Are harassment allegations helping Cain?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Do not adjust your eyeglasses. The headline does indeed say "help," not "hurt."

So far, allegations that presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed three National Restaurant Association employees while CEO of the organization in the 1990s does not seem to be hurting his appeal, though the media's attention to the issue may be getting to him.

Cain's campaign has reported receiving "an outpouring of support and a clear vote of confidence from his supporters."

They have the early numbers to back up that claim as well, with $400,000 in financial gifts -- more than the monthly average -- received on Monday alone.

Conservative commentators have rushed to Cain's aid.

"This is not a news story, this is gutter partisan politics," Rush Limbaugh said.

Laura Ingraham asked the media to "stop destroying a good man's reputation. ... We have seen this movie before."

Ann Coulter called Cain "a strong, conservative black man," and said, "They are terrified of strong, conservative black men."

Many Iowa Poll respondents who helped Cain claim the highest percentage of support are reportedly giving Cain the benefit of the doubt for now.

Not to be stereotypical, but that seems like the "Iowan" thing to do.

Most Iowans are not quick to rush to a conclusion or judgement without first assessing the situation and gathering as many facts as are available, and are also known for asking good questions and being well-educated on a myriad of topics. That reputation is one large reason why Iowa still has the first-in-the-nation presidential selection process (as New Hampshire has cemented their primaries for Jan. 10, a week after Iowa).

However, that reputation will also drive Iowans to continue to do their homework. That means if more allegations come out, or if individuals share specific details of supposed happenings, Iowans will find out about it and weigh it into their decision.

For that reason, Cain needs to be as candid with voters and the media as possible.

His charm has won him quite a few supporters. Now, he has to prove he's not too charming when it comes to female coworkers, and women in general.

Strangely enough, he could potentially learn something from fellow candidate Newt Gingrich. The June Iowa Poll showed 40 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view of the former Speaker of the House, but he has shrunk that number to 9 percent, ahead of Rep. Michele Bachmann (16 percent), Mitt Romney (14 percent), Rep. Ron Paul (12 percent) and Rick Perry (11 percent).

Gingrich has likely done this by steering voters away from his past personal life and toward his policy proposals and "21st Century Contract with America."

Whether or not Cain will be able to debunk the allegations is yet to be seen.

If his response to criticisms of his 9-9-9 plan are any indication, he may be able to ride out another storm.

However, now that he is on top of the polls and the season is changing, Cain and his advisers will have to protect his campaign from political blizzards while also dodging snowballs of accusations. There is simply a lot more danger to avoid when leading the pack.

Cain will also seek to protect his family, which has been out of the spotlight, from public scrutiny as the public and media ask, "Where is Cain's wife, anyway?"

Gloria Cain -- who contrasts the involvement of Anita Perry and Ann Romney -- is now set for at least one public interview.

Considering she never wanted to be in the public eye, the Cain campaign is likely nervous about her involvement and hoping for the best.

In the end, though, whether or not Cain continues to rise or experiences a dramatic fall will be his own doing.

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  • if he overcomes them then it's a definite boost.... But look what he's already overcome... He's said he's pro-choice, he's said states should decide on marriage, he's said the SEcond Amendment is a states issue, he supported TARP, he had a senior policy adviser who previously worked for the Madison Gay Pride group and he said he'd released hundreds of Gitmo detainees for one american soldier...

    This guy is the GOP's 2012 version of the 2008 Barack Obama... Cain's supporters are so blind they're going to support him no matter what.... For four years now they've been told they were all racist and they see an opportunity in Cain to show they aren't....

    -- Posted by genius25 on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 11:46 AM
  • I find it odd that Limbaugh says it's "partisan politics" when the Cain camp is accusing a GOP candidate of leaking it.... While most of the media has a hard-left slant, not all media does... People like Rush are wrong when they brainwash conservatives into thinking ALL media is biased and ALL media leans left.... This is an actual story worthy of time & space... Cain has lied in his explanation just as he's flip-flopped on about everything else..... It's painfully obvious the guy is far more qualified to deliver pizzas than run a country....

    -- Posted by genius25 on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 11:50 AM
  • Some people thought what Clinton did was OK and I sure even Judas had his supporters.

    The morals have decayed enough that everything goes with our Presidents.

    Good people spend their time helping others not looking for the spotlight. They will never run for office.

    Is it a good idea that we have taken all religious principles out of government? I don't think so.

    -- Posted by guitarman on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 11:54 AM
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