HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Despite largely ignoring the key early nominating states in recent weeks, Herman Cain’s campaign indicated this week it plans to dial down the Republican presidential candidate's schedule.
And Cain’s day on the trail on Saturday might give a glimpse into why.
In one day, Cain won a straw poll, predicted victory in a primary, scolded unruly Ron Paul supporters, and flipped a quarter at midfield before a college football game.
The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza held eight public events in his two-day swing through Alabama. Saturday night he headed to Washington, DC, for an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation” this morning.
Cain has spent the past two weeks clarifying his stance on issues like abortion, where during an television interview he seemed to say the government should not play a role in regulating women who wish to have the procedure.
“For example, in retrospect, doing a taped interview following a debate, following some interviews probably wasn't a good idea,” he said, referring to his appearance on Piers Morgan where he made the comments, “because you know I'm only a human being, and you reach a point where if you get too tired you're not on your A game.”
On Thursday, Cain needed to turn to a handler to figure out where he was the night before. The answer was Arkansas.
"I wouldn't say we're going to dial it down,” Cain said. “We're going to be more deliberate on the type of things we do when I've had a very full schedule.”
Yesterday, a normally unseen side of Cain’s came to light at the West Alabama State Straw Poll, when a he told the vocal Ron Paul contingent in attendance to stop interrupting his speech.
Cain, the only candidate to attend, was noticeably testy with the heavily pro-Paul audience that packed the crowd. While listing the crises the nation faces, a Paul supporter yelled, "The Fed," to which Cain told her, "I will be giving this speech, not you."
Cain, a former member of the board of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, was also booed for saying the Fed can be fixed without being ended.
Still, Cain went on to win the poll with more than a majority of the vote. Paul garnered support from 45% of attendees for second place. Later that evening a Des Moines Register Poll was released that had Cain leading Romney among likely Iowa caucus goers.
At his next stop at Samford University, Cain declared he would win the South Carolina primary.
"I predict that we will win South Carolina,” he said. “I predict that we will finish 1st or 2nd in Iowa, 1st or 2nd in New Hampshire, not going to go out on a limb there, but I predict we will win South Carolina."
From there, he campaigned throughout campus, with throngs of students and supporters lining up to shake his hand and get a picture. He was introduced before the university’s football game and did the coin toss. Samford lost to Western Carolina University.
On Friday, Cain spoke to a crowd of about 100 at the Annistan Tea Party breakfast. He said he would cut 10% from all federal agencies by executive order. Then his cabinet members would need to find another 10% to cut. He said he would give federal workers the choice of early retirement or reassignment.
"Who said anything about firing federal workers?" Cain said. "I'm going to give them a choice: early retirement or reassignment. They say where are you going to reassign them? I understand that there's an empty building in Nome, Alaska. It's their choice."
Throughout his time in the state, Cain faced the same question: Why Alabama?
At his final event here, Cain signaled he plans to be in the race for the long run, which is why he is spending time in a state that doesn’t hold its primary until March.
“I don’t want to wait until March to come to Alabama and let you know what I stand for,” he said.
Cain surrogate Dale Peterson, the failed candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner and YouTube star, defended Cain being in Alabama.
"Why not Alabama?” Peterson told NBC News. “Don't we count? I know we do. And in Alabama we give a rip about who's going to be president."