I’m not a betting man but if I were, I’d say Herman Cain will be out of the 2012 presidential race by the end of the week. It may be sooner. I'm in breaking news mode. I'm ready for it.
It’s one thing to have someone accuse you of sexual harassment. That’s damaging just by itself. It’s quite another to have three more come out of the woodwork. And now we have the story of a 13-year affair with another woman. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is too much.
The writing is on the wall and it spells disaster for Herman Cain’s candidacy. This seems to be just too much to overcome. When your lawyer comes out with a statement that basically says the alleged affair is none of anybody's business, I think most voters would beg to differ. It's called a character issue and whether it's reality or perception, the train has left the station and it ain't coming back.
I’m hesitant to write his political obituary too soon but let me just say that if and when he does leave the race, it will break a few hearts. Herman Cain is gregarious and connected with voters at an emotional level. It’s a skill you cannot teach. He was by far the best orator in the GOP field.
Yet it may now be a matter of days before all of that comes screeching to a halt. Herman Cain had his close-up and when the smoke clears the picture doesn’t appear pretty.
So who might benefit if Cain gets out of the race? Clearly Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich and Santorum stand to benefit but it wouldn’t surprise me to see many of the Herman Cain fans head over to Gingrich or Bachmann.
Gingrich and Cain are friends and that counts for something. Bachmann is an upstart just like Cain and is likeable, too. Perry and Santorum may get some of the vote but I think a Cain departure benefits Gingrich and Bachmann the most.
Below is a transcription of Herman Cain's conference call with supporters this morning. This comes to us from The Brody File's good friend Robert Costa over at National Review: Read more here.:
Herman Cain: "Obviously, you’re all aware of this recent firestorm that hit the news yesterday,” Cain began, his voice somber. “First thing I want to do is say to you what I have said publicly: I deny those charges, unequivocally. Secondly, I have known this lady for a number of years. And thirdly, I have been attempting to help her financially because she was out of work and destitute, desperate. So, thinking that she was a friend — and I have helped many friends — I now know that she wasn’t the friend that I thought she was. But it was just a friendship relationship.”
“That being said, obviously, this is cause for reassessment,” he continued. “As you know, during the summer we had to make some reassessments based upon our financial situation. We were able to hang in there; we reassessed the situation and kept on going. We also did a reassessment after the Iowa straw poll and we made another reassessment after the Florida straw poll. When the previous two accusations, false accusations, came about, we made another assessment. The way we handled those was, we continued on with our schedule. We made an assessment about what was going to happen to our support. But our supporters, and even some folks that we didn’t have as supporters, they stood with us, and they showed it not only in terms of their verbal support, they showed it in terms of their dollars.”
“Now, with this latest one, we have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud, in some people’s minds, as to whether or not they would be able to support us going forth,” Cain said.
“Over the next several days, we are going to continue with the schedule as usual,” he said. “I’ve got a major speech tonight at Hillsdale College on national security and foreign policy, and I will deliver it with vim, vigor, and enthusiasm. And then tomorrow we’ve got some media appearances scheduled. So we’re going to continue until we complete our assessment over the next several days.”
“But if a decision is made, different than to plow ahead, you all will be the first to know,” he said. “So until that time, I want to continue to thank you all for your support, thank you for your prayers. It’s taken an emotional toll, but the people in the audience tonight will never know it.”
“It’s also taken a toll on my wife and family, as you would imagine,” he concluded. “Any time you put another cloud of doubt, unfortunately, in the court of public opinion, for some people, you’re guilty until proven innocent. And so, the public will have to decide whether they believe her or whether they believe me. That’s why we’re going to give it time, to see what type of response we get from our supporters.”