Per Saluny:

When asked why he would launch a book tour while running for the presidential nomination, Mr. Cain said that “the two complement one another” and that the benefits go beyond raising his name recognition among voters—one of his main goals.

And one could argue that Cain has in fact been campaigning for years—building his brand through a radio show, a syndicated political column, his books, and speeches on the Koch brother circuit and his catchy if flawed 9-9-9 plan.

If anything, Cain’s tactics seem shrewd and far more fitting for these times than the frontloaded, retail politics model the media seems to be demanding of him—and which, incidentally have not served its strictest practitioners Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and John Huntsman (in New Hampshire) particularly well.

Meanwhile, as dismissive as the media has been of Cain’s early state strategy, his campaign does not appear to be suffering. He’s sitting pretty atop polls in Iowa and, according to The Des Moines Register, is of growing interest in the state. His buzz is also boosting his fundraising, which will allow him to hire more staffers and build his organization.

Whether this is enough to win the nomination is an open question. But the media should at least allow that Cain may just be playing it another way.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Erika Fry is a former assistant editor at CJR.