Herman Cain heads into tonight's debate in Las Vegas riding a wave of newfound hype and the polling results to back it up. He and Mitt Romney look to be neck and neck nationally, and Cain is currently riding high in Iowa and South Carolina. Those are two of the closely-watched early primary states -- win those and suddenly, you start inviting conversations about your "path to the nomination."
Of course, there are reasons that people aren't having those conversations now. Mitt Romney, as flawed as he is in the eyes of the GOP elite, has nevertheless surrounded himself with a sharp campaign team and enough financial benefactors to give him a considerable fundraising edge. By contrast, those same elites are having a hard time taking Cain seriously, because the pizza mogul has surrounded himself with... Well, that's just the thing! No one seems to know who Cain's aides-de-camp are. And Cain, for reasons well beyond understanding, seems to regard the identities of the members of his inner circle as some sort of critical state secret, to be disclosed only on pain of death.
Reid Epstein reports today that Cain is adding even more secret advisors to his campaign. Will tonight be the night that Cain starts coming clean? Well, if past performance is any indication, the answer is no.
[Video produced by Samuel Wilkes.]