November 8, 2011
By Linda Feldmann
WASHINGTON - Amid the sound and fury surrounding Herman Cain, the one element that could blow up his presidential candidacy is missing: an identified victim.
One of the unnamed women who accused Mr. Cain of sexual harassment has stated, through her lawyer, that she does not want to come out publicly, after all. The other woman who filed a complaint alleging inappropriate behavior by Cain during his time as head of the National Restaurant Association has also remained anonymous. A third former employee says she considered taking formal action against Cain, but opted not to, according to the Associated Press....
“Politicians are always the last to know that they have been irretrievably damaged,” says Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He argues that Cain was never going to be the nominee in any case, but the harassment allegations have made that possibility even more remote.
Mr. Jillson also doesn’t think that Cain will be able to maintain his support over the long haul. “The first reaction of Republican social conservatives in general is that ‘this is unproven, they’re after our guy, so we’ll suspend judgment,’ ” Jillson says. “But I think that erodes. The facts will out at some point. These things never go away.”