For all I know, Sharon Bialek’s allegations against Herman Cain could constitute nothing more than a pack of lies. But for yet another day, the Cain campaign’s message has been drowned out by charges of sexual harassment. And for yet another day, the campaign has proven itself utterly and completely unable to deal with the charges. It has spent the past week on the defensive, and it looks like it will remain on the defensive for some time to come.
Of course, I need not remind readers that my decision to point out that the Cain campaign has proven itself unprepared for the rigors of a Presidential race brought out a number of Cainiacs, who swore up and down that the scandal was great for Cain, because it was increasing his name identification, because it was helping out with fundraising, because it gave Cain a chance to stick it to the media, etc. These people scolded me for daring to think that a non-politician like Cain, who supposedly knows exactly how to shake up the system, would find his campaign mortally wounded by these allegations.
Well, after Bialek, the allegations against Cain now have a face and a name. And again, they might be entirely false. But again, the allegations are succeeding in knocking the Cain campaign off of whatever game it once might have had, and any confidence that Herman Cain will be able to survive the Republican nomination contest–let alone a race against the veteran campaign squad that is bound and determined to get Barack Obama a second term in the White House–ought to be completely dissipated by now. Oh, I am sure that there remain some Cainiacs who hold out the last, desperate vestiges of hope that somehow, someway, their candidate will recover, Lazarus-like, capture the GOP nomination, and win the White House. But why should anyone put anymore stock into their tired, Baghdad Bobesque assurances that everything is all right, that the Cain campaign is walking on water (before turning it into wine), and that the former pizza executive has his opponents right where he wants them?
There may very well be more revelations about Cain’s behavior. This ride is not even close to being over yet. And I write that as someone who very much wants this ride to be over; we have serious economic policy, foreign policy, and national security issues to discuss in the run-up to the primaries, the caucuses, and the general election scheduled less than a year from today. Unfortunately, we are not talking about those issues, because of the soap opera that is Herman Cain’s Presidential campaign.