It’s fun to be the upstart, unconventional candidate – until you need some professional political help.
Herman Cain’s campaign has blamed Rick Perry consultant Curt Anderson for “leaking” news of sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain to POLITICO, which broke the story on Sunday. (Thought bubble: If you know a fact and you tell somebody about that fact, is that a “leak?”)
Unfortunately for Cain, prominent conservative Erick Erickson shoots down the contention that Curt Anderson leaked to POLITICO in rather convincing fashion:
“But the larger problem comes from our own Moe Lane on twitter. He notes, “Anderson denying TO POLITICO that he leaked *to* Politico *does* clear him. Unless Politico *wants* to self-destruct. If Politico prints a denial that they KNOW is a lie, they’re in deep trouble when that gets out.” Regardless of the editorial standards of the Politico, they most likely would not first make an inquiry to Curt Anderson and then run that inquiry by Curt Anderson as a denial if Curt Anderson were the source.”
Lest you think Erickson is some shrinking violet, he’s got no love for the original POLITICO story (“wholly unsubstantiated.”) He also said the media scrutiny of Cain is about bringing him down, demonstrating only that “people are starting to take Herman Cain seriously.”
With all that said, Cain’s handling of the matter has taken a body blow and made it an almost mortal wound. Erickson writes:
The problem, of course, is that as this has gone on and the Cain camp has resorted to lashing out at Rick Perry, it is more evident that there is no “there” there with regards to Curt Anderson, but that there was a “there” there with the Politico story.
And it additionally does not help Herman Cain that his campaign manager went on Fox News and said the campaign would not agree or support the women involved being released from their non-disclosure agreements. The only way for this story to start going away is to let the women speak and judge on the merits what they claim was harassment.
(Watch the video of Cain campaign manager Mark Block (yeah, the smoking guy) arguing Cain’s points on Fox News).
Mark Block saying, in effect, “no chance,” not only affirms the “victim” status of the women in the mind of the media, it takes the story to a new level and broadens the scope of the media inquiry.
As Erickson wrote in a previous post, the fact that Anderson was supposedly told about the allegations as a consultant on Cain’s 2004 Georgia Senate campaign raises more questions about Cain than it does about Anderson. To wit:
Herman Cain’s consultant from 2004 uncovered it in 2004 and Cain launched a Presidential bid in 2011 without coming up with a damage control plan on a major issue that could destroy his campaign?
Cain once said he “forgot” about the allegations because they were “ridiculous.” But he didn’t forget about them in his Senate campaign, as Erickson notes above.