Herman Cain is the leading vote-getter in our Personal Liberty Digest™ Republican Primary poll (which originally introduced many of you to our site) over the past 30 days. This result seems to mirror Cain’s meteoric rise in national polls following the GOP debate in Florida in late September.
After excluding multiple votes from single email addresses, Cain tallied 7,213 votes from Personal Liberty subscribers. Ron Paul was second with 6,085. Mitt Romney came in a distant third at 2,193, followed by Newt Gingrich (1,409), Michele Bachmann (546), none of the above (331), Rick Santorum (149) and Jon Huntsman (98). Sarah Palin, who is not running, tallied 795 votes. (Editor’s note: Over the past 60 days, Paul garnered 12,740 votes to Cain’s 8,422 and Perry’s 5,704. Palin edged out Perry in that period with 5,795.)
The results were tallied before the sexual harassment scandal began to envelop the Cain campaign earlier this week.
So far, rather than derailing his momentum, Cain seems to have gotten a bump in both fundraising and support as a result of the scandal, despite his conflicting responses. He’s playing the victim card, and the public seems to be glomming onto his pitch that he’s undergoing a “high-tech” lynching because he’s black and conservative.
Cain’s story has evolved over the course of the week. He’s acknowledged he had about 10 days — from the time POLITICO first approached him about it until the story broke — to formulate a plan. Yet his initial response to a reporter asking if he’d ever been accused of sexual harassment was to turn the question back on the reporter.
Then he responded that he didn’t have a better response because he couldn’t respond to “unsubstantiated” rumors and didn’t know who his accusers might be because he had never sexually harassed anyone. The story then became that he remembered who the women might have been but didn’t know about a settlement. It transformed into he turned it over to counsel and Restaurant Association human resources, but never inquired about a settlement.
Now, the Cain camp is blaming a Perry campaign aide who worked for Cain during his 2004 Senate run. The story is that Cain told that aide the sexual harassment issue might come up and now the aide has passed the story onto the Perry camp, who leaked the story. How Cain remembered the details in 2004 but forgot them in 2011 has not been addressed.
I’ve made no secret that I am not a Cain supporter. And it remains to be seen whether there is anything to this story.
But Cain’s ill-conceived and sometimes irrational responses demonstrate clearly that he’s not ready for prime time. Any decent campaign aide with a modicum of public relations experience could have developed a much better response to this crisis — especially with a 10-day heads-up.
If this is the best Cain can do, should he become the Republican nominee, the Democratic smear machine will eat his lunch and make him say, “Thank you.”
Of course that doesn’t matter, because if the choice is between Obama and Cain — or Obama and Romney, Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum or Huntsman — there is really no choice at all.
Sadly, what the story has done is once again distract the American voting public from the real issues: inflation, profligate government spending, corporatocracy, never-ending foreign wars, growing totalitarianism and a decreasing standard of living. The mainstream media and the political class know that sex stories always sell. You’ve bought it again, and they’re sitting in their ivory towers chuckling away.
And if you elect Cain, Romney, Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum or Huntsman, there will be nothing more than a shuffling of chairs in the ivory tower.