Herman Cain is reportedly 'reassessing' his campaign after the latest allegations of a 13 year affair with Ginger White, an Atlanta woman surfaced yesterday.
White went public in an interview with an Atlanta TV station, describing the sex as consensual and admitting that she knew Cain was married and that she’s “not proud” of what she described as a long-running affair with the married GOP candidate. “It was pretty simple,” Ms. White said in the interview. “It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”
She also said that Cain had given her money on occasion and produced cellphone bills that included 61 phone calls or text messages to and from a number she said was for Herman Cain’s private cellphone. When the station sent a text message to the number, Cain called back and acknowledged knowing Ms. White.
He then went on to issue the following statement, in an attempt to get out in front of the storm:
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.
In other words, if you read between the lines, Cain was saying 'maybe I did, but it's nobody's business and I won't discuss it'. One of his handlers obviously got hold of him shortly afterwards and slapped some sense into him and he's since issued an outright denial, essentially saying that either his supporters are going to believe him or Ginger White, which doesn't explain a lot.
It's pretty obvious to me that at least some of the allegations about Cain's zipper problem are true, and I actually agree with him that it isn't anyone else's business - except that's not how presidential campaigns work, and someone cheating on his spouse matters to a lot of people.
In 'The Prince', Machiavelli famously said that only the prince she be allowed to lie as a tool of governing. What he didn't say but ought to be obvious is that the Prince must be able to lie well enough to appear credible, ala' Mr. Clinton.
Cain appears to have failed this elementary test of leadership, as he has so many others.
If he bails, it will be interesting to see where his supporters end up going - to Newt Gingrich or to Michele Bachmann.