November 29, 2011
Cain campaign reeling amid affair allegations
Herman Cain is “reassessing” his presidential campaign, and whether he will remain in it, after a woman he identified as a long-time friend said they had a long-term affair. He should. As a Republican, he’s pretty much dead in the water (assuming that he wasn’t already).
But what I find more interesting is the statement that Cain’s lawyer sent to the Atlanta TV station breaking the affair allegations today:
Obviously, Cain is not a student of American politics. Politicians’ affairs matter. Even when between consenting adults, they are more than just a prurient interest to the media and public. Just ask Bill Clinton. Or John Edwards.
I think that this is especially true for Republican politicians because of the significant portion of the base that is made of the so-called “values voters.” But, even more broadly, a politician having an extramarital affair—let’s just call it what it is: adultery—says something about the politician’s trustworthiness. It is within the public’s right to know, as are most elements of a political candidate’s life these days, and if Cain didn’t want it coming out, he never should have thrown his hat in the ring.