Recent news on the harassment front has not been good for Mr. Cain’s candidacy. He has other problems as well. Although most of the harassment accusations have been vague and Ms. Bailek’s graphic accusations are unraveling, his campaign has ceased to surge and appears now to be in retreat. I supported his quest for the presidency and find his retreat very sad.
Harassment accusations are in the nature of political cancer and those against Mr. Cain have metastasized into his vital organs — his “oops” moments among others reflect that metastasis. Denial doesn’t help in fighting cancer and neither do half-measures. Complaints that the situation is unfair (it is) or due to malice (it probably is) are not useful either. There were effective steps that Mr. Cain and his campaign could have taken, before it became too late. Persuading only his base of committed supporters that he had done no wrong would not have been sufficient. He also had to convert those who had come to view him with suspicion or anger, to prevent others from doing either and to establish himself as capable of dealing reliably and effectively with major problems as President.
This article, published today at my blog, presents a postmortem on the Cain campaign’s efforts to deal with the metastasizing cancer of harassment accusations and suggests effective steps that could have been taken but appear not to have been. I very much wish that those or comparable steps had been taken.