I sure don’t like to see this, but if it’s true, it’s the death knell for the candidacy of Herman Cain:
By: Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman and Anna Palmer and Kenneth P. Vogel
|During Herman Cain’stenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.
POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names.
Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told POLITICO the candidate indicated to campaign officials that he was “vaguely familiar” with the charges and that the restaurant association’s general counsel had resolved the matter.
More at the link; I found the story through a link on Hot Air.
I like Herman Cain, even though he isn’t my first choice as our nominee. He has been successful in whatever he has attempted, and a role model for success through hard work. But being (mostly) right on the issues does not mean he’s a perfect human being — the last perfect human having died on the cross almost 2000 years ago — and these allegations are absolute killers.
If they are true, of course. Politico asserts that there are “signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association,” so the allegations, if true, are simple enough to prove: simply produce the signed agreements. My question is: if the signed agreements cannot be produced, will the allegations alone still kill his candidacy?
One thing that politicians do is try to dig up any potential dirt on their opponents; rumors that Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) is homosexual or has been cheating on his wife were brought out in 2004 and then again in 2009, the latter time by the gubernatorial campaign of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), while the despicable Wonkette tried to spread rumors that Michelle Bachmann was an adultress.
Of course, with the record on which President Obama has to run, it’s only natural that the Democrats would try to dig up, or fabricate if they could not find, evidence that the President’s Republican opponents are Bad People; President Obama can’t win on his record. And that means that, if a candidate has a problem like this in his past, he had better either disclose it right away, and get it over and done with, or expect to see his candidacy shattered when it’s revealed by others, or simply not run at all. The option that it might stay covered up is not a realistic one, at least not anymore.
Think back to the 2000 campaign. Governor George Bush (R-TX) was leading Vice President Al Gore by four percentage points in the polls five days before the election. Then a New Hampshire reporter dug up the old story of Mr Bush’s driving under the influence of alcohol arrest.
Five days before the election, at a routine campaign stop in Wisconsin, Karen Hughes pulled me aside. We walked into a quiet room and she said, “A reporter in New Hampshire called to ask about the DUI.” My heart sank. Such negative news at the end of a campaign would be explosive.
I had seriously considered disclosing the DUI four years earlier, when I was called for jury duty. the case happened to involve drunk driving. I was excused from the jury because, as governor, I might later have to rule on the defendant’s case as a part of the pardon process. As I walked out of the Austin courthouse, a reporter shouted, “Have you ever been arrested for DUI?” I answered, “I do not have a perfect record as a youth. When I was young, I did a lot of foolish things. But I will tell you this, I urge people not to drink and drive.”
Politically, it would not have been a problem to reveal the DUI that day. The next election was two years away, and I had quit drinking.1
Former President Bush continued to note that Karl Rove estimated that he had lost two million votes due to that late disclosure, from people who either changed their votes or simply stayed home, and that his four point lead evaporated, turning into a dead heat. That dead heat in the opinion polls manifested itself in a very close race for the total popular vote, which Mr Gore won, and in the electoral college, which Mr Bush won by the barest of margins. While no one can know for certain what the results would have been had the disclosure not been made when it was, my guess is that Mr Bush would have won both the popular and electoral votes rather easily, and there’d have been no Florida recount mess.
Had Governor Bush simply revealed the bad news four years earlier, it would have all been taken care of early, as part of the wastrel youth description to which he had already admitted; by not disclosing it on his terms, when it would not have been a problem, he turned it into a far more serious problem.
As for Mr Cain, early revelations of sexual harassment accusations wouldn’t have helped; you don’t get over those through a wastrel youth claim, especially when the alleged incidents date from the late 1990s, when Mr Cain was in his fifties. Those allegations are a campaign death sentence . . . if they are true. Such accusations, when proved, cost Carl Greene, Philadelphia’s director of public housing, his job, and former representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) can tell you all about waving his weiner on camera. If these allegations are accurate, Mr Cain should have just stayed out of the race, period.
As I said earlier, the allegations are easy enough to prove, if they are genuine: just produce the signed agreements. But even if Politico can never do that, my guess is that Mr Cain has still been too badly hurt to survive this one.
1 – George W Bush: Decision Points, (New York: Crown Publishers, c 2010) p. 75-76.