In the lead-up to the Gloria Allred presser, Gloria Borger, on CNN, said “a name and a face” was necessary if any hints and allegations were to stick to Herman Cain, or do lasting damage.
So I was amused to hear Sharon Bialek say that she was putting herself forward to be “a name and a face” for just that purpose. In just those words. Just struck me as so neat, that’s all.
Having said that — Sharon Bialek came across to me as pretty credible, and I don’t know how Cain survives the presser. He really can’t. The press will now demand that he “prove” he did not do what he has been accused of doing, which he cannot do. One cannot prove a negative, and the press knows that very well, but increasingly “prove the negative” is the media standard.
Bialek says that Cain, while driving, put his hand on her leg, under her skirt, and then tried to move her head into his lap. She objected and said “what are you doing, you know I have a boyfriend.” Supposedly Cain replied, “you want a job, don’t you?”
Okay, ladies . . . let’s all say “ugh” and chase similar memories back into the cobwebby parts of our brains. Many of us have experienced this sort of thing, on some level. It certainly is cheesy and unpleasant to think on and when it happens, it’s mortifying, all around. Sometimes it’s a man being aggressive. Sometimes it’s a man simply misreading signals. Sometimes it’s both.
Which is why it is important to know that when it happens — for whatever reason — the man understands the word “no,” which apparently (again, if it’s all true) Cain did.
So what we have here is a situation where she says a crass move was made, Bialek told Cain “no”, and it ended.
And she’s pretty credible, as I say.
I found Bialek to be as credible as Juanita Brodderick was, when she alleged that Bill Clinton assaulted her sexually and then said of her busted lip, “you’d better put some ice on that.”
Which is to say I found her as believable as I find anything that I cannot know for sure: believable with reservations.
Reservations or not, though, I think Cain is done. Because Bialek is pretty credible, and because Cain is a Republican, this she says/he says will be pursued relentlessly by the mainstream media in precise proportions to the way Juanita Brodderick was ignored by the media (but, interestingly, never trashed as Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky were).
The MSM will do its “penance” for ignoring Juanita Brodderick by conferring absolute moral authority upon Sharon Bialek, who (again, if its all true, and we really will never know) has had the good luck of experiencing such a sickening encounter at the hands of a Republican candidate for president, and not a Democrat. She will be believed, at least, and she will not be trashed. And for her sake and her son’s I’m glad of that.
But you men who think you may be interested in someday pursuing a career in politics — you’d better start taking a page from Rev. Billy Graham, and making sure you’re never alone with a woman, ever. Keep those office doors open; keep yourself chaperoned; have your meetings in public; take taxicabs.
Better yet, gentlemen: never assume. Never assume you have a clue whether we’re “game” or not.
You guys hardly ever get it right.
I completely agree with Baseball Crank’s tweet:
Job #1 of a President is *judgment* If Cain didn’t see this flap coming & plan for it, he has no judgment, even if the claims are bogus.
That’s the bottom line. Nothing about the way Cain and his team have handled this story since last week — or his apparent lack of interest in studying up issues — says “presidential” to me.
Ed Morrissey has Cain’s initial response and adds:
Making that more difficult is the statement from Bialek and Allred that the purported victim is a Tea Party Republican, which might indicate less of a credibility issue than otherwise.
If she’s telling the truth, Herman Cain is a creep (and probably guilty of what legally would be considered misdemeanor sexual abuse, defined as sexual contact without the other person’s permission). If she’s lying, she’s trying to destroy the man’s presidential campaign and reputation over… some as-yet-unknown motive.
I’ve put in a call to the Washington Hilton; one aspect of Bialek’s story should be fairly easy to verify, presuming the Hilton Corporation holds records from 1997: did Herman Cain rent a suite at the Capital Hilton in Washington D.C.?
I’ll round up some reactions, so check back!
Ace wonders if Allred is all there
Stacy McCain: liveblogged it
PJTattler: has a roundup
Michelle Malkin: “A Circus!” Well, it was a presser at the Friar’s Club!
In Updates at Hot Air: Tina Korbe says “character assassination should not be this easy” but at this point, the circus serves Obama by keeping the public distracted. I agree.
In the meantime Allah notes that Cain’s Intrade numbers have plunged 64.5%.
Should it be this easy to take someone out of a presidential race? Maybe. We certainly want to know who the creeps are, but on the other hand, do we really want our electoral process upended and reputations besmirched on the strength of unsubstantiated, unwitnessed, unverifiable claims?
Although this sort of stuff never derailed Ted Kennedy or Clinton, which the press never seems to notice. At some point, you’d think, one of them would say, “hmmmm…do we entertain doublestandards?”