I’m finally back after a full day of travel, where I had to rely on CNN and MSNBC on the plane for coverage of the Politico story about Herman Cain.
I can’t really sort through all the details yet, too much has happened in the last 12 hours.
The fragility of an insurgent campaign was revealed as Cain’s communications team and Cain himself seemed unable to find a quick footing in how to respond. More to come, for sure, as there will be a drumbeat for release of the files relating to the complaints and settlements.
The story was a legitimate issue for a presidential candidate; we only wish the mainstream media would investigate Obama’s past with half as much enthusiasm.
But there’s a bigger point here, visible only from 35,000 feet.
This is a taste of the medicine the mainstream media, which includes Politico as I have pointed out before, has in store for the eventual Republican nominee.
Whatever the source of the tip, the presentation was rolled out by Politico in a fashion to do maximum damage to Cain. The Sunday release was timed to be all over the media on Monday morning. Jonathan Martin, the lead reporter on the story for Politico, even conducted an ambush interview with Cain shortly after the story broke, receiving a muddled response from Cain.
Politico now has seized on Cain’s inept initial response to make the response to the story the story:
From 35,000 feet it looked like Politico was out to get Cain, not just investigate a story. The view from above was quite clear.
Update: I just watched Cain’s interview by Greta Van Susteren, and he was clear and persuasive that there was no harrassment. As to the inept response to the Politico story, Cain said that while his campaign was notified in advance, Politico never specified what the allegations were and he didn’t know what their angle would be until he saw the story. He said that he remembered one of the women, and denied that anything inappropriate took place. He said that Politico gave his staff the name of the second woman, and he was not aware that she ever even complained and he could think of nothing that would give rise to a complaint.