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 Could sexual-harassment controversy make Herman Cain stronger?

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Could sexual-harassment controversy make Herman Cain stronger?   Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:08 am

Herman Cain begins Chapter 3 of his new book, a thin manifesto on his “journey” to the White House, with a verse from Proverbs.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies.”

The four pages that follow – like his pithy campaign pledges, Mr. Cain keeps his chapters short and simple – are an ode to his wife of 43 years.

Whether she likes it or not, an appearance by the camera-shy cheap jerseys Gloria Cain would be useful on the campaign trail about now to help her husband get beyond the controversy that threatens his insurgent bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Of course, it is entirely possible that, if the revelation that sexual-harassment charges were brought against Mr. Cain more than a decade ago does not kill his candidacy, it could it make him stronger.

Everything about Mr. Cain’s five-month-long campaign defies the conventional wisdom. The current infatuation of the party base with the straight-talking, but gaffe-prone former pizza-chain chief executive remains a source of incredulity among veteran strategists in both parties.

Riding high on conservatives’ enthusiasm for his 9-9-9 tax plan, cheap soccer jerseys which would replace the current tax code with a flat 9-per-cent rate on personal income, corporate profits and consumer purchases, the never-elected Mr. Cain has surged past Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry to become Mitt Romney’s key rival for the nomination.

The conservative punditocracy closed ranks around Mr. Cain, 65, after Politico, the Beltway newspaper, first reported the charges made against Mr. Cain by two female employees while he ran the National Restaurant Association between 1996 and 1999. The women, the paper added, accepted settlements “in the five-figure range.”

Erick Erickson, the influential editor of the RedState.com conservative blog, wrote in a Monday morning post that the relatively small amounts involved (which remain unconfirmed) suggested the charges likely did not have much credibility.

“It strikes me that a settlement for less than six figures is money custom made jerseys paid to deal with the nuisances of an employee fired or otherwise let go who decided to raise the spectre of harassment to get more money to leave without causing a scene,” Mr. Erickson wrote.

Anne Coulter went further, telling Fox News that the media frenzy over the allegations is “another high-tech lynching.” The term is well-known to conservatives as the one used by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas when Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment during his 1991 Senate confirmation hearings.

There is a reason the Republican right is so keen to defend Mr. Cain. mlb jerseys cheap His fall from grace could hand the GOP nomination to Mr. Romney on a platter before the first primary votes are cast. The base remains highly skeptical of Mr. Romney’s conservatism.

But the latest poll has Ms. Bachmann and Mr. Perry each hovering in the single digits in Iowa, a must-win beachhead for a conservative challenger to Mr. Romney.

Mr. Cain topped the weekend Des Moines Register poll with the support of 23 per cent of likely Iowa caucus-goers. That left him in a statistical tie with Mr. Romney, who has the support of 22 per cent, with only two months to go before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The right-wing blogosphere worked overtime to blame the Romney Rolato camp for leaking the harassment story. The latter, bloggers noted, broke just a day before Mr. Cain was to make two policy-oriented speeches in Washington before the American Enterprise Institute and the National Press Club.

In an appearance on Fox News and later at the press club, Mr. Cain conceded that allegations had been made against him. He insisted the charges were investigated at the time by the association’s lawyers and were found to be “baseless.”

Mr. Cain said he was “unaware” of any settlements paid to his accusers, quipping in a characteristic one-liner: “I hope it wasn’t for much, because I didn’t do anything.”

Asked if he thought one of his rivals was responsible for leaking cheap nfl jerseys the charges to Politico, Mr. Cain shot back: “I told you this bull’s-eye on my back has gotten bigger. I have no idea of the source of this witch hunt, which is what it is.”

His response only fuelled more questions and media scrutiny. How, as head of the association, could he have been “unaware” of legal settlements paid out on his watch?
Still, even if Mr. Cain does survive this controversy, he may have sealed his fate by ending his press club appearance by breaking into song.

Mr. Cain is a unique politician in that he is fond of hearing not only his speaking voice. But the prospect of a gospel-singing president could be too much for most Americans.
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