Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The fuss over Herman Cain

Businessman and radio talk show host, Herman Cain, is somewhat riding a wave of popularity in the GOP selection process. However, that may be coming to an end as allegations of sexual harassment have started to arise. Bachmann then Perry rode this wave and that eventually fizzled out. Cyclical promotion of candidates by the (Tea Party) GOP to find anyone but Romney.

Herman Cain preaches to the audience at CPAC. Photography by Gage Skidmore (CC via Flickr)

Cain’s story is a heart-warming one and a real testament to single-minded hard work. It also encapsulates something of the ‘American Dream’ which is a real vote winner in politics. This backstory has pushed Cain up the polls with some even showing him topping Romney and Perry.

The pizza billionaire has been steadily winning people over with his straight-talking and no nonsense approach. It seems this rather than his 999 tax plan, or any other proposed policy, is the source of current excitement.

But, allegations of sexual harassment have surfaced during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association. Cain has never sought to present himself as the consummate politician but his surprising methods reached new levels when he broke into a rendition of “He Looked Beyond My Faults.” 

With his less than mainstream approach to dealing with such allegations Cain maintained that he didn’t commit the crimes and that he was formally cleared of the charges. Some commentators have also sought to draw comparisons to similar allegations made against Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas during his confirmation process. They suggest it is part of a longstanding smear campaign by liberals against “strong conservative blacks” which they, apparently, “cannot stand.”

Regardless of whether this is a smear campaign or not the writer of this article firmly believes Cain’s wave of popularity will dissipate away sooner rather than later. It did for Bachmann, it did for Perry and it will do for Cain.