In just one news cycle, Cain has been forced to deny allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior toward two women employees when he was chief lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association and to deal with a declaration that Planned Parenthood was created as a tool for black genocide.
This comes on the heels of his 9-9-9 plan, a flat tax that would hurt working and middle class Americans and the bizarre ad featuring campaign manager Mark Block taking a long drag from a cigarette while praising Cain.
Where do Republicans find these outliers? And what does the surge of popularity for Cain, after similar surges for Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry (not to mention the enduring fascination for Sarah Palin) say about the extremism of the Republican primary and caucus voter?
While media coverage of day-to-day life on the trail has helped bring out the character tics of the hopefuls, we have yet to see anything exploring the question of the GOP primary voter values. How widespread are the beliefs that raise Cain and others? What exactly is the role of religious activists within the GOP? What is the party and the outsiders cabal that is financing the 2012 campaign doing to either promote or defuse this faction?
Important questions that demand answers from a media that too frequently reports on the daily events without digging into their longer-term significance.