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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

On Herman Cain & Media Bloodlust

I'll not be the first person to mention the fact that the mainstream press, while doing its civic duty in reporting all the rumors that are flying around these days having to do with alleged harassment charges leveled against presidential candidate Herman Cain many years ago, chose not to publish rumors regarding former presidential candidate John Edwards's then-alleged extramarital affair and love-child fostering not so long ago.

Odd how that standard shifts though.

But it must be said, Mr. Cain has handled the press smear poorly.

Which gave fuel to the smear campaign.

And is now an inferno.

Which brings me to something that also rankles about the Cain campaign.  This:

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When I saw the bizarre ad which featured Cain’s chief of staff and campaign manager, Mark Block, taking a defiant drag on a cigarette, I wondered, "What's that all about?"

Yeah, we're looking for defiance. In a candidate.  An outsider who's prepared to take a battle-axe to Washington.

But a campaign manager?

As soon as Block put that cigarette to his lips, the story became about him and not Herman Cain. Why? What's Mark Block running for?

If I had been Cain, I'd of sat the man down and explained to him what the campaign is trying to achieve. And it ain't notoriety for a campaign manager.

So now with his having flubbed questions regarding some charge filed long ago Cain has screwed up again.

Not grievously. This too shall pass as soon as it is determined that those women who made the harassment allegations are both fruitcakes.

But my problem isn't with fruitcakes. Or with campaign managers who don't know their proper place in a campaign.

It's about judgment. And the ability to think things through.  It's about Herman Cain.

I don't know. I don't know.

- - -

Jennifer Rubin:
This is fast becoming a mess. First, the Politico story was baseless and he wouldn’t respond to unknown accusers. Then there was an admission of sexual harassment claims. Next we heard he didn’t know of any settlement. Now he says he knew about the settlement and the amount.

Something here — lots of things — are not holding together. The error Cain made was in not getting the entire story out early, completely and truthfully. He left the day with voters and the media more confused than ever.

This may not be the end of the Cain campaign, but it will take a toll. The never-ending stories here suggest Cain hasn’t been honest with the public. That’s going to be harder to explain than the original allegations.