Those were the words spoken by Herman Cain in describing his wife and her role in his campaign, during an interview with the Daily Caller back in May of 2011. But now with revelations of two past questionable sexual harassment charges hanging over Cain’s presidential candidacy like a sword of Damocles, will Gloria Cain, now be forced to spend an uncharacteristic moment in the limelight?
In 1992, when Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas found his presidential campaign on the rocks with the revelation that he had an extramarital affair with one Gennifer Flowers, his wife sat by her husbands side on 60 Minutes and looked at him with adoration as she nodded in agreement as the would be president dodged questions and denied the affair. [see video below this post]. Now almost 22 years later, thanks in part to the seedy details of what turned out to be Bill Clinton’s inability to control himself, Americans are essentially numb to marital infidelity by others, and in have in large part been able to separate the details of a politicians marriage, from their ability to lead
But the situation involving accusations of sexual harassment that were made against Herman Cain in the 90’s is a bit different. Sexual harassment goes beyond the privacy of ones personal life and go directly to the public conduct and moral character of an individual. It deals with one’s ability or inability to respect others, in this case, women employees. If you believe as we should that one is innocent until proven guilty, Herman Cain is innocent. While he admits that these accusations were made, they were supposeddly proven false and the women behind them never took their case to court. And while it is reported that the National Restaurant Association which Cain presided over at the time of these allegations, settled with these two women out of court. However Cain claims that he knows nothing about there ever being any settlement with the accusers.
Regardless of the truth here, unavoidable perceptions and doubts about Cain have been created. They are doubts that Cain might be able to ignore if is his account of the facts are indeed true. If that is the case, the story will wither and die. However; politics is much like a courtroom. A prosecutor may reveal a point that can plant a seed of doubt in the mind of those in the jury but the judge may ask the jurors to disregard those remarks. ADoes anyone believe that those remarks are erased from the jurors minds? If you do, you are not very realistic. The same thing applies in politics.
That is why, regardless of whether these accusations against Cain are true or not, the presence of Cain’s wife and a more visible supporting role for her in the campaign may now be required. Even if the story has no legs and Cain hopes for it too quickly fall off the front pages, in light of the nature of the allegations, Gloria Cain’s active support of her husband can only help.
The two have been married for more than 43 years and while those who know her describe her as private, if the path her husband chooses, forces her to become the First Lady of the United States, her privacy will be limited. That is reason enough for Gloria Cain to begin to take to the national stage with her husband, but given these news of late, now would be the perfect time for her to step on to the stage.
In the biography contained on Herman Cain’s campaign website, the candidate writes;
“the paramount joys in my life are my wife, Gloria, our children and our grandchildren.”
While those words are undoubtedly true, now would be a great time for his family to demonstrate to the nation that Herman Cain’s feelings are mutual and that his family and specifically his wife, are as committed to him as he says he is to them. Such public affirmation of a happy family and committed marriage will go a long way in appealing to the public psyche and making it harder for them to believe that this upstanding business leader and associate minister of his church would sexually harass any woman.
Until now Gloria Cain, has spent most of her marriage as a homemaker who sporadically worked as a teacher and a librarian. So it is easy to understand that Gloria is comfortable in a more unassuming role but a future First Lady can not forever hide in the confines of the White House and the increasing intrusiveness of today’s politics into the lives of politicians may not allow Gloria to remain under the radar for much longer. Therefore, if the Cain campaign has any ability to handle the politics that they are proud not to be a part of, they better start utilizing Gloria Cain politically.
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