October, 2011

Cain’s Story Shifts

An excellent video compilation shows how Herman Cain’s recollection of sexual harassment allegations made against him in the 1990s changed throughout the day.

Daily Beast: “Cain spent Monday morning denying he was ever accused of sexual harassment against two women in the 1990s. Then he ackowledged the allegations but said they were ‘false’ and ‘baseless,’ while saying he knew ‘nothing’ of a cash settlement. Now he acknowledged that he knew about a settlement that was offered to one of the women.”

New York Times: “Cain’s shifting explanations and the gaps in the story made it hard to determine the impact of the revelations on his long-term prospects in states like Iowa, whose crucial caucuses are just two months away.”

Rollins Says Bachmann Can’t Win Iowa

Ed Rollins told ABC News that former client Michele Bachmann has “run out of money and ideas” and can no longer expect to win in Iowa.

Said Rollins: “She’s still saying the same things she said in the first the debate. There’s no substance. She says, ‘I’m going to repeal Obamacare.’ But she’s been saying that from Day 1. I told her: That’s your Tea Party speech, now you have to say what you’re going to do next.”

Ben Smith: “Rarely has the arc of a campaign been so clearly foretold (another win for the pundits!) as Michele Bachmann’s, about whom the conventional wisdom this summer was, roughly, Ames victory, abrupt collapse, public recriminations from Ed Rollins.”

Obama is Tobacco Free

President Obama has passed his physical — and is “tobacco free” to boot, USA Today reports.

“Obama, who has been criticized for smoking, has told interviewers recently that he has kicked the habit… The two-page report concludes that Obama is physically active, eats a
healthy diet, stays at a healthy weight, and on occasion drinks alcohol
in moderation.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“None of us should be surprised… look how quickly the mainstream
media goes for the ugliest, racial stereotypes they can to attack a
black conservative… Herman Cain is somebody. Herman Cain is
obviously making some people nervous for this kind of thing to happen.”

— Rush Limbaugh, quoted by the National Review.

Health Care Reform: The Comic Book

Coming soon: Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works by Jonathan Gruber.

WBUR interviews the author: “I think Mitt Romney is the hero of this story. But I want to make clear that the way he’s portrayed in this book has nothing to do with his presidential campaign. Mitt Romney is the single person most responsible for health care reform in this country: Without his leadership we don’t get reform in Massachusetts, and without Massachusetts reform we don’t get national reform.”

Cain Denies Harassment Claims

In an interview with Fox News, Republican presidential candidate
Herman Cain denied accusations that he had sexually harassed two female
employees when he was head of the National Restaurant
Association, reports Politico.

Said Cain, “It is totally baseless and totally false. Never have I ever committed any kind of sexual harassment.”

Cain also claimed that he “wasn’t even aware” of any settlement between the restaurant association and the women involved.

Meanwhile, NBC News has confirmed at least one of Cain’s accusers received a cash settlement.

Romney Taps Bush’s Network

The Wall Street Journal
reports that Mitt Romney has picked up more of President George W.
Bush’s top fundraisers than any other candidate in the Republican
presidential race, and has even “won over twice as many of the Bush
backers as Texas Gov. Rick Perry,” who served as Bush’s Lieutenant
Governor in Texas.

“Winning the support of Mr. Bush’s
network would be a coup given that the former president’s fund-raising
operation was among the best in recent Republican campaigns. He invented
the modern system of relying on a group of ‘bundlers’ who could
generate huge sums by soliciting donations from colleagues, friends and
associates… Of the roughly 550 people who raised at least $100,000 for
Mr. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, about 400 have yet to make a
campaign donation to any of the Republicans running for president.”

One More Look at Jack Kennedy

Out tomorrow: Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews.

Howard Fineman highlights a story about the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates: “According to new interviews, the Kennedy team insisted that makeup be prohibited. Richard Nixon followed the rules, with disastrous results. JFK did not. His staff secretly applied powder and told reporters that his ruddy glow was merely a natural tan. After Nixon was seen perspiring badly in the first debate, his staff tried secretly to lower the thermostat in the NBC studios for the second debate. The Kennedy team found out and just as secretly turned the dial back up.”

What Happens to Cain and the GOP Field?

Herman Cain’s survival as a GOP frontrunner depends on how he handles the mob of reporters interested in his response to the story that he sexually harassed at least two women.

First Read: “Three questions immediately come to mind: One, can his campaign handle this story? (The most sophisticated of political operatives struggle to handle and get in front of scandal stories; Cain’s less experienced team, so far, appears to be struggling big time.) Two, assuming the campaign can’t fix this, does Cain become the latest conservative darling (after Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry) to sink in the polls? And three, what happens if he does? Could that benefit Perry or someone else?”

Ben Smith: “I’m not sure to whose benefit the new information about Cain’s record goes — but that beneficiary will obviously be a Republican. I’m inclined, in fact, to think Newt Gingrich has the best shot of the next boomlet, and both Mitt Romney — eager to have anyone but Rick Perry in that slot — and Rick Perry, who’s still re-assembling his campaign and image, might have been glad to leave Cain there a while.”

Company Picked Up Cain Campaign Expenses

Top aides to Herman Cain “ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas — something that might breach federal tax and campaign law,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.