Herman Cain’s “bimbo eruption”
I think we can officially call it that, although I’m not necessarily calling the women involved bimbos. It’s a term, a phrase used to describe these sorts of situations that politicians seem to find/get themselves in. Thus the scare quotes. Perhaps it’s unfair to the women. Maybe Cain’s the bimbo.
Anyway, the point of talking about it at all is to point out how poorly the Cain campaign has handled this. No one is talking about Herman Cain’s politics or ideas. Everyone is continuing to talk about this situation. And to make it worse, you have his campaign manager on national TV least night accusing one of the women of having a son who works for POLITICO – the media organization which broke the story on Cain.
Mark Block, on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show:
Her son works at POLITICO," Block said of Karen Kraushaar, whose name POLITICO printed earlier today after other media outlets made her identity public.
"I’ve been hearing that all day – you’ve confirmed that now?" Hannity asked.
"We’ve confirmed that he does indeed work at POLITICO and that’s his mother, yes," said Block.
Uh, no. They confirmed nothing. While Josh Kraushaar did work for POLITICO a while back (he left in 2010 for the National Journal) and happens to have the same last name as one of the Cain accusers, he’s not related at all.
This has been confirmed by none other than Josh Kraushaar. My guess is that’s something Mark Block might have wanted to ask Kraushaar who had been on Twitter tweeting his disbelief at the accusation. But then you have to have been monitoring the social media to have picked that up (or even ask the man yourself).
This is beginning to smell of amateur hour. You have a campaign who had 10 days notice this was coming and did nothing to get in front of it, choosing instead to ignore it. The problem, as you might have noticed, didn’t go away. In fact it got worse. 3 more women have come forward to say they too were sexually harassed by Cain.
These are the sorts of situations where everyone comes out looking worse in my opinion. Cain is being killed in the media (partly I think because when he finally did choose to respond, his response was to lash out at the media) and of course the campaign and its supporters are trying to do everything they can to discredit the women who’ve come forward.
Nasty stuff. Toxic stuff. Stuff that can kill a campaign.
I’ve heard people say “well it didn’t kill politicians like Bill Clinton”. True. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, “well that has nothing to do with his ability to govern”.
However, I think Cain’s problems and sinking poll numbers (and campaign) have more to do with is base than anything. When Bill Clinton was having these sorts of problems, his base simply didn’t regard them as serious enough to write him off. I assume you can ascribe any numbers of reasons for that – not wanting to give up the presidency, not feeling (as often stated) that personal behavior effected his governing, or just feeling it wasn’t as important an issue as the opposition wanted to make it.
Regardless it is about the standards of conduct that are important to the base. On the left, the crowd that talks about women’s rights are pretty flexible about that when it is their ox being gored. But they have no problem denouncing someone on the right if political advantageous. And that’s because on the right there is a higher standard applied. That standard has gotten many a righty politician in trouble when things like this came out. I’ve noticed Newt Gingrich talking about how he’s creeping up in the polls. Newt just hasn’t plateaued yet. He will – soon. He’s going nowhere because he has similar baggage.
Get used to it Republicans. Your candidate, barring the entrance of a dark horse who can and would capture the right’s vote, is Mitt Romney. Perry, by his performances in the debates, has all but eliminated himself. Cain was a contender, but this mess and how it is being handled is just killing him. Gingrich is in fantasy land.
The only one left standing, when all the political smoke clears, is going to be Mr. Flexible – Mitt Romney.
Makes you fell all warm and fuzzy doesn’t it?
Meanwhile, I’ll continue to monitor the train wreck Herman Cain finds himself in and, if appropriate, have more to say. But it seems like the Cain campaign is trying its best, at the moment, to develop this into a worst case scenario. And so far they’re doing a bang up job.