I think my phone literally cracked in half yesterday when Herman Cain’s sweet Ginger on the side came out on FOX Atlanta to stamp out the already deflated balloon that was his presidential campaign.
There were calls from family, other political business pals and, of course, various emails all discussing how bad this was and how long it will be before Cain just drops out of the race entirely.
I have long said that Herman Cain isn’t really running for president anyway, and so whether or not he drops out of the GOP race at this point is basically irrelevant. He was never going to win the nomination and he was never going to win in a head-to-head race against Barack Obama. What he has succeeded in doing is sullying his brand so badly that whatever post campaign career he thought he would get out of speaking engagements and such is deader than disco.
However, in the midst of all of this campaign discussion of his 13-year affair with Ms. Ginger White (a porn star name if I’ve ever heard one) is the faint whiff of 1990’s politics that always seems to permeate the Cain Train Campaign.
First he had his Sista Soulja moment with Nigger-head Ranch. “The Sista Soulja Moment” of a campaign came into vogue in the 1992 presidential campaign when Bill Clinton callously and cynically critiqued a Femcee while giving a speech to the Rainbow Coalition, risking the alienation of his own base but gaining favor with swing voters and leaners in the opposing party.
Cain could’ve left that whole Niggerhead ranch issue alone, or given the stock answer GOP voters would have liked – but, instead he actually said he found the sign offensive. Believe it or not, despite some GOP grumbling about him playing the race card his position in the polls ROSE after that comment rather than fell.
A few weeks later Cain took us to the land of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill when his campaign tried to characterize his various sexual harassment charges as a high tech lynching of an uppity black man. And now with Ginger White coming forth and comfortably admitting that she had an in depth 13-year affair with Herman Cain, the former GOP frontrunner’s lawyer is relying on the oldest of Bill Clinton era memes: Personal marriage failings are none of the press or the public’s business for aspiring politicians.
The funny thing is that Cain and his lawyer are right. There is a fundamental difference between sexual harassment charges and having an affair. The former is abuse and unwanted sexual advances based on an asymmetry of power between the two people. The latter is a consensual relationship between two people that violates either one or both of their vows to a spouse.
However, I can lawyer this all day and it won’t change what Herman Cain and every other political observer learned almost 20 years ago. Nobody likes a cheater. Doesn’t matter if you do a good job in the White House, doesn’t matter if you perform economic miracles – adultery is not viewed kindly by most people and Cain and his whole staff are smoking something funny if they think he can be shielded by an argument that failed to work 20 years ago (not to mention the racial component.)
Will Cain drop out of the presidential race? What else is he doing with his time? He barely has a campaign team on the ground, he has hardly campaigned in the state. Maybe he’ll be happy to coast along, come in a distant 4th or 5th and drop out of the race then, along with Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and likely John Huntsman. The Cain Wreck will have finally pulled into the station, and not a moment too soon.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.