Herman Cain faces sexual harassment claims. How much trouble is he in?
Allegations that Herman Cain acted inappropriately toward two female employees in the 1990s are just emerging, and the details could be key. But the allegations will test the Cain campaign.
(Page 2 of 2)
Third, the Politico report suggests there was money involved. If true, the payment of financial settlements in these cases could appear damaging to ordinary voters. It’s one thing to have an underling complain about your behavior. It’s quite another to pay them to go away.Skip to next paragraph
As Iowa's Kent Sorenson jumps to Ron Paul ship, rat analogies abound
Could Romney 'train' be derailed by Gingrich? Perry? Someone new?
Virginia primary: Was it so hard for Perry and Gingrich to get on the ballot?
Donald Trump as third-party candidate: Will he woo Americans Elect?
Ron Paul: why racist newsletter flap could hurt him in Iowa
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
That said, details could matter here. At the top levels of US business, nuisance claims are made and settled every day, notes Jennifer Rubin on her conservative-leaning Washington Post blog “Right Turn."
But if Cain was a party to any payouts, he would have had to sign them, making his claim of “vague” memory of the incidents problematic, Ms. Rubin notes. Furthermore, we don’t yet know if there were other such cases, or whether any of the women who alleged poor behavior on the part of Cain actually filed a lawsuit or some other official action against him. If these things happened, Cain may have a much harder time getting past this incident.
Erick Erickson, editor of the conservative RedState blog and himself a former lawyer, notes that settlements of sexual harassment cases can reach into six figures, and that a five figure payout may be just “go away money.”
Mr. Erickson also raises the point of where the story came from. He implies it came from one of Cain’s political rivals – and only one of them has enough money and experience to have a fully developed opposition research arm. (We’ll fill in the dots here and say that person’s initials are “Mitt Romney.”)
“I think people are finally starting to take Herman Cain seriously,” writes Erickson.
Many of Cain’s supporters say the thing they like best about him is that he is not a politician and seems a true outsider. They may see the allegations of sexual harassment as a plot by the establishment to damage a perceived threat. It’s thus possible that the Politico story won’t cost him many votes from his base, after all.
Get daily or weekly updates from CSMonitor.com delivered to your inbox. Sign up today.