Many conservative activists were quick Monday to rally behind Cain. L. Brent Bozell III, a frequent media critic, called the allegations a "high-tech lynching," summoning the language Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas used when accused of harassment at his explosive 1991 confirmation hearings.The campaign had almost two weeks to prepare. Cain needed to have a press release ready to go, which would have also served as his crib sheet in responding to allegations. This is Campaigns and Elections 101. It's the basics of rapid response politics. Had Cain come out with a strong statement Sunday night he could have stayed on message all day yesterday, during his whirlwind network interview rounds. Instead, he dug a hole from which he needs to quickly extricate himself. EARLIER: "Herman Cain's Accuser Speaks Out."
"This will play to his advantage with the grass roots," predicted K.B. Forbes, a GOP strategist who has worked for previous insurgent candidates. "One of their favorite lines is, 'It's the liberal media.'"
But for insiders — donors, Republican strategists and others among the political establishment — the episode could raise further doubts about Cain as well as concerns about the wherewithal of his seat-of-its-pants campaign operation.
According to Politico, campaign operatives knew the article was coming for 10 days. And yet in its initial statement — which was widely circulated — the campaign did not deny the harassment allegations. That was left, many hours later, to Cain.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
As outrageous as this whole thing is, I'm still pretty taken aback by how amateurish was the Cain's campaign's response to the revelations. Here's this from the front page at this morning's Los Angeles Times, "Harassment allegations trip up Herman Cain":