Burnt Toast and Serious Candidates

November 29th, 2011

By Tom Carter

Burnt ToastI wrote earlier that Herman Cain was finished in the wake of the initial sexual harassment charges.  I also noted that was probably a good thing for Republicans because Cain can’t win the general election, even against a candidate as damaged as Barack Obama.

At this point Cain is burnt toast.  No way around it.  No amount of scraping burnt toast can save it, and Cain can’t be saved from the increasingly serious charges of personal misbehavior clinging to him.  First a couple of anonymous complaints, then another, then a woman going public on TV, and now another on TV claiming that she had a sexual relationship with Cain for 13 years or so.

Add to that his aggressive and almost prideful ignorance on foreign affairs and just about anything else that doesn’t relate to 9-9-9, itself a goofy idea that can never be implemented and that only the most naive of his supporters can defend.

The media is performing at par.  The liberal press is almost gleeful in it’s reporting of the most recent charge against Cain, and the conservative press and blogs are busy trying to attack the character and morals of the accuser.  Cain, for his part, is responding both personally and through his attorney in a way that virtually screams “guilty.”

Common sense says that all of the women making charges against Cain aren’t lying.  So what’s the appropriate response of a candidate under such pressure?  The liberal media is out to get me?  My personal life is not relevant to my public life and it shouldn’t be reported by the press or considered by voters?  I’ve been married to my wife for 43 years and she believes me?  My dog thinks I’m a great guy?  Give us a break, Herman.

Of the seven candidates left in the Republican primary contest (I’ve already eliminated Cain), Romney is by far the most likely to defeat Obama.  Gingrich has the knowledge and the political skills, but for a whole raft of reasons he’s highly unlikely to win.  It’s true that anything can happen between now and next November, but that’s the way things are now.

If Republicans seriously believe that Obama is ruining the country and must be defeated, their best bet is to get behind Romney and bring this circus to an end as soon as possible.  Even the most narrow-minded ideologues of the right have to understand that supporting anyone else beyond this point is self-defeating.  Assuming, of course, that they really want to occupy the White House in January 2013.

Finally, on no authority whatsoever, I’ll speak for the large mass of my fellow independents and moderates.  We outnumber both the far left and the far right, who can be depended on to support the nominee of their party.  We’ll determine who gets elected president next year.  If the Republicans nominate a candidate who isn’t viable, we’ll vote for Obama or simply stay home on election day.  That’s what I did in 2000, and I’m perfectly capable of doing it again in 2012.

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6 Responses to “Burnt Toast and Serious Candidates”

  1. Dan Miller |


    You say, Common sense says that all of the women making charges against Cain aren’t lying.

    Why does common sense say that? Have you ever heard accounts of the same traffic accident by three witnesses? They are often materially divergent.

    I haven’t tried, but suspect that I could find substantially more than three allegedly reputable scientists who would say, with glee, they have incontrovertible hard proof that man made global warming has already advanced to the point that it will cause the end of civilization on Earth within a decade. Does that mean that they are all, or at least one is, telling the truth? Doesn’t it make a bit more sense to consider each of the statements individually?

    On the other hand, it may be that Baby Trig is actually Mr. Cain’s son by Ms. White, who was having simultaneous clandestine affairs with Mr. Palin and Mr. Cain while Governor Palin was musing over how delightful it was that she could see Russia from her front porch. Maybe some folks will be willing to appear on TV and say that they overheard several conversations between Ms. White and Mr. Cain affirming this scenario. The advanced ages of Mr. Cain and Ms. White would provide corroboration.

    I can’t agree too much with the thesis that if something is said three or more times it must on that account be true.

    That said, I do wish that Mr. Cain would counter Ms. White’s accusations well beyond simply saying they ain’t so. I have read, without suitable attribution, that Ms. White and Mrs. Cain were friends and that both Mr. and Mrs. Cain agreed to help her out of her destitute situation. True? Beats me. However, If Mr. Cain doesn’t find something more persuasive than blanket but amorphous denials, I’ll have to agree that he is indeed toast.

  2. Tom Carter |

    It would be hard to imagine a scenario, beyond some goofy conspiracy theory, that would end with all of these women telling outright lies. Beyond that, you and I have both spent enough time around people in positions of power to know that these kinds of things aren’t that unusual. So, common sense and experience give these accusations the ring of truth.

    Aside from all that, Cain isn’t qualified to be president — assuming one thinks there are any qualifications beyond age and place of birth — and if these charges are the proximate cause of his withdrawal from the race, then fine. Republicans are perfectly capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in pursuit of ideological purity — c.f. that senate candidate in Nevada who was the darling of the tea party and the fact that her goofiness resulted in Harry Reid still being in the Senate.

    Maybe these women are saving the Republicans from themselves.

  3. Dan Miller |

    Tom, Perhaps I am excessively obstinate. However, this is not a combat situation where I am in charge and where my irrational obstinacy risks harm to anyone under my command; there are none. I like Mr. Cain for reasons I have stated but also for reasons stated previously think he should have handled his abortion position and his reaction to prior harassment accusations far better; his Teflon coating seemed to have repelled both, for a time, and I attribute that to his personality and to his non-traditional campaign. Now those seem to be reviving.

    If he is not to be toast, there may be things he could say about the current accusations and, if true, they would be helpful. For example,

    Did Mrs. Cain know Ms. White and, if so, how well? Were they friends?

    There were some sixty text messages during a four month period recently. How many did he send, how many did his campaign send, how many did Ms. White send and how many, if any, did Mrs. Cain send? What did they say?

    How much money did he give to Ms. White, for what and what if anything did Mrs. Cain know about it?

    Should he fail to provide such facts well and truthfully, I revert to my earlier comment on this thread: “If Mr. Cain doesn’t find something more persuasive than blanket but amorphous denials, I’ll have to agree that he is indeed toast.”

  4. Tom Carter |

    Here’s an interesting article from Politico on Cain’s disorganized and inept campaign organization. It begins,

    Herman Cain is in the midst of “reassessing” whether to continue his 2012 bid, but its legacy is already settled: His campaign will go down as one of the most hapless and bumbling operations in modern presidential politics, setting a new standard for how to turn damaging press coverage into something far worse.

    The botched responses to allegations of marital infidelity, sexual impropriety and his own gaffes — not to mention the puzzling strategic decisions — have, in the eyes of many veteran strategists, reached record levels of ineptitude.

    It’s an operation that has repeatedly contradicted its own candidate, leveled baseless charges and put Cain in difficult political spots with little apparent forethought.

    Interesting article. If this is any indication of how Cain would staff and manage a presidency, it would make the Obama Administration look great by comparison.

  5. Lisa |

    The question is to what degree has the sexual harrassment and affair stories damaged Cain’s candidacy vs his inability to discuss foreign affairs and national security. I guess it is a little more difficult to apply the 9-9-9 plan to those issues.

    It is interesting that none of these women are credible. They either have significant money problems or they have a history of lodging harrassment complaints in the work place.

    Initially I thought David Axelrod was behind this. He lives in the same bldg as the first woman who came forward. Also, someone who worked in Chicago politics is now at the Restaurant Association with probable access to records on Herman Cain. I envision David Axelrod tasking some subordinate to find every bimbo that ever knew Herman Cain, offer them money to create a story.

    It is not that the Obama campaign believes that Herman Cain will be the GOP candidate rather they want to paint black republicans in an culturally grotesque way to keep Obama’s only remaining constituency from straying.

  6. Tom Carter |

    Lisa, I agree that some on the left just can’t accept that a black man or woman can be a conservative and a Republican. I think the issue here is not so much the charges made against him — serious enough in themselves — as the relish with which the media publicized them. That as opposed to similar or worse scandals among Democrats — it took Drudge to force the media to report on Clinton’s escapades, and it took the tabloid press to finally force them to address the Edwards scandal. Sad commentary on the media.

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