Skip to comments.Cain Catches Flak, but Will It Sink His Candidacy
Posted on 11/03/2011 5:16:57 AM PDT by Kaslin
Washington was all a-Twitter (literally) Monday over Politico's story about the sexual harassment charges against Herman Cain -- and about Cain's serial self-contradictions.
Faithful Fox News viewers saw him in the afternoon saying he didn't know the terms of a settlement reached with the complainants and then saw him tell Greta Van Susteren in the 10 p.m. hour that he did.
The Politico story, quoting no named sources, described Cain's alleged misconduct as "conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature" and "physical gestures that were not overtly sexual."
That sounds bad but not horrible. A lot worse was alleged against Bill Clinton, and he was defended by many feminists.
But we don't know all the relevant facts in this case -- the exact charges, the demeanor of the complainants, the conclusions of the National Restaurant Association counsel, the amount of the settlement made in return for the complainants dropping the case.
And while we know that some accusations of sexual harassment are false or exaggerated, we know that many others are true.
Many conservatives around the country see this as an attack by the liberal press on a prominent black conservative who is statistically tied for the lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
They're correct when they say that the liberal mainstream media seem much more interested in exhuming ancient Cain peccadilloes than it was in learning about John Edwards' extramarital affair and love child.
Or in doing any reporting on Barack Obama's college grades, terrorist friends, extremist pastor or dodgy real estate deal. Can't spoil his narrative.
But the Constitution guarantees us a free press, not a fair one. Republicans and conservatives start off with some disadvantages in our political world, including a mostly biased press; Democrats and liberals start off with others, like the unpopularity of some of their core convictions. Things seem to balance out over time.
And it has to be said that Cain and, even more, his campaign spokesmen were unprepared to deliver a single definitive response to a story that they had known was brewing for several days. Just as it has to be said that Rick Perry was unprepared to defend his record in Texas in his first three or four presidential debates.
Yes, sometimes we see unpreparedness in the White House. But a candidate who is similarly unprepared will have a hard time getting there.
Some in the liberal commentariat have opined that conservative voters are rallying to Cain because he is black. Maybe so. But most seem to back him because he seems conservative, articulate and likeable.
We don't have any significant polling to tell us whether the Politico story has cost Cain support. My hunch is that it hasn't -- at least not yet.
But that leaves the possibility that his support may evaporate when voters have to decide for real. Pollsters ask respondents whom they would vote for "if the election were held today." But one thing everyone knows is that it isn't being held today.
That won't be true when Iowa Republicans venture into precincts caucuses on Jan. 3, the ninth day of Christmas, which is the first real voting day, as it was four years ago.
Then they may respond as members of a Midwestern focus group did a couple of weeks ago, when pollster Peter Hart asked them to raise their hands if they thought Cain was prepared to be president. No one did; not even those who had been saying positive things about Cain.
We can get some sense of who voters think is prepared for the job from the weekly polls on general election preference conducted by Scott Rasmussen.
He finds that a generic Republican leads Barack Obama by a 47 percent to 42 percent margin. Obama's 42 percent tracks pretty well with his job approval in Rasmussen and other polls.
Rasmussen finds that Mitt Romney runs 3 points behind the generic Republican and 2 points ahead of Obama. He's the only Republican running ahead.
Cain and Perry run 9 points behind the generic Republican in Rasmussen's polls. Other candidates run 12 to 15 points behind.
Cain has been leading or tied for the lead for most of a month now, and he may hold that position for a while. But will his lead hold when voters vote for real?
Et tu, town hall?
Seriously, everyone raise your hand if you thought George W was ready for 9/11. Was Barack Obama ever ready for Anything?
Stop picking apart herman’s faults because
WE Don’t Have An Alternative.
It will be Cain unprepared in the white house, or Romney or Obama. These stupid articles and pundits point out faults as if the faults make Herman unpalatable. Do they want 4 more Of Obama?
Cain will become the front-runner, not despite this smear - but BECAUSE of it.
It’s already happening.
Nothing will sink him among his fans, because he has made this very personal and all about him. His whole appeal, in fact, is personal and and not rational. But this will certainly not apply to the broader spectrum of voters, and the “base” alone cannot elect a candidate.
Cain needed to answer the charges honestly and immediately, rather than the usual “I don’t recall” defense, followed by piecemeal admissions, followed by the revelation that he had actually had to discuss this issue with his advisors during his last run for political office, and finally followed by attacks on the press and even direct unsubstantiated attacks other candidates for “leaking” the whole thing. These are not the actions of anybody who is ready for elective office.
Another thing we have to remember is that it honestly doesn’t matter if Obama got a pass on everything from the press and those theoretically vetting the candidates. No GOPer will ever be given a pass, and that’s just how it is. So our candidates had better be prepared for this.
There are significant issues that need to be addressed with Cain. Yet all of a sudden you see Freepers behaving like Dems: shoot the messenger, my candidate right or wrong, affirmative action isn’t really that bad after all, what’s a little sexual harrassment, the women probably liked it, why should he have to explain anything, he’s really the victim in this...well, it can go and on. Meanwhile, Obama is sitting in the WH buffing his fingernails.
Unless somebody can PROVE that Cain has raped a baby, I’m not going to listen to any election year sex allegations against him. It’s Clarence Thoma all over again.
MSM and politics have managed to make this into a whole week news event.
If the source was from the Left, instead of from within the GOP, they may have managed a 3-fer — basically taking out the 3 major contenders [Cain who accuses Perry who accuses Romney].
Rush L proclaimed early in the week that it was not from the GOP side. However, if it wasn’t, it would seem the opposition would have held it until late next summer, closer to the election [assuming Cain became the nominee].
Cain does need to get his advisors together and figure out a strategy to deal with this. If it goes into next week, it will be doing serious damage to his campaign.
But Newt also has some wicked skeletons in his closet, and has had some major clashes with conservatism in his recent past.
No, it won’t. But a lot of people on both sides of the aisle hope it does. I am most ashamed for those within the GOP for their tacit support of this liberal gang-up. They really show there colors. I am shocked because there are some good, long time Freepers whom I have like, who floor me with their going with Politico and the Government/Media drive bys on this one, and I have lost respect for them deeply. It is painful to see.
Minor crime: Ted Kennedy impregnates a girl then murders her. He is then forgiven.
Minor crimes: Bill Clinton rapes multiple women and commits horrendous acts of sexual misconduct as President of the United States, in the oval office, then lies under oath about it all. He is then forgiven.
Major crime: Herman Cain is a black conservative. This must not be tolerated.
My comment was not based upon Newt’s problems, it was based upon my assessment of what will happen, namely Cain, Romney and Perry will be removed from the actual debate trying to prove the negatives: Cain that the allegations are baseless, Perry and Romney that neither had anything to do with orchestrating the attacks on Cain. One big circular firing squad, something the “debates” were meant to do, somewhat succeeded in that endeavor so now we have the coup d’grace. Note they even started picking off those outside the circle like Rubio just in case he tried to get in the race now.
Meanwhile Boy Wonder continues to skate above the frey.
Excellent point and none of us should
I could live with Newt. Certainly better than Mitt.
I worry about Cain. Not about this current “Flak” which is such obvious hog-wash that even the liberals won’t be able to make much of it in the long run.
But I worry about his inexperience in general. It showed in how he handled this. And it showed elsewhere, too.
He’s a good man and will make a good president but he has to be a “great” candidate to win this thing (with all the forces aligned against hem) and he hasn’t proven to me that he’s even a “very good” candidate. Not yet. Not so far. We’ll see.
Did you know on January 20, 2001 that there would terrorist attacks on our country?
But I can guarantee that stuff about Newt will start coming out pretty soon.
This is why he needs a good adviser and Newt would be such one.
I agree--and some are downright gleeful about this. :^/
I am still looking at the candidates and haven't hitched my wagon to any of them, yet, but this piling on by conservatives is really nauseating. Since when does the media have the best interests of conservatives--not to mention the country?
I thought the 2008 primary was ugly, but THIS primary season has been appalling to me. :^(
Yes! How dare George bush be reading to children while people died!! Unprepared!!
Stupid argument. Was McCain “prepared”?
And your alternative is??
This is not about cult like following of Cain. We see his potential and real faults. But too often we kill our own because they are good and not perfect. Why scrutinize everything imperfect about him when Cain 2.0 is not waiting in the wings to save us?
Don’t you get it? Dems get the candidate they want because they say “So?” (and because the mainstream covers their flaws). So what if our guy killed a girl? They don’t care.
We care, but we have no alternative. It’s imperfect Cain, a real, smart conservative outsider, or Romney!
I doubt it.
Better question is: Was Al Gore "prepared"? Answer: Only in the left's and the Lame Stream Media's mind