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The case (or not) against Herman Cain

The case (or not) against Herman Cain

So many are calling Cain a liar or worse for not remembering a second settlement with a woman whom he allegedly “sexually harassed.”  How could he not know of a settlement?

Details are dribbling out which support the conclusion that Cain was not involved and would not have known about that settlement, just like he has been saying, as reported by CBS News:

The settlement agreement between the National Restaurant Association and a woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment was reached in September 1999–and was not signed by Cain himself, according to Joel Bennett, a lawyer for the woman.

Bennett, who has a copy of the settlement agreement, said four people signed it: the woman, two lawyers representing the association and Bennett himself.

Bennett said the agreement was resolved relatively quickly, about two or three months after she complained.

That means it may have been reached after Cain left the association, and Bennett said it’s conceivable that Cain didn’t even know about it.

And do not expect any facts from this accuser:

Bennett plans to issue the statement in his name, not in his client’s name. It will not identify her, nor will it detail specific events of sexual harassment or the amount of settlement.

What a complete journalistic and conservative blogospheric fiasco this has become.


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“Bennett plans to issue the statement in his name, not in his client’s name. It will not identify her, nor will it detail specific events of sexual harassment or the amount of settlement.”

This is ridiculous. He’s saying he’s not going to say anything pertinent to this farce. Just another media hound.

Breaking news, woman’s Lawyer will be holding a press conference shortly, per Megyn Kelley at Fox.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Moe4. | November 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    It it goes beyond 1:50 I will not be able to post about it so please keep us informed in the comments.

Professor Jacobson or any other lawyers out there – haven’t these accusers already broken the NDA by going to the press anonymously, and are they not already subject to any sanctions entailed by the NDA?

Trying to drag things out as long as possible so the story will be kicked along by the media as long as possible.
Average Joe: “Well, it’s been in the news this long, so there must be something to it!”

Let’s stipulate that the original Politico story and subsequent reporting of the incidents has been incredibly weak. The alleged “victims” have not/will not come forward by name and there are absolutely no specifics on what Cain supposedly did.

But has Cain done a good job in defense? I would say no. Let’s review:

1. When the story first breaks, Cain says it is entirely false.

2. Days later, Cain says later he does recall someone complaining about him when he was CEO of the NRA and that he recalls small, 5 figure settlements for the women. But doesn’t recall details and insists he did nothing wrong.

3. Cain goes on the offensive accusing current Perry staffer Kurt Anderson of leaking the NRA story.

4. Incredibly Cain says he revealed the sexual harassment claims occurring at NRA to Anderson, when Anderson worked on Cains’s failed 2004 Georgia senate campaign, as part of “opposition research”

5. So Cain remembered the NRA harassment claims in ’04 and thought them significant enough to merit briefing his Senate campaign staff, but entirely forgot them in 2011.

6. Anderson denies he knew anything about the claims until the Politico story and states than any media member who has had a conversation with him about the NRA harassment claims prior to the Politico story is free to reveal his identify as the leaker.

7. Cain walks back his comments on Anderson.

8. Incredibly, the Cain campaign talks about suing Politico. For what I don’t know, as you’ve already admitted much of their story is true.

BTW, would any one blame Perry for having a grudge against Cain? Let’s see Cain dog piled on Perry when the famous N….. Head rock story came out. At other times, Cain also intimated the if Perry got the nomination, Perry was the one candidate he could not vote for.

What a disaster Cain is!

“What a disaster Cain is!”

11/03/2011 Poll:
National Poll: Cain 26%, Romney 23%, Gingrich 14%

What a disaster!!

workingclass artist | November 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Cain blamed the Perry Campaign without any evidence.


The case can be made that this Politico story is successfully doing the hit job of dividing and conquering Conservatism.

It is odd the multitude of stories printed over the last five days about Herman Cain cannot compare to the non-reposted stories printed about Mitt Romney since he began running for President in 2002.

I am thankful Prof Jacobson is set apart from the common Conservative pundit crap which enables this divide and conquer. Fresh perspective is a necessary element which the Cult of Buckley’s Ghost seems determined to ignore; fifty years later and the Cult of Buckley’s Ghost still doesn’t get what’s going on.

Midwest Rhino (not RINO) | November 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm

As I recall, Cain went from not knowing if there was a settlement (“if there was, I hope it wasn’t very big”), to remembering it was five figures. He never said he got that from different sources.

Confronted face to face on this by Krauthammer, Cain claimed he didn’t consider the “agreement” to pay something was the same as a legal “settlement”. Krauthammer thought he was being Clintonian, parsing his words.

Knowing that in 2004 Cain briefed his own campaign manager on this potential issue, it becomes even less credible that he thought the five figure settlement/agreement was not significant enough to mention when he first claimed there was no “settlement” that he knew of.

The media has covered Cain’s relatively minor alleged inappropriate comment/gestures, about 20 times as much as Clinton’s alleged rape. But Cain still has an issue in his handling of this. Some conservatives might attack him for his handling of this, but his lack of clarity on his many other positions is the bigger problem.

“What a complete journalistic and conservative blogospheric fiasco this has become.”

Blogospheric fiasco? Yes.

Journalistic fiasco? Depends on how you mean that.

One connotation of journalism might be today’s MSM … an increasingly contradictory universe which is contracting violently as it simultaneously expands at greater velocity away from the truth. In that alternate reality, it’s a great success.

We conservatives have some critical things to do this election cycle. Of course we must defeat Obama at all costs. But first we must ensure that Mitt Romney is not the nominee and, instead, that we get an electable conservative candidate as the nominee. At this point, that is Gingrich or Perry. Are they both flawed? Yes. But if we pass them over because of this, we help to elect Romney or Obama.

Herman Cain is the Tea Party’s Ron Paul. Nominating Herman Cain is the Tea Party giving a big FU to Karl Rove and the establishment Republicans. Does Rove deserve an FU? Is it fun to give him one? Yes to both, but that’s not getting to the goals outlined above.

After all our criticism of Obama for lacking experience last time, you now want to nominate Cain who has ZERO political experience and has never even made it past a primary before. If Cain wins will we conservatives vote for him? Of course. But how about those independents who pulled the lever for Obama last time?

And here is the real problem. If Cain gets in there, who the hell knows what he’ll really do. I live in California and remember when the Terminator was running for Governor and how conservative he sounded. Arnold had never been in the crucible of politics before and boy did it show. Arnold was a disaster for the conservative cause in California.

It’s easy to talk the talk. Newt and Perry have walked the walk. So let’s take a step back from wanting to give an FU to Carl Rove. Let’s get a serious candidate nominated!

Welcome to the big leagues…honey. You squeezed a few bucks out of the system back fifteen years or so with a little legal blackmail. Everyone did it. Heck, Eliot Spitzer made a handsome living and at it and rode it into the governor’s mansion in Albany.

Now you’re going to have to earn it.

There are two issues here (as has been pointed out many times before) that are only related by the fact that one triggered the other.

The first issue is the substance of the accusations themselves, which is looking weaker and weaker — that is something of a trick given how lame the initial report was. Something very dramatic will have to happen to make this serious, and that seems increasing unlikely.

One potential silver lining to this attack fiasco is that it might make future smears harder to pull off, against any candidate. If Obama and the MSM try this again next year when things are serious, the candidate can use the “There you go again!” defense with enhanced credibility. So this is beginning to look like a major tactical blunder by whoever pulled it.

The second issue the way Cain handled this attack — he and his campaign looked like it was amateur hour and committed serious errors. That has not shown up in the polls and no one should expect it to at this point. Right now the polls are registering people’s opinion of the attack more than their opinion of Cain himself.

Cain might get a pass on his blundering this time, if the voters give him “amateur credit”. (Or they might not as the lessons of this start to sink in in a month or so.) But they almost certainly will not give him that credit twice.

Cain still has to turn his campaign around and start looking like a serious candidate. He needs to draw the right lessons from this and learn from it. It will very instructive seeing how well he does that.

I believe many thoughtful commenters here are not seeing the big picture. Something significant happened in 2010 but some of us have already forgotten. If I’m right it will be even more significant in 2012. The “happening” will be real Americans telling whoever is smart enough to listen we are making big changes this coming election, and we are NOT returning regular politicians to office. Regular politicians have broken the system. We would be fools to believe they have the will or ability to fix it. So we are forcing wholesale retirements and sending new people to Washington to begin making real changes. We are choosing those new people on the basis of who you – the elites – seem to fear the most.

You obviously fear Cain. So whatever he did years ago, or however he stumbles now explaining it, is nothing compared to how badly the current guy is doing and how dishonestly you in the lamestream are covering it up. So ready or not, we are making a change.

Already, just today, we are hearing Cain’s approval ratings and donations are improving, not falling away, since the lamestream attacks began. We are making a change. Live with it!

    Owen J in reply to 49erDweet. | November 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    You might want to clarify that “you – elites” who fears Cain. I doubt many of those so-called elites read this blog but many “thoughtful commenters” do, so it’s not clear who this comment is addressd to

    But what you refer to as the “big picture” is that it appears the voters are finally getting serious about “we won’t get fooled again!”

    The point being made by at least some of the commenters here is not just acknowledging that, but pointing out that it must apply to every candidate: no one gets a free pass anymore — period.

    Critically, we should not choose people on the basis of who the elites fear most. We should — we must — chose them on the basis of who is best qualified.

    As long as you are making any choices based on the elites — whether it be who they endorse or who they (appear to) fear — they own you.

    The big picture must show that we will not be owned.

    Absent that, it’s just “meet the new boss, same as the old boss…”

      Fair points but the problem with

      “….pointing out that it must apply to every candidate: no one gets a free pass anymore — period.”

      assumes voters have available a full, free and unbiased knowledge base. And that’s what public media want you and I to think, but we don’t.

      So if we use an OODA loop we “read the opposition” and adjust. They instinctively fear the candidate they feel sure could hurt them most. I don’t believe members of the DNC are emotionally capable of dissembling their fears for more than 90 seconds. If you believe otherwise by all means be wary. But I refuse to be put off a candidate based on “he shoulda’s”. That’s a fools game.

This is what I think…

You’re free to agree, disagree, scoff, or snicker as you wish.

Of course we don’t have available a full, free and unbiased knowledge base. Putting aside the philosophical question of whether such a thing exists, the problem I have with this statement is it seems to imply a passive role WRT to info.

The point, I think, is: If you don’t have the data — go collect it. Don’t sit there being spoon-fed this and that. What I like most about the Tea Party is that it has gotten people out there collecting their own data on which to make their own choices.

Your OODA point above is valid within a constrained operating enviroment, but that implies a game with rules and he who sets the rules, wins. The opposition thinks they make the rules; that they control the information space; that they place the goal posts.

If we accept that, we play in their game and if they own the game, they own us.

I say we just don’t play the game. That does not mean ignoring them, but it does mean we don’t just react to them. We go get our own data, we set our own goalposts, and we evaluate our choices accordingly.

Granted this is not as easy, but that should not be much of a criterion [IMO].