Late Thursday night, Herman Cain‘s team sent out a Tweet directing followers to a new page on his website. “Please take a moment,” the tweet read, “to encourage Mr. Cain to stay in the race and fight for freedom!”
Clicking the link led users to Cain’s “Encouragement” Page, “where supporters are invited to show their support, communicate their prayers and voice their vote for Herman Cain.” The page asks people to share why they feel it’s important for Cain to stay in the race, and then makes the curious decision of saying that “the Left” is behind the attacks on Cain (as opposed to either not mentioning that at all, or blaming a vague GOP operative).
The posts so far have been a little overly dramatic and are full of unintentional humor. And there are CAPS. Lots of CAPS. Plenty of prayers are being said for Cain, and many people have apparently donated to his cause. The whole thing is kind of cheesy, in a “sign our online wedding guestbook!” kind of way, and for someone who is a fan of Cain, it might give some pause. Sure, he’s getting hammered with accusations, but he’s still third in most national polls, besting the governor of Texas and two elected Representatives. He’s a multi-millionaire. He absolutely has a spot waiting for him somewhere as a television host when he drops out of the race. Does the man really need his staff to be asking for words of encouragement from, say, an octogenarian veteran who is struggling to make ends meet?
Making the “Encouragement” page more damaging is the fact that people are prompted to enter their first and last names, as well as cities, zip codes, and e-mail addresses. Only the e-mail addresses are kept hidden. So plugging the first and last name into a simple Google search pulls up social profiles and photos on the posters. Add in the city, and you can track down even more private information. The Cain campaign should seriously reconsider dropping the last names and cities from those electing to post on the walls, as it currently serves primarily as a playground for cunning identity thieves, and secondarily as words of encouragement for a struggling candidate.
If the page seriously convinces Cain to stay in the race, then it’s good for everyone, because he’s an entertaining debater and adds some spark to the campaign trail. But right now, it seems to be little more than an unnecessary ego boost from CAPS-loving followers, who may unwittingly have given the entire world too much information about themselves.
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