"The deep resentments raised by the Clarence Thomas precedent, which Cain and his defenders are already invoking, are a powerful and living memory for the conservative rank-and-file. While the impact of the current allegations against Cain will ultimately depend on whether or not they can be proven, and if so, how deeply they contradict his own account of the affair, there is a strong possibility the candidate will use his own supposed victimization to turn the saga into a plus for his campaign and a direct challenge to his rivals and intraparty detractors. And in doing so, Cain may finally roll the dice and become a deadly serious aspirant to the presidency. "Kilgore says Cain had positioned himself long before this incident as the heir to Clarence Thomas, whose "constitutional conservatism" anticipated the ideals of the Tea Party. Thus, Cain becomes the victim of all those who would attack the Tea Party itself. His whole piece is worth a read; you can find it here.
-- posted by Kevin Siers