Rule: If the candidate comes clean then get everyone with a stake in the deal in the office or on the phone - including the campaign's lawyer, finance chairman, manager, political director and the candidate's spouse.
He or she will resist calling the spouse, but it is unlikely the spouse will be on a six-month scientific expedition to the Laurentian Abyss and, so, is going to hear about this in the diary section at the Safeway in about 20 minutes.
Rule: 'Fess up. Decide on one formulation of the true story. Make everyone rehearse the true story and make dreadful threats to anyone who strays from the official, and true, story.
One of two things will happen: Either the candidate will ride out the event or he/she won't. You can't control that. But you have a much better chance at the former outcome if the candidate comes clean, the first time.
Cain finally remembered that there might have been an agreement with a staffer who got two or three months salary as a severance agreement.
Last night the New York Times reported one of the women got a year's pay: $35,000. That may not be Hedge Fund Manager money, but it was what she would have earned in a full year.
What you don't want to have happen is what Herman Cain has accomplished over the past 72 hours: Balancing his candidacy on parsing the difference between an "agreement" and a "settlement."
That will remind everyone of Bill Clinton balancing his presidency on the tip of what the "definition of 'is' is."
I don't care how good your candidate thinks he is. He or she is no Bill Clinton.