I'm not going to hazard a guess on whether the first on-camera allegation by one of Herman Cain's many accusers will at long last spell the decisive end to this surreal and sorry episode. For now, let's just express some sympathy for what was, until not so long ago, a perfectly acceptable and useful word in the English language -- first appearance in 1684!
The conditions haven’t been this ripe for populism for decades. From coast to coast, left to right, an authentic grassroots resentment of our current economic instability is roiling the country. But whether it’s the Tea Party on the right or the Occupy Wall Street protests on the left, we have yet to see the most predictable symptom of such movements—a recognizable populist leader. Last year, the Tea Party auditioned both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin for this role, but they both sputtered.
When news broke last Sunday that GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain had been accused of multiple instances of workplace sexual harassment in the 1990s, conservatives had the opportunity to reevaluate their opinion of the candidate and his fitness for the highest office. Instead, reactions broke down roughly into two camps: those who saw nothing but a racist witch-hunt from the liberal media and those who took the opportunity to dispute and belittle the existence of sexual harassment in the first place.
Okay, we've been puzzling a little while now over the new Herman Cain quote to beat all Herman Cain quotes: “I am the Koch brothers’ brother from another mother...And proud of it.” We imagine this was meant to be taken figuratively, as a remarkably forthright acknowledgment of what so many other Tea Party-affiliated Republicans are loath to admit, that they are backed in a big way by the deep-pocketed, arch-conservative brothers from Kansas.
[Guest post by Molly Redden] All week long, since the news broke that Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had settled two sexual harassment allegations in the ‘90s, pundits have been falling over themselves to analyze the fallout. Did Cain botch his initial response? Was that a symptom of poor advisers? Did he find an effective response? Could he recover?
Even as the political world awaits the further unfolding of Herman Cain’s handling of sexual harassment allegations, one of his rivals is on the brink of making a strategic decision that could have an even greater impact on the Republican presidential nominating contest, and on the general election as well. Will Mitt Romney go for a “quick kill” by focusing his vast resources on a serious bid to win the Iowa Caucuses just two months from now?
Next Tuesday’s ballot measure in Ohio hasn’t gotten the attention that the attack on public employee unions in Wisconsin did. In fact, if it hadn’t caused Mitt Romney so much grief last week, I suspect much of Washington would be ignoring it right now. But it's still an important story -- and I noticed that its supporters are having some communications problems. First there was the statement, by pollster Neil Newhouse, criticizing a survey that showed the ballot measure to be unpopular. Newhouse's complaint?
It’s been a bad few months for Rick Perry—actually, just a really bad entire campaign. His poll numbers are in the toilet; recently he has found himself in the news mainly for his campaign’s possible role in stoking allegations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain, and for a strange and fumbling speech he delivered last Friday in New Hampshire, which led many to wonder if he was drunk. For the most part, we are relieved by this development. Perry would be a terrible president, far worse for the country than Mitt Romney.
Something tells me that Rick Perry won't be trying the "my brother" faux-familiarity with Herman Cain the next time they meet up at a Republican debate. The two candidates are in open conflict over Cain's charge that the sexual harassment allegations swirling around him derive from two or three people in the Perry camp who previously knew about the accusations.
Leave it to others to decide whether the latest revelation -- or charge, I guess, since it comes from someone associated with the one campaign that would most like Herman Cain gone -- spells the demise of Cain's candidacy, if one can even call Cain's joy-ride that. But let me just say that it strikes me as somehow profoundly right and depressing that the grand offense is alleged to have occurred...in Crystal City. Man, there's nothing that conjures up a Beltway geography of nowhere like a trade association lunch gone awry in that concrete satellite across the river.