Herman Cain may not have impressed pundits with his handling of the sexual harassment and assault charges that were leveled at him with no proof, and in some cases no names attached to the victims. But he has managed to keep many of his loyal supporters from losing faith. Support from Cain’s wife and his own direct denials turned a potentially ugly situation into a he said/she said where his supporters had a reason to rally around him and his detractors simply had one more negative thing to say about him.
Now, someone who Cain describes as someone he thought was a friend is coming out and alleging a 13 year affair with Cain. Cain apparently had knowledge ahead of time that she was going to come out and attempted a pre-emptive denial. The big difference here is that Cain did know her, remembers that he knows her, knew she was going to come out with this allegation, and considered her a friend. People who you think are your friends don’t usually make up stories about 13 year affairs.
The problem with this story is that if it changes peoples’ minds about Cain’s character, then every other dismissed accusation is back on the table. If Cain did it and decides to come clean and admit to an affair, he can forget the support and especially the trust of his supporters. If he continues to deny this affair, he will keep his loyal supporters but may not gain enough support back to regain relevance.
The best thing that could happen for Cain’s campaign at this point is for one of the women who made accusations to come out apologetically admitting that she made the story up. Either that, or an alibi.
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