Herman Cain has got himself a pretty unconventional presidential campaign—in that it doesn’t appear to exist. Talking Points Memo has noticed a steady stream of reports noting Cain’s astonishingly scant ground presence in all the early voting states. “There is no sense of a tangible organization that you can point to,” New Hampshire GOP strategist Rich Killion tells Time. “If you said, ‘Rich, tell me who is running the effort here?’ I could not even give you that person.” Operatives elsewhere sang similar tunes.
“Is it a campaign, or is it a book tour?” one South Carolina operative asked. In Florida, the Miami Herald says that even prominent Republicans can’t get Cain’s skeleton staff to return their calls, and aren’t sure who’s in charge. In Iowa, Cain has an office with four staffers, but he's not campaigning hard there, supporters tell John Dickerson of Slate—one county chair complains that Cain has thrice bailed on scheduled appearances. Cain’s newly-hired Iowa chair tells Politico that he’s trying to “bring some much-needed organization" to a very grass-roots operation, but added, “I wouldn’t say that this effort would ever be professionalized.” (Read more Herman Cain stories.)