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Right Turn
Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 11/02/2011

The Cain soap opera has new plot elements

Will he get to nine? Nine complaints of sexual harassment, that is. In case you didn’t think things could get worse for Herman Cain, Politico reports that Cain’s campaign manager, Mark Block, let on about another complaint against the candidate for inappropriate language. Yup:

POLITICO has learned that the incident involved a staffer for Steve Deace, an influential conservative talk radio host who hosts a nationally syndicated show in Des Moines. And Deace says he did take offense.
Deace, who penned an opinion piece critical of Cain earlier this month, told POLITICO in an email that Cain said “awkward” and “inappropriate” things to the staff at his station.
“Like awkward/inappropriate things he’s said to two females on my staff, that the fact the guy’s wife is never around . . . that’s almost always a warning flag to me,” Deace wrote. “But I chose to leave that stuff out [of the opinion piece] and make it about his record and not the personal stuff.”

Meanwhile, a purported witness to one of the other incidents shows up:

Oklahoma political consultant Chris Wilson says if the woman behind the reported sexual harassment complaint against GOP Presidential hopeful Herman Cain is allowed to speak publicly, it’ll be the end of Cain’s run for the White House.

Wilson, interviewed Wednesday on an Oklahoma City radio station, said he was the pollster at the National Restaurant Association when Cain led the organization. He said that the alleged incident involved a low-level staffer and took place at a Crystal City restaurant.

“Everybody was aware of it,” Wilson said, adding that he could not discuss further details “for legal reasons.”

And if the three-ring circus was losing steam, Cain was there to throw fire on the flames, accusing Curt Anderson, once a Cain adviser and now with Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s camp, of being behind the story.

Anderson denies it. Perry’s communications director Ray Sullivan tells me: “No one at our campaign was involved in this story in any way. Any claim to the contrary is patently false. The first we learned of it was when we read the story in POLITICO. “

My first question: Are all these people part of a racist conspiracy? That, after all, is Cain’s claim. Obviously, what was ridiculous (using the race card to excuse gross campaign malpractice) is now a preposterous excuse for a slew of very questionable incidents.

There are some who will say that where there is this much smoke there’s a roaring fire. Others will say these are just opportunists jumping on the get-Cain bandwagon. But come on: Cain seems intent on making the controversy worse, and accusing another campaign of mischief with zero proof is, if nothing else, very foolish.

At some point the soap opera becomes too much. Voters get weary of the drama. Isn’t there an election about the country coming up? Oh, that.

By  |  06:00 PM ET, 11/02/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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