After extending the life of the sexual harassment story by offering conflicting answers to direct questions, Herman Cain now finds himself having to confront the revelation of a third women who accused Cain of sexual harassment when he was President of the National Restaurant Association. Meanwhile in an exclusive interview with Forbes, Herman Cain credits the initial story about the first two accusers, to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign. More specifically, cain claims that when he was running for the United States back in 2004, he employed the help of political consultant Curt Anderson. During the course of the campaign, he revealed the allegations to Anderson.
Anderson now works for the presidential campaign of Texas Governor Rick Perry, a primary rival of Mr. Cain in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
However; Anderson denies that Cain ever told him about the allegations. He told the Associated press;
“I was one of several consultants on his Senate race in 2004 and was proud to help him. I never heard any of these allegations until I read about them in Politico, nor does anything I read in the press change my opinion that Herman is an upstanding man and a gentleman”
Governor Perry’s campaign also denied Cain’s charge through spokesman Ray Sullivaerry who stated;
“No one at this campaign had anything to do with this story. We strongly reject the accusation, and learned of the allegations when we read Politico,”
Clearly, either Cain or Anderson are lying.
Interestingly though, the practice of a candidate revealing any negatives in their background to those who are consulting their campaign is a necessary and common practice. It is usually done so that the campaign’s strategists can prepare for any attempts by the opposition to exploit past problems. Cain’s claim that he did this in his 2004 senate race, whether with Curt Anderson or someone on else on his campaign, causes me to wonder why he did not do the same with those running his presidential campaign? And if he did, why were they still so ill prepared to deal with these revelations?
No matter what, Herman Cain is in the middle of what is a campaign nightmare. Whether the Perry campaign leaked sexual harassment accusations or not, that’s politics, and in case it is news to anyone, politics is dirty. And regardless of who leaked the story, the question remains, are they true.
No matter how many people accuse Herman Cain of misconduct, he still deserves to be treated fairly, and that means he is innocent until proven guilty. That is true even now as a third woman reveals that she to was harassed by Cain. Despite the truth of the allegations, none of these cases saw the light of day among a jury of Cain’s peers. The accusers never filed official charges with civil authorities. Instead they agreed to leave their jobs in turn for a financial settlement and with the understanding that would not discuss the matter publicly.
These are facts which the media is justified in revealing. And if Herman Cain addressed them from the get go, or prior to the story breaking, they would have had a short shelf life. But the bungling, contradictions, and testy manner in which Cain is handling accusations of alleged sexual harassment is permitting them to resonate with the public. I tend to think that the Perry campaign did leak the story. In a recent post I indicated that I think Rick Perry found out that the story was going to break last Friday, right before he delivered his unusually animated tax policy speech in New Hampshire. If Perry’s campaign did pass the story on, that simply means that he has a good team of opposition researchers working for him and they did their job. Even Herman Cain admits that he was accused of sexual harassment, so it is not if they created a lie about Cain. And if the media is relentless in their coverage of this storyline, that is rotten, but it should not come as shock to anyone that a biased liberal media would aggressively cover things that did happen in the life of a candidate.
Cain can blame all this on the media, or Rick Perry, or whoever he wants and while it is a shame that he is in this position, the only person he can blame for allowing the walls to cave in around him is himself. He should have handled this far better than he did because his failures to nip it in the bud are now going to allow this story to overwhelm Cain, his message, and his presidential campaign.
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