The U.S. government reports 80,000 jobs were created last month as the unemployment rate inched down to 9.0%
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Herman Cain “is showing initial resilience in the face of allegations of sexual impropriety: More than half of potential Republican voters say the controversy is not serious, fewer than a quarter say it makes them less likely to support Cain, and he’s running essentially evenly with Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.”
Romney edges Cain nationally among Republican voters, 24% to 23%, essentially a dead heat between the two. Rick Perry trails with 13% followed by Newt Gingrich at 12%.
A warning sign: Cain slips to third place among those who see the charges as serious and Republican women are significantly more likely than men to say the scandal makes them less apt to support Cain.
A new Montana State University Billings poll finds Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) barely ahead of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in the U.S. Senate race, 36% to 35%, with 25% still undecided.
Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of MF Global Holdings Ltd, Bloomberg reports.
“His resignation came four days after the bankruptcy filing as the company’s bets on European sovereign debt rattled investors. U.S. regulators are investigating about $633 million missing from MF Global customer accounts.”
First Read: “Why not stick around and fix this? Why run away? Perhaps there are legal
reasons to do. Perhaps he thinks it’s the honorable thing to resign.
Maybe he was an absentee CEO and is embarrassed this happened on his
watch. Whatever the explanation, it’s not good for Corzine’s reputation.
The whole point of Corzine’s relevance in politics was his knowledge
and success of the financial world. Politicians can recover from sex
scandals because the public is willing to separate the personal flaws if
the professional work is on the up and up. Corzine’s fall may be harder
to recover from.”
Whether or not Rick Perry is behind Herman Cain’s sexual-harassment troubles, Paul Begala says there’s nothing “despicable” about giving reporters a tip about a candidate’s impropriety,
“Here’s the Begala Standard: if an attack is fair, factual, and about the public record, it’s not dirty. Business experience — and, yes, one’s conduct around the office or in an after-work watering hole — is relevant. Scrutinizing it is fair. You don’t attack someone’s race or religion or gender or sexual orientation. You don’t go after family. You don’t pry into private lives, but you look at public performance in office, or in prior campaigns; you look at business and financial matters, votes and quotes (and for the presidency and vice presidency I think health is a legitimate inquiry). And there’s nothing wrong with encouraging journalists to do so as well.”
“He hasn’t handled a largely irrelevant media ambush very well. He isn’t a
sufficiently good enough liar to be president, I guess.”
— Rush Limbaugh, on Herman Cain facing sexual harassment allegations.
Herman Cain flatly denies that he made an unwanted sexual advance toward a female employee at a work event, but multiple sources tell Politico “there were urgent discussions of the woman’s accusations at top levels of the National Restaurant Association within hours of when the incident was alleged to have occurred.”
The new details “put the woman’s account even more sharply at odds with Cain’s emphatic insistence in news media interviews this week that nothing inappropriate happened between the two.”
The woman in question “told two people directly at the time that Cain made a sexual overture to her at one of the group’s events… She was livid and lodged a verbal complaint with an NRA board member that same night.”
While Americans across the nation are downbeat, a special USA Today/Gallup Poll finds that “voters in a dozen key battleground states for the 2012 election are in an even deeper funk about their lives, Obama’s tenure and the nation’s politics.”
“The underlying perils for the president are particularly pronounced in these battlegrounds, presumably because they are in parts of the country that have been hit hardest by the nation’s economic troubles.”
States polled: Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and
Despite sexual harassment allegations becoming the focus of his campaign this week, a new Rasmussen survey finds Herman Cain continues to lead the GOP presidential field with 26%, followed by Mitt Romney at 23% and Newt Gingrich at 14%.
The rest of the field: Rick Perry at 8%, Ron Paul at 7%, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman at 2% and Rick Santorum at just 1%.
Greg Sargent foudn this question in the recent Suffolk University poll conducted in Florida: Do you think the Republicans are intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure that Barack Obama is not reelected?
By a 49% to 39% margin, Floridians said they were, while 12% were undecided.
Steve Benen: “Here’s a suggestion for other pollsters: given these results in one of
the nation’s largest states, and the fact that the charge has been made
by so many prominent political voices, perhaps it’s time to start
putting the question to a national audience?”
Update: National Journal reports Senate Republicans blocked a $60 billion infrastructure bill, making the bill the second piece of President Obama’s jobs proposal to be voted down in the Senate.
Andrew Sullivan: “The only way past this for Cain is through it. Let the women speak, if
they wish. If they refuse to come forward or detail the accusations,
then there’s nothing more to be done. But the golden rule of political
scandal applies: disclose everything, apologize for what needs to be
apologized, and get it over with.”
Meanwhile, Michael Tomasky plays out the various permutations.
One of the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment received a payout of about $45,000 as part of her settlement, Politico reports, “significantly more than the two or three months’ salary Cain initially recalled the woman obtained.”
“The woman who received the approximately $45,000 is the staffer who Cain has acknowledged formally lodged a complaint about his behavior.”
“It was also more than the payout a second association employee received after complaining about Cain’s behavior. According to the New York Times, the second woman received $35,000 — a year’s pay.”
Meanwhile, PJ Media claims to have details of another encounter with a staffer. Said a source: “Herman took advantage of seniority and power with a young woman. It was an abuse of power.”
Ron Fournier: “Romney’s only hope of dodging the flip-flopping label is that journalists and their readers decide to give him a pass because his position shifts are old news. But they are not old news: That fact that Romney has an odds-on chance to become president in 2013 makes doubts about his core values more relevant than ever…”
“Less than a decade later, voters will soon ask themselves whether they want somebody like Romney in Washington. Somebody whose core beliefs are so hard to pin down.”
Mark Halperin: “Just the opposite. What is most potent about Romney’s campaign so far is its cleverly dispassionate anti-Obama formula, which goes something like this: ‘The President is a nice man with a nice family. He didn’t cause the economic mess, but his actions have made things worse. He’s clearly in over his head.’ That message worries many senior Democrats, who now believe Romney has made the tactical decision to take the high road and leave the gutter attacks to the incumbent.”
Mitt Romney “is biding his time and saving his campaign cash as he benefits from the missteps of his rivals,” Bloomberg reports.
At this point four years ago, Romney had spent $11 million on television advertising. Today, with the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary fast approaching, Romney has yet to spend a dime on commercials.
Washington Post: “Mitt Romney was firm and direct with the abortion rights advocates sitting in his office nine years ago, assuring the group that if elected Massachusetts governor, he would protect the state’s abortion laws. Then, as the meeting drew to a close, the businessman offered an intriguing suggestion — that he would rise to national prominence in the Republican Party as a victor in a liberal state and could use his influence to soften the GOP’s hard-line opposition to abortion. He would be a ‘good voice in the party’ for their cause, and his moderation on the issue would be ‘widely written about.'”