Herman Cain is learning one of the lessons of life. Nothing comes easy, but there is good news and there is bad news for Cain.
First the good news and there is a fair bit of it.
The latest Iowa poll from The Des Moines Register shows Herman Cain leading the GOP field in the Hawkeye State, with 23 percent support. That’s a 13 point jump since the Register’s last poll, taken in June.
Amazingly, Cain’s lead comes despite almost no campaigning in the state: Since the August 13 straw poll (in which he placed fifth), he has been to Iowa just once.
Mitt Romney, who has also spent little time in Iowa (just one visit since August), is running a close second in the poll, with 22 percent. There’s a cautionary note for the former Massachusetts governor, however: Among those who say they “definitely” plan to vote in the caucuses, he is at just 10 percent support, compared with Cain’s 27 percent.
As if that were not good enough for Cain, there is good news from Texas.
From USA Today:
There's a new poll out today that shows Herman Cain and Rick Perry essentially tied for the GOP presidential nomination, but the results are in Texas where Perry has been governor for 10 years.
Cain edges Perry 27% to 26% among Texas voters who say they're Republicans in the new survey by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune. Texas Rep. Ron Paul is third with 12%. The Cain and Perry numbers are within the poll's margin of error.
Cain has been surging in national and state polls in recent weeks as Perry, who upended the race when he joined the field in August, has slid.
In one tell-tale sign: Cain has a 13-percentage point lead over Perry among the most conservative voters, the Texas poll shows. Cain also does better than Perry in rural areas and in the suburbs.
The bad news for Cain is allegations of sexual harassment from the nineties. This is something that could torpedo Cain as a viable candidate if his campaign does not do something about it quickly.
From Fox News:
Maybe if Herman Cain’s campaign manager had spent less of the past two weeks on self-promotional smoke breaks, the GOP’s putative presidential frontrunner would be having a better Monday.
Politico says that in the less than three years Cain led the National Restaurant Association, the trade group paid two female accusers more than $10,000 each to leave the organization and to be silent on the subject.
Despite having known that the story was in the pipeline for weeks, the Cain team and the candidate seemed utterly unprepared for the onslaught that has predictably followed. They have issued evasive denials and immediately gone to political DEFCON 1 by invoking the fricasseeing of Clarence Thomas, also a conservative black man from Georgia, in 1991 for allegations of bawdy talk at his office.
“Sadly, we’ve seen this movie played out before -- a prominent conservative targeted by liberals simply because they disagree with his politics,” said spokesman J.D. Gordon (who is the campaign’s “vice president for communications” as well as a senior foreign-policy adviser).
While conservatives still bristle at having Thomas hectored by none other than Sen. Ted Kennedy for lasciviousness, jumping right to the infamous “high-tech lynching” doesn’t leave Cain a lot of running room. Remember that Justice Thomas’ ordeal was hardly a public relations success, even if he survived to go on and become a distinguished jurist.
It is stunning that Cain’s people were not ready for this. If Cain is to continue, he had best have the top media damage control people working on this right now. This story has the possibility of spinning out of control and if it does, Cain could be sunk.
However, looking at the facts of this, if Cain’s campaign will do the right thing, this is survivable. Neither of the alleged complainants has come forward. Most importantly, both suits were settled for about $10,000 each. That is the red flag right there.
Lawyers know some lawsuits have what is called nuisance value. What that means in plain, non-lawyer English is that a lawsuit might have very weak but the defending party may wish to settle the suit simply to avoid the hassle of litigation, the damage to reputation and sometimes just to avoid attorney’s fees.
Had these claims gone to trial, even if Cain were totally vindicated, the legal fees would have easily exceeded $10,000. If these cases were stronger they either would have gone to litigation or the settlements would have been much higher.
In short, it looks like these lawsuits were made to go away simply on the theory it would cost more to defend them than settle them (which was a very popular legal strategy in the 90’s).
Cain can beat this if it is handled right. But judging from what I have seen of his campaign team so far, I’m not that optimistic.
I understand sexual harassment charges and how phony they can be. While I was a supervisor for a large retail distribution center, I was accused of sexual harassment from a woman that was a temporary employee and was too lazy to make a living the honest way. Working for a living was anathema to her. A sexual harassment suit against the company and myself seemed like an esy way to get rich quick. She even slept with a fellow employee, to try to get him to be a witness in her favor. (It didn't work out for her.) These actions supposedly happened in a high traffic area of the warehouse. She claimed I was fondling her, but I was aware of something that she wasn't. There were cameras directly overhead. There was nothing on them to support her story. We need to understand something and this is very important. This is America. We are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The supposed women accusing Cain are anonymous. Why? When it was Clinton, we knew exactly who his accusers were, and they were all made out to be bimbos. Where are these women? Why are they being protected? It's because of the double standard. Cain is a conservative. Remember this. In America, nobody is assumed guilty by accusation. Where's the beef?
Listening to Hermann Cain last night as he tried to explain the allegations against him, was like listening to a 5 year old who got caught playing in the candy dish and came up with one excuse after another. Cain doesn't quite remember, he's not sure and he doesn't know if he signed any paper at the time of the allegations. When asked if he has a roving eye, he gave a rather smart answer probably thinking it was funny.
So here's the problem with Cain - no doubt he was involved with 2 disgruntled employees who knew how to work the system. The pay off if any was minimal, which probably proves their allegations didn't hold water. But and this is a big but - if Cain would handle himself in a debate with Obama like he's handling this situation, he'd be mince meat. Cain talked with Politico, he knew something was in the works and he waited until he got smacked in the face to do his damage control.
It will take more than good ideas to win the Presidential campaign - it will take someone who can stand toe to toe with Obama in a debate, someone who is composed and professional and someone who has the necessary money behind him or her to see this campaign thru from start to finish.
Cain has had too many glitches so far for me to feel comfortable with him; he's personable, a down right likeable fellow but he better get his boxing gloves on if he wants to win.