The Other McCain

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

Will Perry Be Blamed for Cain Scandal?

Posted on | November 2, 2011 | 42 Comments

Sunday’s original widespread suspicion that the Rick Perry campaign was responsible for the “oppo” hit at Politico appears to be shared by many others, including the target himself:

In the summer of 2003, Cain recalls briefing Anderson—his general campaign consultant at the time—that sexual harassment claims were brought against him while he was chairman of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999.
“I told my wife about this in 1999 and I’ve got nothing to hide,” Cain told me Wednesday. “When I sat down with my general campaign consultant Kurt Anderson in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003 we discussed opposition research on me. It was a typical campaign conversation. I told him that there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman while I was at the National Restaurant Association. Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them. I don’t recall anyone else being in the room when I told him.” …
Aside from knowing about the alleged sexual harassment accusations, Cain campaign officials point to the timing of Anderson’s hiring by Perry as evidence of his involvement. The campaign announced Anderson’s role on October 24, just a week before Politico broke the story.

Related headlines:

Cain Faults Perry as More Allegations Emerge
New York Times

Cain accuses former adviser Curt Anderson

Cain Camp Accuses Perry Campaign
of Leaking Sexual Harassment Claims

Fox News

Perry Backer Says He Witnessed Cain
Harassment, Cain Blames Perry Staffer

Business Insider

Perry Pollster Worked for Restaurant
Association at Time of Cain Allegations

The Weekly Standard

Regarding Herman Cain: It’s Not
Racism. It’s Opposition Research.

Erick Erickson, Red State

In that last item Erickson is essentially defending his candidate, saying that even if this was an oppo job by his buddies on Team Perry, Republican voters should not blame his buddies for doing it. But this is still merely a hypothetical. We have only suspicion at this point, and even if there is evidence that appears to support that suspicion, “evidence” is not a synonym for “proof.” Republican voters, of course, may not care to quibble over such fine distinctions. And if suspicions toward the Perry campaign take root . . .

“Howdy. Thank You, Erick.”

Meanwhile, via Hot Air, we get a weird story from Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, who remarks on “awkward/inappropriate things he’s said to two females on my staff” and then says:

Especially since I have very talented employees that happen to be women. I go out of my way to treat them like my sisters. For example, I wouldn’t tell them or any other woman I am not married to nor related to how pretty she is.

Hold on a minute there: It is now “inappropriate” — perhaps even career-destroying harassment — for a married man to compliment a woman on her looks? According to conservatives?

Strom Thurmond never would have survived in 21st century GOP politics.

Now, as I keep reminding readers, we don’t yet know the names of Cain’s accusers and haven’t heard their accusations directly. We therefore are unable to judge the credibility of the charges.

However, it strikes me that Deace’s testimony about Cain’s allegedly “inappropriate” remarks might actually be viewed as exculpatory. That is to say, no reasonable person could possibly believe that Cain was “hitting on” Deace’s female staffers, right? Yet this incident might suggest that Cain — like the late Strom, like me, like many other old-fashioned men from the South — considers flirtatious flattery and jocular banter an innocent amusement.

Coming from a time and place where every diner waitress called you “honey” or “sugar,” and where extravagant compliments were the routine currency of social life, I am probably more sympathetic to the cultural defense of such behavior than the average Iowan would be. The many people who know Herman and praise him as an amiable gentleman perhaps see his down-to-earth jocularity as charming, whereas others might see it differently.

There is of course a line, recognized even among Southerners, between harmless flirtatiousness and “hitting on” someone, and occasional misunderstandings used to be settled the old-fashioned way. When I was about 21, I got sucker-punched by a college buddy who did not appreciate the cleverness of a double-entendre made in reference to his girlfriend (whom I’d known before she ever met him). And my extroverted wackiness may make others feel “awkward.”

At any rate, I think the lovely and charming Gail Collins shares my basic viewpoint of the allegations to date:

Sexual harassment is a matter so serious that I’m not prepared to prejudge anybody, including the woman who accepted money in return for leaving the organization, until I have a pretty fair factual understanding of what actually happened.  If you feel you have no power, that everybody with clout is aligned against you, and the situation makes keeping your job untenable, you might feel compelled to just get out of there with whatever compensation is available to tide you over. On the other side, if none of Cain’s accusers speak up in public, it’s hard to judge him guilty.

So far, we have a sex scandal with no actual sex and only vague descriptions of accusations made by unnamed women. Cain might be wholly guilty or mostly innocent, and there is simply no way yet to judge. It wouldn’t want to see the women targeted by some kind of James Carville “nuts and sluts” attack, but neither can Cain be condemned on the basis of anonymous accusations.




42 Responses to “Will Perry Be Blamed for Cain Scandal?”

  1. Joe
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    Well does it matter anymore?  Mark Block just apologized for accusing the Perry camp.

    The flailing around by Team Cain makes blaming the actual perpetrator very hard to do now.  What if it was Team Perry?  Team Cain looks like a bunch of dumbasses. 

    I doubt it was an actual campaign strategy by Perry or Romney, but it may have involved some Perry or Romney supporters.  Or maybe Obama supporters (there was talk Rahm Emanuel might have been involved). 

    If these allegations are gross exaggerations or lies, I expect Cain to fight back.   But please, use some common sense. 

  2. Anonymous
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

    Once when I was a kid, I got in trouble for some now-inconsequential thing on the playground. In fact, I got a full-paddle ass-beating from the principal.

    After it was over, I went back outside to the playground, pointed at the kid who told on me, and whined “YOU got me in trouble!”

    That second ass-beating was worse.

    I’m pretty sure I was in second grade.

    At his age, if Herman Cain hasn’t learned that “YOU got me in trouble” doesn’t work, maybe he should make some time for a second run at second grade instead of running for POTUS.

    One thing the man’s supporters like about him is that he has huge balls. Shame he can’t seem to stop stomping on them.

  3. Cain 3rd Accuser: Rahm Emanuel Suspected Leaker: Two Perry Supporters Suspected Leakers | Maggie's Notebook
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    […] I don’t know the truth of any of this, but it is odd that everyone involved, except the women, are now allied with Rick Perry. The Other McCain has headlines you may have missed, including a blogger who says this is merely opposition reporting and if the leaker is a Republican, … […]

  4. ThomasD
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

    Cain didn’t have my support, he’s got it now.

    Perry can go Romney himself.

  5. Anonymous
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    So we have what is arguably, at the highest intellectual levels, the most corrupt presidency in all American History. Yet, this is what dominates the news. The real issues that should dissuade the citizenry from settling on Mr Cain for that same Presidency are of no value compared to this propaganda coup de tat.

  6. Joe
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

    knappster, you screwed up in not going quietly up to the kid who ratted you out and punching him as hard as you could in the face. 

    You would have gotten that second ass whoppin.  But I guarantee you never would have been accused again by the other kids. 

    I don’t mind Cain fighting back, but do it smart and make sure you target the right person for your wrath.  I assume these charges against Cain are BS.  What bothers me to no end is how paniced his campaign is.  Grow a set.   

  7. Joe
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

    Cain has my support.  But his staff sucks and they better get their act together or Romney will be the GOP nominee. 

  8. Guitanguran
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

    Bad marks on how he’s handling it, but at least he didn’t point a false finger of denial at the TV or twitter-ate his junk to the world. Still has my support.

  9. Anonymous
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    Deace is already backing down per the right scoop.

    If you have a comment for Deace, you better do it before he decides to check his website again…LOL

    Also, the accuser who said that she wanted to have an interview, wanted all the papers released, who wanted to issue a statement….now says that she has nothing to say….

    (her lawyer said last night that he would get to see the settlement papers today….cough…now a strategy change….hmmm)

  10. Anonymous
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    This has already become tedious.
    My default position on charges of sexual harassment is that it’s nonsense absent compelling evidence to the contrary. I take a similar position on any subject that has been hopelessly corrupted by the PC nonsense that is destroying our civilization.

  11. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    “Hold on a minute there: It is now “inappropriate” — perhaps even career-destroying harassment – for a married man to compliment a woman on her looks? According to conservatives?”

    This is the world that we live in.

  12. Edward
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

    This must be a joke.

    Here’s the deal: this had better be the most extravagant amazing unbelievable unreal incredible example of sexual harassment in the history of Mankind or else quite a few people are going to look extremely retarded.

    Seriously.  I had better be just completely overwhelmed by this.  Because otherwise quite a few “conservative” commentators, bloggers, talking heads and pundits are going to lose any and all credibility they might have ever had.  I am frankly sick of this idiotic nonsense.

  13. Zilla of the Resistance
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

    I am a Conservative married mom, but I still like it on the rare occasion when some charming man tells me that I am pretty. It is nice. People are too freaking sensitive and eager to over-react to every damned thing. I LIKE it when a gentleman holds open a door for me, it is a nice thing to do, but feminazi bitches started wailing about that back when I was a kid. Luckily, real men paid those bitches no mind, but those stupid effeminate liberal men, or what they started calling metrosexuals a while back, fell for it and used it as an excuse to be dicks all the time, not just in letting a door slam in  lady’s face.  Bitches and leftists screw everything up for everybody, and leftist bitches are the worst (and they are generally ugly as sin too). And now those bitches and leftists are going to make it so we either have 4 more years of WTF or president mittens. I strongly dislike leftists, bitches, & leftist bitches.

  14. Denverwindowwashing
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

    Page 270

    “Senator,” I said, “I would like to start by saying unequivocally, uncategorically that I deny each and every single allegation against me today that suggested in any way that I had conversations of a sexual nature or about pornographic material with Anita Hill, that I ever attempted to date her, that I ever had any personal sexual interest in her, or that I in any way ever harrassed her.

    Second, and I think a more important point, I think that this today is a travesty.  I think it is disgusting.  I think that this hearing should never occur in America.  This is a case in which this sleaze, this dirt, was searched for by staffers of member of this committee, was then leaked to the media, and this committee and this body validated it and displayed it in prime time across our entire nation.”

    Clarence Thomas My Grandfather’s Son

  15. Denverwindowwashing
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 12:01 am

    I have quite a filter for bullshit, in that it to me is not unnatural or worthy of scorn in and of itself.

    So I greatly, immensely enjoyed the flawless aspects of what is linked below, no matter the story surrounding it:

  16. pjMom
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 12:03 am

    Now wait a sec. Do you honestly think Cain “oh, I’d be anyone’s Veep but Perry’s” would accuse anyone else? Give me a break. I like Cain. I’m glad he’s in the race. I wouldn’t vote for him because I think he’s too green, too close to Romney, and too quick to change his story.

  17. Hold the phone, y’all. « Politicaljunkie Mom
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 12:21 am

    […] The Other McCain suggests Perry will be finished over all of this. Seriously? Who else do you think Cain would finger? The BFF he’d happily serve as flip-flopping vice president for or the one he said wasn’t “conservative enough” for him? […]

  18. Charles
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 12:50 am

    On CNN tonight James Carville was adament it had to be Perry, so it probably wasn’t.

  19. andycanuck
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 12:51 am
  20. Joe
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 1:25 am

    Which suggests why Team Obama has a lot to gain from this turmoil.

  21. Anonymous
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 1:31 am

    As good as any other theory so far.

  22. AngelaTC
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 1:32 am

    Why does nobody but me suspect Newt ? 

  23. higgins1990
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 1:40 am

    John Edward’s “Two Americas” revises:

    If you are a white conservative male, you can’t look at women.

    If you are a white liberal male (ala Bill Clinton) you can womanize all you want.

    If you are a white conservative male, any disagreement with a black person is a sign of racism.

    If you are a white liberal male (especially an SEIU member), you can beat a black conservative male (Kenneth Gladney) and its OK.

    If you are a black conservative candidate running for President, then you will be slandered and attacked daily.  Your conduct going back to first grade is open for criticism.

    If you are a black liberal candidate running for President (or happen to already be President), then your past is your past, and the MSM will refuse to vet you.

    I think I am understanding the rules of the game….

  24. higgins1990
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 1:42 am

    Pundits have credibility?

  25. higgins1990
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 1:44 am

    Obama could run his limo into the OWS crowd and the MSM would not report it. 

  26. Adjoran
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 1:44 am

    If the allegations were to prove false, THEN and only then would it matter who did or did not put them out there.  So far we know MUCH LESS on that than on the allegations, which is to say little or nothing.  Speculate all you want, get yourselves all worked up into a tizzy.

    Then sober up.  Now there are three women who seem to have this problem with Cain at NRA, a pollster (who now – gasp! – supports Perry, however did Perry know to plant this guy at NRA 12 years ago? – but he supports Perry so he MUST be lying, right?) who witnessed an incident and says several others did also.  Steve Deace is a conservative evangelical talk show host; he’s not complaining because Cain told his staffers they were “pretty,” they wouldn’t be disturbed by that and you all know it.

    Just because you WANT the allegations to be baseless doesn’t mean they are.  But just LISTEN to Cain wiggle and squirm and use weasel words and parsing and changing his story – and it has only been two days, and he had a ten-day warning it was coming.

    He looks like he is lying his butt off to me, based on my experience with human beings.  The story has changed too much too quickly.  BUT even if he is innocent, if he is this easily rattled he has no business anywhere near the White House.  China won’t give him ten days notice before they precipitate a crisis.

  27. Anonymous
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 2:09 am

    Permit me to say that, regardless of the origin of the story, cui bono?

    Ever since Perry melted down in the Sept. 22 Orlando debate, Cain’s success has correlated with Perry’s failure. Who therefore stands most to benefit from taking down Cain?

    What Mark Block appears to be doing here is playing a bit of Machiavellian hardball: “Hey, buddy, you want to take us out? Fine. Bring it on. But win or lose, we’re going to make damned sure that everybody knows who took us out — or tried to, at any rate.”

    Mutually Assured Destruction, a term Cold War scholars will be familiar with.

  28. jwallin
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 2:17 am

    It’s not the accusations we need to hear, it’s the actual FACTS supporting them (or not).

    Most of these cases fall into the realm of he said/she said and they’re not very well documented/witnessed.

    Supposedly this guy witnessed what occurred but then after giving out enough info to whet the appetite goes all coy and won’t give the happy ending.

    I suspect in both her accusational facts and his witnessing, there’s not much there there.

    It doesn’t take much to misunderstand, especially if one is inclined to in the first place.

    Unfortunately caving into this just makes it more likely to happen again but YOU HAVE TO CONSENT TO RELEASE THE RECORDS. ALL OF THE RECORDS AND NAMES, DATES AND WITNESSES.

    Sorry that’s just the facts. If he does THAT, I think he can get off if it’s not clear cut harassment. (Which for me, means that he made sexual advances after being clearly rebuffed and/or made sexual suggestions with her job being held hostage. Otherwise it’s just a pass gone wrong or a misunderstanding.)

  29. bradley
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 2:20 am

    Personally, I couldn’t care less if Mr. Cain whipped it out and said “what we’ve got right here is a prime example of Alabama blacknake, and it ain’t too damned ‘beaucoup’.” At a convention of nuns. He’s still got my vote.

    He most closely represents my interests (which only occasionally involve flashing nuns), and I trust him to do what I want (take a machete to Leviathan) moreso than any of the other not-Romneys.

    The good folks of Massachusetts and Connecticut were able to look the other way while Teddy and Chris Dodd were making “waitress sandwiches”. I’ve little doubt that Bill Clinton would’ve won handily in 2000 (if it weren’t for the Roosevelt amendment), despite his somewhat ‘offbeat’ idea of a proper humidor. I don’t see why our side is obligated to nominate only those “who have never sinned.”

    If we were to nominate a sainted, plastic eunuch (currently running 2nd in the polls), it’s not like our dear friends in the MSM wouldn’t be able to find some character-destroying ‘scandal’ to run with in, say, October 2012. See what happened to the not-other McCain in 2008… as if was even conceivable that the wretched old bastard could even still get a stiffy, let alone do something adulterous with it.

  30. bradley
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 2:34 am

    … though to clarify, I don’t actually believe Cain did anything that a reasonable person (though they are in short supply these days) would consider “harrassment” of any sort.

    And if he did do something along the lines of my hypothetical, well, the women in question took “the deal” and were presumably “ok, great, we’re all even-steven now!” over the situation. And if they’re good with it, I don’t see why anyone else should give a big fuzzy rodent’s hindquarters about it.

  31. Datechguy's Blog » Blog Archive » The Two Conservative Camps of Thought on Herman Cain
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 6:54 am

    […] diplomacy is played. If the story among conservatives that Perry has done this become the tale Perry is toast, but let me remind you of something I said day one: If it turns out another campaign was pushing […]

  32. Anonymous
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Who is the one speculating? What “problem” with Cain? They witnessed what incident? Disturbed by what? What allegations? What specfically did Cain do?

    You, like many others, are getting way ahead of yourself on this story.

    If it does turn out to have been another high tech lynching, I guess you’ll blame Cain for not maintaing his cool as the mob descended.   

  33. Bob Belvedere
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 9:05 am


  34. Anonymous
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 9:40 am

    I don’t suspect Newt because Newt’s style is the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen approach. He’s not happy with just putting a knife into you — it’s very important to him that you and everyone else know that HE was the one who did it.

  35. Info
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    What’s larger, the number of people who know about these accusations or the number of  people who can tell you what Cain talked about at AEI on Monday?

    This kind of crap (big speech pre-empted by bogus scandal) kept happening in ’08.  Axelrod or someone taking a page out of Axelrod’s book.

    I know you think they’d save the “thermonuclear” stuff for next year, but I think they honestly believe Reagan won in ’84 through saturation advertising, and I think that’s the Obamite strategy for pulling it out next year.

    (I visited my sister in Carolina in late October ’08 and the radio was wall-to-wall ads “That crazy old man wants to tax my healthcare!!?!”  After four years of his economy-killing crap it has zero chance of working again, but if they believe it will, GREAT )

  36. andycanuck
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    Deace isn’t bound by any nondisclosure agreement yet he refused to say exactly what Cain said.  What does that tell you about his claim?

  37. Anonymous
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 10:53 am

    Or Perry going to Iowa, standing up on his hind legs and telling a former governor asking him if he’d keep FedGov ethanol subsidies “Hell no, if you think that’s a good idea for your state, your state can pay for it.”

    Has any other candidate (including Cain) had the guts to do that? 

  38. richard mcenroe
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    When this story first broke and several of us went looking for the killer oppo research Perry’s camp allegedly had, I wound up in the tweet streams of several active Perry supporters.

    Apparently his 7% includes the entire membership of the Harper ValleyPTA.  Gossip and bearing false witness seem to be replacing football as the Texas state sport.

    I know Perry’s not directly responsible for the behavior of his followers, but honestly, the company some people do keep….

  39. ThePaganTemple
    November 3rd, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    I’m wondering if it might be that damn Ron Paul’s doings.

  40. AngelaTC
    November 4th, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    Anything’s possible, I guess, but as Thomas pointed out in an earlier thread, this really isn’t Paul’s style.   Paul is the guy who always sticks to voting record and the issues – he never goes after character.   

  41. This Week in Automotivators, October 31-November 6 | Right Wing News
    November 6th, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    […] Link: The Other McCain. […]

  42. This Week in Automotivators, October 31-November 6 « The TrogloPundit
    November 6th, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    […] Link: The Other McCain. […]