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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One Down

Well, it's official. Herman Cain has suspended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination because of what he continues to insist are false accusations about sexual harassment and, now, a 13-year extramarital affair with Ginger White. I can't say I'm sorry to see him go. In fact, I'm glad to see him go, though not so much because of his messy private life.

Forget for a moment Sharon Bialek's claim that Cain put his hand up her skirt and tried to force her head to his crotch. Forget, too, that three other women, one named, two anonymous, have lodged sexual harassment complaints. And, if possible, let's also forget that Ginger White has said while she was having sex with Mr. Cain she was looking up at the ceiling and thinking about what she was going to buy at the grocery store. Short of being present in the car with Herman Cain and Ms. Bialek, or between the sheets with the supermarket-daydreaming Ms. White, we can never be certain of the facts. Still: when there's one allegation...okay, maybe somebody's trying to besmirch his name. Two? Hmm. Four? Uh oh. And now reports of an affair with a woman who took his money and engaged in intimate woolgathering about the frozen food aisle? Mr. Cain called these tidbits campaign "distractions." I should say so. 

Clearly, it was time for the Godfather Pizza fellow to walk away, but not only because of alleged womanizing. The sexual harassment implications paint him as something of a cad, and the reported affair...well that's really between him and his wife,  isn't it?, poor Gloria Cain who I would imagine met him at the door after all this with a frying pan in her hand. It's astonishing that Cain kept denying the accusations (blaming in no particular order a conspiracy orchestrated by his Republican opponents, the Democrats, and the liberal media), and even more astonishing that with what looks like a very tricky personal past he had the nerve to run for president in the first place. The real reason he needed to make his exit as a potential nominee is because he isn't prepared to be president of this country. His remarks about immigration, having to do with electrified fences and moats and alligators, were tasteless and not funny, in spite of his claims that he was making a joke. He seemed a bit clueless in the debate about foreign affairs, he didn't know the name of the president of "Uzbeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan," he bumbled over questions about Libya in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board, and on November 16 made reference to the "Cuban" language. Yes, I realize he has all sorts of things "twirling around in his head," but it seems to me that a man who's running for the U.S. presidency should at least know that the folks in Cuba speak Spanish, not "Cuban." 

The bottom line is that Cain never should have gotten this far. More than likely he threw his hat into the ring to get some publicity and promote his book, and glory be, his poll numbers went up for some godforsaken reason. When push came to shove, his own dicey past brought him down, along with a cringe-worthy lack of knowledge about the country he proposed to run, and the global community with whom we share this planet.

Herman will probably go quietly into the night, first whining, then murmuring that somebody -- Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, the media, the mafia, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir -- were responsible for his demise. However, as the dear-departed Michael Jackson might have crooned, Mr. Cain needs to look at the man in the mirror when playing the blame game. One way or another...and another, and another...the campaign rocket that crashed and burned had Herman Cain, CEO, as pilot.  

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About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum