Guy Benson

Embattled presidential candidate Herman Cain is singing all the way to the bank, according to a new report from the Washington Times' Kerry Picket:
 

Two sources within the Cain campaign are telling me that although Mr. Cain was hit with sexual harassment accusations in the 90's from two females who worked for him, when he was president of the National Restaurant Association, Monday's online campaign fundraising for the campaign was the best ever up to this point.  Human Events is reporting that Cain Campaign Manager Mark Block says the campaign raised $250,000 in online donatinos in one day. However, some in the Cain campaign believe the number may be higher than that.


It's not entirely surprising that supporters and sympathizers alike would vote with the wallets to help a candidate besieged by a somewhat dodgy MSM story (which, I should add, very well could have been initially planted by another GOP campaign).  In light of their terrible response to the Politico piece, Team Cain should be relieved that their huge, avoidable missteps haven't wounded the candidate -- so far, at least.  Their momentary reprieve should not gloss over the fact that they had ten full days to formulate a professional and comprehensive strategy to deal with a potentially damaging report.  In that, they've demonstrably failed.  I'd even suggest they're rather fortunate that Politico's story was so thinly sourced and short on specifics; it was virtually tailor-made to trigger a conservative backlash.  Meanwhile, Cain has again updated his recollection of the years-old allegations against him, and their resulting legal settlements:
 

Herman Cain once again revised his account of the sexual harassment allegations he battled in the 1990s, saying in a TV interview he recalled there were additional “ridiculous” items in his accuser’s complaint, beyond the single incident he detailed Monday. Cain said in Monday television appearances that he could remember only one specific incident in his accuser’s complaint. He described that episode again to Headline News this morning, saying it involved “putting my hand under my chin, standing near this lady, saying, ‘Oh, you’re the same height as my wife.’”

But this time, Cain went on to say that there had been “a couple of other things” in the complaint filed during his time at the National Restaurant Association, though he claimed not to remember the specifics.  The complaint concerned “the gesture with the height thing and there were a couple of other things in there that I found absolutely ridiculous,” Cain said, as HLN’s Robin Meade cut in asking him what “ridiculous” things he was referring to. “I don’t even remember. They were so ridiculous, I don’t remember what they are,” Cain said. The anchor pressed him: “You remember they were ridiculous, but you don’t remember what the other things were?”

“The reason I forgot them is because they were ridiculous. I dismissed them out of my mind,” Cain said. “I said if she can make that stick and call that sexual harassment, fine. But it didn't stick, okay? So, I don't remember what they were. The only thing that I remember is the one gesture that I made, talking about the height.”


Now seems like a good time for Cain to stop talking about this entire issue.  He's issued his denials and offered his version of events.  If Politico or their mysterious unnamed sources want to directly challenge Cain's veracity any point, they're welcome to try.  Until that time, I think it would behoove Cain to refocus his attention on the economy and other issues that matter to voters.  This flap is starting to divide conservatives.  For example, Hot Air's Jazz Shaw lights into Cain and his staff today for appearing "incompetent" and "shifty" throughout their somewhat flailing response, and Fox's Andy Levy had this terse exchange with Ann Coulter on last night's Red Eye over whether conservatives are promiscuously playing the race card -- a tactic they claim to abhor.  It's getting ugly out there, folks, which was surely the goal of whomever peddled this story to Politico in the first place.  The Cain camp has made enough mistakes on this front already.  What's astonishing is that they continue to make the same mistake by infusing this non-story with the oxygen it needs to carry on.  Cain's had his say.  His accusers are unnamed and silent.  Let them put up or shut up.
 
At the risk of (again) being accused of anti-Cain shilling, it seems beyond obvious that Republican voters ought to examine this episode, and evaluate Team Cain's rapid response capabilities.  Remember: in politics, your people are you -- especially if you stick with them.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography