It has been a week since the infamous Republican presidential debate, and the media are already saying that candidate Herman Cain has “Rick Perry’d” it. Asked whether he supported President Obama’ s decision-making on Libya, Cain blanked, looked at the ceiling, shifted awkwardly in his chair and rambled on vaguely that he would have done a better job “assessing the situation.” Maybe he should have done a better job assessing his own weaknesses, because clearly ad-libbing is not his strong suit – nor is it something anyone should ever do, be you junior spokesperson or presidential candidate. One of the fundamentals of effective communications is preparation, and Cain’s team clearly failed to prepare him for a basic question about current events. We can excuse Cain for initially blanking – taking a moment to collect your thoughts isn’t necessarily a bad thing – but his subsequent rambling is inexcusable. If asked about something that is outside of your frame of knowledge, it’s always better (painful though it may be right in the moment) to admit you aren’t able to offer a comment on that at this time, then redirect to a point of strength. Cain should have said something like “I recognize Libya is an important foreign policy issue, but my focus in this campaign has been on domestic matters, in other words, what’s wrong with America. I will have more to say on foreign policy as my campaign unfolds, but for now, I’m concentrating on the important matters here at home such as …” Instead, Cain has now starred in a video clip that will dog him throughout his campaign, to the point that in this seemingly endless cycle of front-runners for the GOP, we are now likely going to accuse the next candidate who has a slip-up of ‘Herman Cain’ing’ it.