Monday, November 28, 2011

Cain Not Able To Muster Coherent Defense

Herman Cain and his attorney proved today that there is no story so bad you can't make it worse.

A local television station, MyFoxAtlanta, carried a lengthy interview this evening with a woman who claims she had a 13-year-long affair with the presidential candidate.  The video is below.


The Cain camp had some inkling that this was coming and the candidate rushed onto CNN this afternoon to preempt the allegation by essentially saying:  "Something is coming, don't know what it is -- but it isn't true."  Getting ahead of a bad news story can be a wise move -- IF you have a solid and coherent defense.  That doesn't seem to be the case here.  Cain's discussion with Wolf Blitzer can be seen in part, below.

To make matters worse, at about the same time Cain was on the air describing what he knew about the accuser and assuring Blitzer that he did not have a sexual relationship with that woman, Ms. White -- his lawyer, Lin Wood, was issuing a written statement saying that Cain had no obligation to talk about consensual affairs and would not do so.  And while Wood didn't directly say so, his statement implies that Ms. White's claims might  be true, but it is none of your damn business.  Here is his statement:

"Mr. Cain has been informed today that your television station plans to broadcast a story this evening in which a female will make an accusation that she engaged in a 13-year long physical relationship with Mr. Cain. This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault - which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.

Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults - a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one's bedroom door.

Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media."

Huh?  Do these guys talk to each other? 

It looks like in media relations -- as in other relations -- Cain want to have things both ways.  

When you are in a hole this deep, you need to stop digging.  What little credibility Cain had is now shot.  He went on TV minimizing the significance of his relationship without knowing that within hours the woman he called "just a friend" would be showing cell phone and text records detailing hundreds of contacts and telling a much more believable story.  

Badly played, Mr. Cain.  Your next TV appearance might be to declare you are leaving the campaign to spend more time with your family.


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