The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

PJM’s Pollock Publishes First Specific Account of Cain Harassment Charge UPDATE: PJM Makes Corrections

Posted on | November 3, 2011 | 115 Comments

Hat-tip to Ace of Spades and congratulations to Richard Pollock at PJM for finally getting the specifics on the record:

Both sources, one male and one female, worked at the time — mid-1990s — for the governmental affairs department of the National Restaurant Association, as did the woman.
According to both sources, Mr. Cain and the woman had been with a large group for a long evening of food and drink at the Ciao Baby Cucina, a restaurant near NRA headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. This was a normal routine, as the trade association worked with the food and beverage industry. Afterwards, Mr. Cain allegedly took the woman by taxi to his apartment, where she spent the night and woke up in his bed.
The female source told PJ Media that she witnessed the woman entering a taxi with Herman Cain.
Neither source has direct knowledge of what occurred at Mr. Cain’s residence, but several days after the alleged incident, the male source witnessed the woman returning to her workplace “distraught.” “She was very upset.”

Why did this take so long? What were people afraid of? Now the Cain campaign has something specific that they can deal with.

UPDATE: I have sent text messages and e-mail to the Cain campaign seeking their official response. Meanwhile, I agree with Glenn Reynolds: “I’d still like to see names named, even from people I trust.”

Anonymous accusations, in regard to such a serious matter, are unacceptable. It’s one thing to grant anonymity to sources when what you’re reporting is routine campaign strategy stuff. It’s something else when grievous accusations of sexual misbehavior are being made against the leading candidate for a major party’s nomination for president.

UPDATE II: The commenters are, of  course, free to speculate on the factuality or meaning of the account reported by Pollock. Given that I am expected to report on the Cain campaign, however, I am obligated to resist the speculation temptation.

Nevertheless, it is possible to say — as a neutral objective fact — that this changes the nature of the story.

Whereas we were previously led to believe that this was a matter of mere words, which may have crossed the line into the range of “unwanted advances,” now it seems to be something else entirely. And shame on any reporters, at Politico or anywhere else, who were aware of such specific accusations and failed to report the details.

However this story turns out for the Cain campaign, there will need to be some accountability for journalistic incompetence.

UPDATE III: PJM corrects the Pollock article:

(CORRECTIONS: A previous version of this story mentioned that a source witnessed Cain and the woman entering a taxi together. This was incorrect.
The previous version also mentioned that the woman awoke in Cain’s bed — the source only claimed that the woman awoke in Cain’s apartment.
The previous version incorrectly attributed comments from one source to the other source.)

Can you see me biting my tongue?

UPDATE IV: I put this post online at 1:28 p.m. and had contacted Mark Block and J.D. Gordon via e-mail and text before 2 p.m., seeking a response. When that didn’t work, I called at 2:40 p.m. It’s now 4:15 p.m.

My phone isn’t ringing and there’s no answer in my inbox. If they’re not responding to me — on a day like today — to whom are they responding? Why should I even bother trying to get a response?


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Comments

  • Finrod Felagund

    I can easily see a situation here where there really wasn’t any wrongdoing, though.  If Cain says something that any reasonable person would take as something innocent, but he’s not talking to a reasonable person, then they could take offense and cause a situation like this.  In this case, there’s no wrongdoing, it’s just a misunderstanding.  Almost anyone can be an unreasonable person when they’re in the wrong mood, and personally I was taught to forgive and forget offenses let alone misunderstandings.

    And as far as forgetting someone falsely accusing you of wrongdoing, I went through that with my ex-wife ten years ago, and I’m thankful to say I’ve forgotten most of it.  I didn’t even have a board of directors that I could let handle it while I recused myself.

  • CalMark

    NOTHING is proved. 

    We got a PJ Media story that had so many retractions as to render the story meaningless.  And they even had to admit they couldn’t keep their sources straight, identifying one as another.

    You REALLY hate Herman Cain, don’t you?

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Okay it just now occurred to me who you were talking about. But no, if we have to amend the constitution-Ozzie ’12

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Good lord man are you kidding me? Are you going to accuse me of being a racist next? In case I wasn’t clear, I’m personally not concerned one way or another about this idiotic story, whether he did or did not sleep with her. But in all frankness it looks like he did. My point is, so what? Move on. You’re making it exponentially worse with all this denial and excuse making. Men don’t take women at conventions to their hotel rooms, generally speaking, without nookie in mind. If that bothers you, it bothers you, so kindly don’t project that at me. How can you call a Paul supporter a cultist and keep a straight face?

  • CalMark

    I will concede some of your points.  But moving on won’t make this go away.  Acknowledging it would be even worse, because… 

    Cain himself, on Hannity today, stated firmly that he has never sexually harassed anybody.  Never behaved in an untoward manner.  We’re going to have to fight this, tooth and nail, to the end–whatever that may be.  Whoever the ultimate nominee is.

    If Cain says it’s a smear, we have to go with that.  We can’t let the Democrat noise machine hang another Republican scalp on their handlebars without doing everything we can to stop it.

  • CalMark

    Or, to put it in Democrat terms:  He’s OUR guy.  Mess with him at your own peril.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    What flavor is the Kool Aid in your world?  Black Walnut?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    If he had come out at the beginning and told the whole story, omitting the names of the women, it would be one thing.  He’s tried to sell too many different versions, changed his story too many times.  If he IS telling the truth, and got so flustered even with ten days warning, he isn’t anywhere NEAR qualified to handle the Presidency.

    The alternative is he’s lying repeatedly.  Only one of his versions can be true. 

    I know how the Democrats handle this stuff.  If you like their way, they accept new members.  When Republicans stop having higher standards for our candidates than they do for theirs, I’ll be outta here.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Nonsense. Cain took the woman up to her room, which in my mind says he clearly took her up there with the intention of having sex with her, and probably did. Then, either because she planned it from the beginning, or because it didn’t benefit her the way she hoped it would, she accused him of sexual harassment, or whatever, and got a settlement, which by the way was probably not nearly as much as she hoped for.

    Let’s just accept that for what it is and move on. All this hand-wringing, denials, obfuscation, and worse, all of these downright hysterics, is making things exponentially worse.

    But aren’t you the guy who’s always saying that not voting for Romney, if Romney gets the nomination, is the same as a vote for Obama, with all that entails?

    Yet, you’re willing to pack up and leave over THIS SHIT?

    At least those of us who dislike or distrust Romney have valid, substantive reasons for doing so. You’re talking about walking away if Cain gets the nomination because he dicked some whore. Come on Adjoran, be at least a little consistent.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    But man what you are not seeing is that all of these denials, obfuscations, and downright HYSTERICS is playing exactly into the hands of the Democrats and the media. There is a right way to fight and a wrong way to fight, and this is not the right way. It makes Republicans look like childish hypocrites, or worse, churlish would-be morality thugs who can’t stand the idea that their candidates every now and then prove they are human beings who are capable of messing up from time to time. Just adopt the attitude that if it happened its unfortunate, but it was a long time ago and it doesn’t prove anything about Herman Cain good or bad. Other than he is a man who may have cheated here and there but who has probably grown and matured with age and is by all accounts a decent man. But still a man, not some little demigod who has lived a perfect life. All of this overreaction might be the reason he has been so evasive. Sometimes voters expect too damn much.

  • Finrod Felagund

    With the housing market in the dumps, you don’t have to live under a bridge any more; even a troll can pick up a house for a song nowadays.

  • Finrod Felagund

    You’re ready to convict him based on incredibly flimsy evidence that’s changing even faster than you think Cain’s story is changing?

    Good Lord, I hope I’m never arrested and have you on my jury.  You’d vote to convict Tom Robinson even with Atticus Finch defending him.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Let’s see here, what am I “accusing” him of? Okay, I’m “accusing” him of taking a woman up to his hotel room. The only thing that seems to be in dispute is whether she woke up in his bed, or “in his room” (Pssst, please note that when you wake up in a room, most generally you are in a bed).

    So the only thing I’m “accusing” him of is what seems to be the facts. As far as what happened in that room, let’s take this one step at a time.

    1. Cain’s a man
    2. The accuser is a woman
    3. They were away from their respective homes and their respective spouses and/or significant others, if she had one.
    4. They were drinking, according to accounts, at least somewhat heavily.
    5. They ended up in Cain’s hotel room
    6. FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT

    I don’t know what all that equals in your world, but in mine, and in the world of most normal people, that equals-

    7. Herman got him some nookie.  Oh yeah, and-
    8. I damn sure hope it was some damn good stuff.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I never thought I would ever see the day that the obvious implication that a man had sex with a woman in a hotel room after a night of drinking at what seems to have been an office party away from home would be the equivalent of that old proverbial 800 pound gorilla in the room that no one seems willing to acknowledge.

  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to the 60 Minutes exposes next summer and fall.  All I will say is I tried to warn you.  I’m not voting for anyone in the primaries who has obviously cheated on his wife and family.  Cain professing to be the conservative Christian makes it worse of course, since the hypocrite angle comes into play.

    I read somewhere that the amount of sex harassment cases was 1/10th of 1% against directors and other bosses in the 90s.  Cain sure is unlucky, isn’t he?  It’s still a very rare situation to find yourself accused of that, and Cain found himself accused of that at least twice that we know of.  Plus a 3rd who considered it.  That is obviously a pattern for any but those living in denial to comprehend.

    So now we have a guy, in Cain, who is lying through his teeth to Hannity or anyone else that will listen, and we are supposed to all go along with the charade, because…?