A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
November 3rd, 2011
By Tom Carter
Herman Cain is finished as a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. The decline of his chances to win the nomination may be faster or slower, but it’s over. And it was inevitable.
Sexual harassment charges from his days as head of the National Restaurant Association are getting more serious every day, with three women now accusing him. Granted, the media have jumped on him with glee early and often, unlike they way they dealt with Democrats under similar or worse circumstances, e.g., Clinton and Edwards. However, these charges and his reactions to them — blundering, stumbling, and confused — are just the tip of the iceberg.
The submerged mass of the iceberg contains his personal inadequacies and utter lack of qualification to be president. Among these are no experience in elective political office, no experience and little knowledge in foreign policy, and not a clue about how politics works in Washington. Many were willing to overlook similar inadequacies in Barack Obama; others should be smart enough to avoid taking the same kind of chance on Cain.
Hidden below the surface is also the inadequacy of Cain’s campaign organization and staff. Their inept response to the charges of sexual harassment are but an indication of the underlying problem. That’s how we got that inane 9-9-9 economic proposal, which no one who knows anything about politics or economics can take seriously. That’s also how we got such blunders as Cain’s idiotic statement on China’s nuclear weapons capability. If his campaign staff is any indication of how he would staff his administration as president, he would fail miserably.
The sexual harassment charges by themselves may well doom his campaign. If so, that’s a good thing. It does bother me that the women making the charges have not been identified and that their charges are as yet very vague. It also bothers me that the media has attacked Cain like a pack of rabid dogs. On the other hand, one is tempted to say to him, “Welcome to the NFL, rookie.” If he and his campaign staff can’t handle this any better than they have, their chances of surviving a campaign against Obama are nil.
My guess is the charges made by these three women against Cain are mostly true. I had the same feeling about Anita Hill’s charges against Clarence Thomas — they had the ring of truth. And I don’t blame these women for not wanting to be identified. They would face the same kind of vicious attacks Hill suffered through. The media would be camped on their front lawns 24 hours a day, their personal lives would be turned inside out, their families — including their children — would be harassed and embarrassed daily. No would should have to endure that kind of public high colonic.
Bob Woodward was right when he said that Cain is a typical example of “CEO bluster.” He’s the boss, no one had better dare to challenge him, and his inadequacies and lack of depth are to be covered up and glossed over if you want to keep your job. That’s fine, I suppose, when you answer only to a board of directors that you probably dominate, with only a passing nod to shareholders who are largely powerless. But it doesn’t work very well if you’re President of the United States.
Republicans need to make a sober assessment of what they’re trying to do. Their objective, which I share, is to get Barack Obama out of the White House. Of the possible candidates they now have in front of them to put up against a sitting president, only Mitt Romney seems to have a serious chance of winning. Whoever they nominate will get all or most of the Republican base. The key to winning is to get the votes of a large number of moderates and independents. Romney can do that; I doubt that any of the others can.
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