Tuesday, November 1, 2011
We don’t know about that. His campaign certainly doesn't think so from comments in the Atlantic. In any case, former president Bill Clinton survived just fine during in his presidential campaign run the sexual allegations against him by his paramour Gennifer Flowers, (here's some archival footage) who had a tape recorded conversation to confirm their liaison. That was a consensual encounter, of course, and not a claim of unwanted sexual impropriety. And Clinton did have to have wife Hillary publicly express support for him. Remember, the “I’m not some Tammy Wynette standing by my man” line on their TV interview? Will it be necessary for Cain’s wife to step forward?
Just an hour or so ago, Cain sounded positively Clintonian in describing the disparate answers he's given on the matter. He told CNN his answers hadn't conflicted when he said he was unaware of a settlement in a sexual harassment case against him: "It was an agreement. So it looked like I had changed my story. I didn't change my story," Cain told CNN's Headline News. "The difference between settlement and agreement, it makes a difference to me." Ah. Depends on what the definition of "is" is, as Clinton would say.
Regardless, sexual allegations don’t always sink politicians. But Cain still has some explaining to do – and his campaign would do well to at least come up with one consistent story.
And he’ll need to come up with a good explanation for allegations that could be even more problematic – that his campaign engaged in illegal campaign fundraising. The story got overshadowed by the sexual harassment charges but according to sources and documents obtained by one newspaper, an organization founded by Cain’s chief of staff and deputy chief of staff Mark Block and Linday Hansen footed the bill “for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas - something that might breach federal tax and campaign law.”
“I just don’t see how they can justify this,” a national election expert told the newspaper. “It’s a total mess.”
But Cain isn’t the only Republican presidential campaigner that has a mess on his hands. A video of Texas Gov. Rick Perry is making the rounds showing an overly animated Perry speaking in New Hampshire. Some observers have asked whether he was inebriated or on medication.
During a 25-minute appearance last Friday before a conservative group known as Cornerstone, Perry grinned widely, gesticulated wildly, repeatedly contorted his face and giggled at his own jokes while delivering a variation of his standard stump speech.
At one point, he launched into a riff on gold, telling his audience that he hoped they had gold stored ”in the back yard” because ”if they print any more money over there in Washington, then gold’s gonna be good.” He also cradled and twirled a bottle of maple syrup given to him by his hosts.
The Dallas Morning News, which has some experience covering the Texas governor, said it was vintage Perry “in the small bergs and big ‘burbs of Texas. Perry has put this excited and childlike charm on display in dozens of small gatherings. He loves a supportive crowd.”
He might love a crowd but "odd" isn't the best impression to leave when you're running for president.
Then again Perry didn't turn off Jim Geraghty of the National Journal : "Maybe I’m weird, but I really liked this version of Rick Perry. " Geraghty quoted some of Perry's quirky comments and said "if this is a side effect of his medication, more back meds, please!"
Posted by The Observer Editorial Board at 2:15 PM