The Washington Post

Herman Cain’s delusional exercise in self-destruction

Keep a few things in mind, folks. First, there are the revelations. 

Bialek is the first woman to come forward, but she is the fourth of five women that we know of who have unflattering stories to tell about Cain. 

Karen Kraushaar,one of the two women originally reported to have filed sexual harassment complaints against Cain when he was head of the National Restaurant Association and left the organization with a financial settlement, emerged late yesterday afternoon, thus adding a second name and face to the conversation.

A third woman from the NRA told the Associated Press that Cain made unwanted advances in the 1990s. She considered lodging a formal complaint but opted not to do so. 

Donna Donella told the Washington Examiner yesterday that Cain enlisted her help to snag a date with an audience member at a speech he gave in Egypt. When she refused, she said, Cain asked her out to dinner.

Chris Wilson told an Oklahoma radio station last week about a widely observed incident that he observed at a Washington, D.C.-area restaurant in the 1990s. “It was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place,” he said, “so many people were aware of her situation, the fact she left — everybody knew with the campaign that this would eventually come up.”

Steve Deace, a conservative talk radio host, told Politico last week that Cain has made “awkward/inappropriate” comments to two women on his staff. 

Cain’s actions in the entire matter have only served to feed the frenzy he now decries. It didn’t have to be this way. Politico, which broke the story, approached the GOP front-runner for comment on Oct. 20. Then again on Oct. 24, Oct. 26 and Oct. 30. The next day, Oct. 31, we watched him engage in a day of “rolling disclosures” as his flat-out denials gave way to grudging acknowledgement. As you see above, each day last week saw the emergence of new details and new characters in the #CainWreck. 

Despite being given 10 days to address the allegations made against him by a news organization that moves stories to the web at the speed of sound, Cain has engaged in epic blame-shifting. Those in the cross-hairs include the liberal media, the Rick Perry campaign, a vast left-wing conspiracy of anti-black conservative racists and now the “Democrat machine.” 

Kraushaar and Bialek are on course to hold a joint press conference in Washington. Kraushaar’s lawyer Joel Bennett told Politico this afternoon, “My hope and expectation is that essentially she’ll read the multi-page written complaint that she filed in 1999, which is very specific....” It’ll be the red meat the court of public opinion craves. And thanks to his infinite missteps in handling this controversy he and his presidential campaign could be devoured.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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