A 'scandal'? Not by comparison

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Herman Cain’s surprising top-tier presidential campaign will sail or sink based largely on his own behavior: what he may have done years ago, certainly, but perhaps more so what he does now; how he comports himself and handles what appears to be the biggest challenge of his life.

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain pauses while speaking at the Congressional Health Caucus Thought Leaders Series on Wednesday.  Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain pauses while speaking at the Congressional Health Caucus Thought Leaders Series on Wednesday.

We suspect he has the character and chutzpah to handle it – but his political inexperience, so often considered a feather in his cap, is so far rearing its head. He needs to be more of a sea of calm in the midst of a hurricane, for that’s what is demanded of our president.

The jury is still out on how he’ll weather this.

But while we take his measure, it would behoove the country to keep several other things in mind.

First, that whoever leaked the allegations of sexual harassment to the media had ulterior motives – the chief one being that he or she wants to shape the presidential election, by preventing you from having the opportunity to vote for Herman Cain or make him our president. The question is, will Americans give shadowy, double-dealing back-stabbers that kind of power?

You also have to wonder how much more zealous the “mainstream” media are about all this than if, say, Cain were a Democrat. One of the forgotten aspects of the Bill Clinton scandal is that the media were at first loath to report it. And even then, they granted him the odd comfort of the 60 Minutes couch to rehabilitate his image (and lie through his teeth).

And speaking of the term “scandal,” we’ve heard several broadcast folks use it in this case. How sad, if the mere unsubstantiated report of anonymous allegations of possible past loutish behavior, yet unproved, is given such a label.

The word is more properly affixed to a presidential administration giving out hundreds of billions of taxpayer funds to its political cronies, only to lose the money on preordained business failures (Solyndra) – or a federal government that purposely allows hundreds of high-powered guns to be sold to ultra-violent Mexican drug cartels (without the Mexican government’s knowledge), and then a U.S. border agent is killed with one (Fast and Furious).

Or insiders trying to rig elections.

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Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 11/04/11 - 12:56 am
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1) Why would the "sources" of

1) Why would the "sources" of this information want to remain anonymous? What do they have to hide?

Be wary of anyone who wants to remain anonymous.

2) If the allegation was so flimsy that it didn't go to trial 20 years ago, then how is the case any stronger today?

Anybody can accuse anybody of anything.

How is it fair to measure a man's character based on allegations when we can't test the allegations or those making them?

faithson
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faithson 11/04/11 - 01:00 am
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scandal: noun The expression

scandal:
noun
The expression of injurious, malicious statements about someone: aspersion, calumniation, calumny, character assassination, defamation, denigration, detraction, slander, traducement, vilification.

Scandal sounds about exactly right. Of course at the Chronicle meanings take on what ever the Chronicle contrives.

faithson
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faithson 11/04/11 - 01:10 am
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A fair measure of a man's

A fair measure of a man's character is how well He handles confrontation especially when He KNEW it was coming out against HIM. A full 10 days ahead of time. Mr. Cain and his campaign have done a dismal job of addressing this, yes, scandal. Rising to the level of His incompetence comes to mind. Please know I genuinely respect the gentleman, I just am of a mind he is in over his head. National politics is not for the weak of mind.

shrimp for breakfast
5783
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shrimp for breakfast 11/04/11 - 02:56 am
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You are correct AC when you

You are correct AC when you say it is more how he handles it now more than anything else. When you say mainstream media that knucklehead Wolf Blitzer comes to mind. That man could sensationalize paint drying. Like I have always said, when you have round the clock news coverage you have to fill the dead air with something.
I'm not condoning sexual harrasment but if nothing happened way back when then I could care less about it now.
Hang tough Herman!

southernguy08
578
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southernguy08 11/04/11 - 06:13 am
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FAITH posted, "Please know I
Unpublished

FAITH posted, "Please know I genuinely respect the gentleman, I just am of a mind he is in over his head." Faith, look at the condition of the country. Don't you agree that this president is in over his head? We need a president with business experience, who understands what it takes to get an economy moving, not one who will throw more money at "shovel ready" programs.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 11/04/11 - 06:49 am
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It’s one big CainWreck.

It’s one big CainWreck.

Riverman1
121065
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Riverman1 11/04/11 - 06:52 am
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It may be easier to start

It may be easier to start listing the women Cain has been around who are NOT claiming sexual harassment. But remember all the hard evidence on Bill Clinton? Even after Monica the guy was reelected. He even had claims of rape against him by Katherine Wiley. Paula Jones got a settlement because he dropped his pants in front of her. Cain looks like a choirboy in comparison. I don't think it means much these days.

TParty
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TParty 11/04/11 - 07:08 am
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I don't understand this

I don't understand this "Clinton probably sexual harassed women, so lets ignore Cain."

First of all, no one ignored Clinton and his desire for women- it's the only thing I ever hear from the right, and always an easy joke even today for late night shows.

Just because someone else has done something wrong and got away with it does not mean it's acceptable for the horse you are backing to get away with any wrong doing as well.

And what's the point of deflection at the end of this article?

southernguy08
578
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southernguy08 11/04/11 - 07:13 am
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T, you don't think its a
Unpublished

T, you don't think its a little strange that we hear these allegations only AFTER Cain becomes the frontrunner? Ever hear any of this when he was running for the senate? I sure didn't. Sounds like the Dems or even one of his Republican opponents are trying to sink him because they see he's a real player now.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/04/11 - 07:28 am
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TP, because the democrats

TP, because the democrats voted for Clinton any old way is the point. The theme after he was outed was that his sexual problems shouldn't be considered to hamper his ability to be an effective leader. Sorry if we hurt anyone's feelings by bringing up Slick Willie.

david jennings
625
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david jennings 11/04/11 - 07:42 am
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I take Cain' side. Whoever

I take Cain' side. Whoever brought this up, does anyone think they are worried about the many issues facing the country? It shows how dirty politics are, I don't see it relative. Maybe he didn't inhale. What is important is how Cain has handled this and so far not too well. I still have more confidence in Cain than Perry or Mitt.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 11/04/11 - 08:06 am
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Information from anonymous

Information from anonymous sources should be taken with a grain of salt. Accusations from anonymous accusers should be completely ignored.

To the accusers, either step up or shut up.

eb97
836
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eb97 11/04/11 - 08:06 am
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All you have to do is look at

All you have to do is look at the timing of these allegations coming out. Why did they not surface early on if they are valid ,but no, they come out when Cain is on top and has held a two week high in the polls. Who is it that fears Cain the most? His Team has not handled this well but Cain will take charge of this situation himself and move forward. He just may remain on top of the polls and if so, look for the one that fears him most to come up with more mud to smear.

harley_52
32884
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harley_52 11/04/11 - 08:07 am
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Riverman, I almost fell for

Riverman, I almost fell for the trap in your 6:52, but figured it would cost me a 3 day suspension in here.

Nice try. :)

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 11/04/11 - 08:12 am
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Political Schadenfreude

Political Schadenfreude

eb97
836
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eb97 11/04/11 - 08:21 am
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harley_52, I found Riverman's

harley_52, I found Riverman's play on words very humorous and I am female. Riverman, you are so right, times have changed for what ever reason, and it doesn't seem to make any difference one way or another

hounddog
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hounddog 11/04/11 - 08:25 am
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‘I just am of a mind he is in
Unpublished

‘I just am of a mind he is in over his head. National politics is not for the weak of mind.’
faithson, You are right and we have a ‘weak minded’ Marxist in the white house.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 11/04/11 - 08:29 am
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Information from anonymous

Information from anonymous sources and accusations from anonymous accusers should be:

Disregarded or treated skeptically when it’s your ox being gored

or

Accepted as unqualified truth when your opponent is the target

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 11/04/11 - 08:31 am
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Riverman1: “Even after Monica

Riverman1: “Even after Monica the guy was reelected.”

Slight timeline problem there.

harley_52
32884
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harley_52 11/04/11 - 09:01 am
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Cain is the candidate most

Cain is the candidate most feared by all the democrats. They will do anything to stop him. The destruction of Herman Cain is much more important to them than just this election and they know it.

TParty
6004
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TParty 11/04/11 - 09:08 am
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Riverman- It kind of sounds

Riverman-

It kind of sounds the same with Cain right now, from his supporters. That the theme after Cain was outed was that his sexual problems shouldn't be considered to hamper his ability to be an effective leader.

And for those who say the accusers should not remain anonymous- they have a gag order. Meaning they took money, a years salary, and went away with the condition of not ever speaking about the event again.

I will say that there have been no other instances since (That we know of) and with sexual harassment, it's easy to be accused. All it takes is for one party to feel violated- so who knows the how valid this is. However- it's my instinct to know that if there is a gag order on one party, it's because they have the truth. Think about the money Micheal Jackson spent to keep some families quiet.

TParty
6004
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TParty 11/04/11 - 09:10 am
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Nobody fears Cain, Harley.

Nobody fears Cain, Harley. Cain has about zero foreign policy ideas or facts, saying this weekend that China is looking to obtain nuclear weapons (They have had them since 1964). His home ideas are quick and shallow as well, his 9-9-9 for instance.

At least Cain has the country discussion tax reform, that's a wonderful positive.

southernguy08
578
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southernguy08 11/04/11 - 09:29 am
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"Cain has bout zero foreign
Unpublished

"Cain has bout zero foreign policy ideas or facts..." T, you think this president of the "57 states" is an expert? The guy is being laughed at by the world. His policies of tax the rich and "shovel ready programs" have done nothing but put us deeper in an already deep hole. Polls show he'll be beaten by whomever the GOP nominates. Sorry, just calls em as I sees em.

Riverman1
121065
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Riverman1 11/04/11 - 09:37 am
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BJphysics, nice pickup on the

BJphysics, nice pickup on the time line with Monica and Clinton's reelection. You are right, but the affair had been going on before the election and she had been moved out of the White House because staffers knew something was up, but, as I said, you are right.

However, what Clinton did was a thousand times worse than what Cain did if it's true and it may not be. That's the whole point liberals can't get around. Clinton's sexual conduct as governor, etc. with more than a few women was criminal. His bad conduct continued as President. "What is the meaning of the word is?" Stained blue dress.

I mean now even the liberals acknowledge Clinton committed the worst kinds of sexaul crimes yet he is honored and his wife dang near ended up being president.

Riverman1
121065
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Riverman1 11/04/11 - 09:36 am
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TP, nobody fears Obama, once

TP, nobody fears Obama, once we figure out who our candidate will be. Heh.

allhans
25543
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allhans 11/04/11 - 09:50 am
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never mind. not germane to

never mind. not germane to the topic.

allhans
25543
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allhans 11/04/11 - 09:48 am
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At this time in the last

At this time in the last election we didn't know who the nominee would be either. (you did mean nominee?)

Odds was it would be Hillary until Bill jumped in and started talking baad about the "o" man. That turned the tide.

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 11/04/11 - 09:49 am
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harley-52, 9:01am, you have

harley-52, 9:01am, you have hit the nail on the head!! Your words explain exactly what is goiing on right NOW, and for the next year!

TParty
6004
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TParty 11/04/11 - 09:56 am
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Well, don't know about you

Well, don't know about you Riverman, but I fear Obama for what he has been doing.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 11/04/11 - 10:12 am
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I’m surprised by the lack of

I’m surprised by the lack of analytical detachment people have on this matter. The “your guy did it and got away with it, it’s not fair our guy is being subjected to a double standard” meme is either disingenuous or selective amnesia.

David “Diaper” Vitter (R): caught in a hooker scandal; still in office.

Eliot Spitzer (D): caught in a hooker scandal; forced out of office.

Mark Foley (R): emails underage pages; forced from office.

Barney “Marbles in His Mouth” Frank (D): caught having sex with underage pages (and much more later); still in office.

Larry “Toe Tap” Craig (R): arrested in an airport restroom; forced from office.

Anthony “Tweeter” Weiner (D): has consensual sext sex; forced from office.

And it goes on and on; there is no rhyme, reason, or fair play as to who falls and who survives when these scandals break. There is also no lack of hypocrisy on either side of the isle in these matters. It’s not obvious to me what the fall verses survival formula is but something tells me Cain is not playing the survival formula.

The media will say it was the attempted cover-up when it’s over but they know better. Some people say it’s the “ick” factor but David “Diaper” transcended that rule; so what is it?

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