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Herman Cain: And You Thought Pizza Was Bad For You
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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This just in: Herman Cain is smoking the competition. No, really. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza is the proud owner of 25% of the popular vote among Republican voters. And to celebrate, it's time to take that public relations good will out for a spin with arguably the most bewildering campaign video in the history of ever.

Meet Mark Block, the "Black Walnut's" campaign manager and Yoda to Cain's Skywalker.

Evidently, this man was in the middle of a stirring message that encouraged people to consider supporting Herman Cain, learning more about his lottery-winning 9-9-9 plan and embracing his no-nonsense message. He got worked up. He mustered up quite the lather. And then began jonesin' for a smoke. So, there toward the end of the video is Block literally blowing hot air right at you. Not quite the message you want to convey as a politician, but there it is.

"We've run a campaign like nobody has ever seen. But then, America has never seen a candidate like Herman Cain."

Same can be said for this video, too. Was Block trying to be a non-conformist? Did he attempt to become the "Rebel Without A Clue... er, Cause?" Or, was it PR genius? The Cain campaign needed more awareness, more people buzzing, and a few new tweets out there, and then "Smokegate" hit YouTube. You think the Cain campaign has more awareness, more buzz, and more social media interactions than ever before? In the words of a once-noted candidate, "You betcha, don't ya' know?"

Ever had a professor or a mentor who has exclaimed, "There's no such thing as bad publicity"? This would Exhibit A. Obviously, Block showing America that he really needs Obama's health-care reform has the nation talking. People are laughing, pointing fingers, and wondering just what in the heck they saw. And then again, that may have been the point all along.

It's no secret that President Obama ran "a campaign like nobody has ever seen," and it was all done via social media. Take a gander at your Twitter feed today. Peek at your status updates this afternoon. Odds are Block will be there blowing his Marlboro in your face.

And you know what they say, fellow flacks: "Where there's smoke, there's fire."


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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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