 9-9-9, have you heard of it?
Letterman: I've heard of it. I don't know what it means.
Cain: [Laughs] 9-9-9. It's bold —
Letterman: I know it's bold [barely concealed eye-rolling] but you don't even know what it means. I heard somebody say to you, 'How would so-and-so and so-and-so be handled under 9-9-9?' And you said, 'I don't know!'
We did perk up when Cain, responding to an unoriginal Letterman joke that there should be a 9-9-9 toll-free number to get a free pizza, said "Instead of a free pizza, when you dial 9-9-9, you'll be able to get a job." Oh goodie! Hope they don't run out of those "the other 1 percent" jobs — a super yacht sounds really nice right about now.
As for the sexual harassment scandal that's been dragging Cain down in the polls:Cain: Remember this: In my entire career, no accusations were ever made of that sort – not until I got inside the Beltway, in Washington, D.C.
Letterman: Well, that's the way it works. When you put something under a microscope we're going to find amoebas.
Of course sexual harassment allegations are like amoebas! After briefly mentioning his own much-publicized sex scandal, Letterman asked the candidate if his four accusers — Cain: How did you get four? Letterman: You tell me. Oh, I'm sorry, is it 9-9-9? — were lying, Cain said yes, adding several times, "did not happen!"