Opinion: Cain Finished After Latest Sex Scandal

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 01:12 PM

It's time for him to go.

I've been open about my long-time admiration and respect for Herman Cain. I defended him against dubious charges of sexual harassment—and I would defend him from those charges still.

But the latest charges, of an affair, are something different entirely. While it's possible for me to be confident Herman Cain never sexually harassed anyone, there's no "type" of person who has an affair. Anyone can be susceptible to adultery, and many unlikely people have been. The fact that this woman has evidence of phone calls and text messages does not bode well for Cain's denial of the affair. Anything can happen, of course, and perhaps Cain is telling the truth and Ginger White is not. As many people have pointed out Cain had stage 4 cancer at the time of the alleged affair.

The fact is, though, no matter how this story turns out, it's time for Herman Cain to go. Iowa is fast approaching and the charges against him, false or not, have crippled him in the polls and distracted from other aspects of not only his campaign but of all the other campaigns too. Perhaps had these allegations not come about Cain would have gone on to do well in Iowa and parlayed that momentum into a win in one or two of the early states. More likely, though, even without the charges Cain wouldn't be the next Republican nominee for president. He's a good man, he's intelligent, he has a business savvy that could make him a great political leader. But that leadership role wasn't going to be as president in 2012.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.


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Comments [10]

Kevin from Queens

Cain is a pathological liar.

Dec. 06 2011 12:37 PM
Karol from NYC Karol

I don't feel betrayed, Torus34, partly because we don't know what happened and partly because while I like Herman Cain very much he wasn't my candidate (I have no candidate which is unfortunate).

I still believe he didn't sexually harass anyone. I agree with Oneshot that it used to be more prevalent but by the time Cain was at the NRA, in the late 1990's, it was clear that sexual harassment charges could end a career.

Nov. 30 2011 10:36 AM

Dear Ms. Markowicz;

Your earlier posts have suggested by their fervor that you are emotionally as well as intellectually involved in your beliefs. [That's not intended to be pejorative, btw!]

Your previous post regarding accusations of Mr. Cain's alleged, er, misadventures was, I thought, well-argued. I agreed with you on its premise -- the call to avoid a rush to judgment..

Now, with the newest revelation and Mr. Cain's immediate blanket 'Mea non culpa', followed by what appear to be statements proving the adage about the relationship between smoke and fire, do you feel [slightly] betrayed?

I rather think that in similar circumstances, I would.

Nov. 30 2011 06:42 AM
One Shot from Eatontown NJ

The claim that "there's no "type" of person who has an affair. Anyone can be susceptible to adultery" and the implication that the "type" of person inclined to practice sexual harassment is rarer does not seem to be correct. Until recently last 25 years) sexual harrasment was rampant and it is still too common. Years ago and probably still, the average person is less likely to shun someone that they see practice sexual harassment against someone they know than someone they merely hear in gossip has been unfaithful to someone else they know.

We as a society need to find a way to rapidly and reliably determine fact from fiction when accusations of sexual transgressions are made. I'm still in suspense over Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. A great injustice occured to one or the other of those two.

Nov. 29 2011 11:17 PM
Karol from NYC

MFan, There's a difference between lying about adultery and pointing your finger at the other party and saying "they're trying to get me, get them!" Lots of people took their lumps about cheating without stooping to that. Sanford, Spitzer, McGreevey, etc. Sure, the truth was coming out in those cases but it was in Weiner's and Clinton's too.

And, sidenote, c'mon, Bush "lied" about the weapons or was just wrong? If he started a war on a lie, why not just plant weapons and call it a day?

Nov. 29 2011 07:48 PM

Really? FOUR women accused Cain of sexual harassment and you take his word for it over theirs? His trying to lie his way out of this 13 YEAR affair just reeks of his lack of foresight. He should never have entered the presidential race to begin with. What a slime ball. But I'll tell you what, it's his politics and ridiculous talking-points that totally disgusted me from the onset. I'm gleeful that he was exposed for what he is. A fool!

Nov. 29 2011 06:01 PM

doesn't every adulteress,deserve her 15 minutes of well earned infamy. calling gloria allred,right?! only in america...!!

Nov. 29 2011 05:35 PM
MFan from Staten Island

I understand where you're coming from, but I also can't help but to also feel that the following two points are both relevant as well:

One is that these men (Clinton, Weiner) are, ultimately, human, whose lives are amplified to a surreal level, and are faced with the knowledge that, the end of their careers is nigh and certain. I feel that it takes someone on the level of Gandhi to respond to something like that with the even-handedness which you mention. For my part, I can't think of any cases where this happened, except perhaps with Patterson's mea culpa, and if not for the circumstances of his appointment, he probably would not have gotten away with it either. So while I detest what they did, I can't help put to have compassion, or perhaps just understanding, for why they did it.

Second, is something Chris Rock (I think?) mentioned once- we recognize degrees of, say, murder, so why not apply that to a lie such as Clinton's? It certainly doesn't forgive the lie, but given that politicians have some proclivity towards that, I believe scale is important. If republicans didn't smell the opportunity to end his presidency with it, Clinton's schenanegans would have greatly hurt a few, but we may have actually gotten something productive out of all that time. Instead we got a media circus. So then what's the point? And then how does that lie compare to, say, lying about Iraq building nuclear weapons?

Nov. 29 2011 05:34 PM
Karol from NYC

I totally disagree about Weiner but not because he loved showing his junk to strange women on the internet. He not only lied about it but pointed a direct finger at other people. He basically said that the guy who discovered the pic had hacked him. Just like Clinton his lies weren't about just covering up what happened but actually blaming others. That's not ok in a leadership role.

I'm pretty hardcore in my personal revulsion at people who cheat but I agree with you that in many cases it doesn't have to be a career-ender. In this case, though, the affair follows weeks of speculation and accusations of sexual harassment. Again, I believe Cain when he said he didn't sexually harass anyone but he's not coming back from that coupled with this new affair story. As I concluded, he probably wasn't going to win anyway and now he's hurting the field and his party.

Nov. 29 2011 03:57 PM
MFan from Staten Island

I guess you're right: it does look like he's finished. I think there should be a deeper conversation, though, as to why.

I'm no Cain supporter but I feel as though one's sexual dalliances are generally at best irrelevant and at worst a distraction. Sexual *harassment*, of course, is another matter, especially physical. And extremes like Giuliani's cheating on his wife while she was being treated for cancer are surely a sign of a morally vacant person. But your standard vanilla affair? Honestly?

Anthony Weiner, for example, should not have resigned. Are we that puritanical still? In this state of all states? I'm not entirely sure that what we got in his stead was someone of greater morals or just a greater liar. But we certainly lost a great advocate.

Nov. 29 2011 03:16 PM

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