Herman Cain’s problems arising from his handling of two old sexual harassment lawsuits is likely to haunt his presidential campaign. Just yesterday, Cain claimed, “I have never sexually harassed anyone and those accusations are totally false…”. But, today, Cain changed his story during a Monday night interview on FOX, now claiming that undisclosed financial settlements were paid to two women who filed suit against Cain back when was the head of the National Restaurant Association more than 10 years ago. Cain probably could have weathered out these old allegations, since they are old news, with no recent allegations. However, it is lying about these allegations yesterday that is now very likely to hurt his outsider campaign to become president.
But, Cain probably faces an uphill fight to win the GOP nomination scandal or not. While still leading national GOP preference polls, Cain actually trails Mitt Romney in all four of the earliest Republican primary or caucus events which start in early 2012. If Cain loses in South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire and Florida to Romney, then the former Massachusetts governor could quickly wrap up the GOP nomination and work on building a unified Republican Party and concentrate on what is likely to be close 2012 general election. Cain’s latest scandal makes him look untrustworthy and dishonest, which is very unfortunate. It was untimely a number of problems that detracted both Barbara Bachmann and then Rick Perry from early front-runner status as conservative alternatives to the more mainstream Romney. Now, it looks like Cain could be suffer some of the same credibility problems the others have, where he appears to only be another flawed alternative to Romney.
Herman Cain appeared as an attractive conservative candidate because of his extensive success in business such as being the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza in addition his banking regulation leadership, and knowledge of economics. He is also the only major GOP candidate for president with no political experience, making him a true outsider among the crowded GOP field. Probably his latest scandal will strike at his credibility, and lower his standing in the race, only opening up the path of Mitt Romney to quickly capture the GOP nomination.
If any rule holds true in politics, its that the most likely outcome is usually the actual outcome. Mitt Romney has appeared to be the most likely candidate to win the nomination for some time now, and will also present the biggest challenge to the sitting president, who sits with lagging poll numbers and a bad economy. Protests from both the left and right, such as the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations on one hand, and the Tea Party movement on the other hand, only illustrate many American’s dissatisfaction with the economy or taxes. It’s going to be challenging for a sitting president to be re-elected in such a political climate, where Mitt Romney has a very good chance to win the general election. Herman Cain’s latest problems only serve to help Romney at this point, who can certainly benefit by a quick win of the GOP nomination as the latest heir apparent to carry the GOP banner for the general election.
There’s another clear loser here. That’s President Obama. He could have easily beat Herman Cain in a general election. Mitt Romney will be a far more difficult opponent.