wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

The Post Most: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

Right Turn
Posted at 07:51 PM ET, 11/08/2011

Herman Cain discredits himself

There’s really no way to adequately describe how downright weird Herman Cain’s news conference was today. There was Cain referring to “Herman Cain,” a throwback to Bob Dole’s frequent use of self-referential third person. There was the part where he told us that there may be other allegations --- but those will be false. Memorable, too, was his insistence that the claimants are all anonymous, when in fact two women have been identified by name. Then there was the ranting and raving about the media, although Sharon Bialek came forth with no media filter. I sorta liked the part where he conceded that there was no “definitive” — definitive in the sense of “any” — proof that he was the victim of a conspiracy.

In a way, this was a fitting downfall: The slick ex-talk show host undone by his own rambling. He was no longer charming. He was desperate and entirely unbelievable. Forget the presidency. Forget becoming a conservative icon. Cain succeeded only in leaving the impression that he may be a bit off his rocker.

Meanwhile, The Post reports:

Cain’s denials came as Karen Kraushaar, who accused Cain of sexual harassment when they both worked at the NRA in the ’90s, confirmed publicly for the first time late Tuesday that she had made allegations against Cain.
Kraushaar, 55, who is employed at the Treasury Department’s inspector general office, said she never wanted to go public as one of Cain’s accusers. But as news outlets began publishing her name Tuesday, she said she is ready to talk publicly.
“I am interested in a joint press conference for all the women where we would all be together with our attorneys and all of these allegations could be reviewed as a collective body of evidence,” Kraushaar told The Washington Post.
She added, “When you’re in a work situation where you are being sexually harassed, you are in an extremely vulnerable position,” Kraushaar said. “You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself a job someplace where you will be safe. That is what I thought I had achieved when I left” the NRA in the 90s.

Who is to be believed: Cain or the women? Certainly Cain has managed to discredit himself as much, or more, than any of them have.

What about those bloggers and talk show hosts who went to the ramparts defending him and pushed the narrative that this was all a racist plot? One only hopes that readers and listeners will take their future utterances with a large helping of salt. These “genuine” conservatives who pretend to talk for an entire political mvement, it seems, have rather poor judgment. Good thing the GOP electorate as a whole is blessed with a good deal more common sense.

We should take Cain at his word that he’s not going to drop out of the race. But now it makes little difference. He’s been revealed as a crank and a bit of a fraud, a man masquerading as a polished professional. Maybe his true calling really was as a talk show host. There you can say the zaniest things and still be successful.

By  |  07:51 PM ET, 11/08/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company