Is Herman Cain a sleeper agent sent by Stephen Colbert to reveal the level of total absurdity American politics has descended to?
Let’s just say that after this week, if he was, the revelation would not come as a shock.
Much has been made about Cain’s stunningly inconsistent version of the sexual harassment charges that were leveled against him (and that he knew about for 10 days before they were made public): First he had no recollection, then he recollected there may have been some sort of settlement, then later that day he “recollected” part of what happened, then he suddenly recollected well enough to remember details like the woman’s height.
None of this, by the way, has yet affected either his poll numbers or his fundraising.
But this latest remark by Cain really takes the cake.
In attempting to accuse Rick Perry’s campaign of leaking the sexual harassment news to Politico — Cain points the finger at Curt Anderson, a Perry consultant who worked for Cain in 2003 — Cain volunteered this to Richard Miniter at Forbes:
In the summer of 2003, Cain recalls briefing Anderson—his general campaign consultant at the time [for his failed U.S. Senate run] —that sexual harassment claims were brought against him while he was chairman of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999.
“I told my wife about this in 1999 and I’ve got nothing to hide,” Cain told me Wednesday. “When I sat down with my general campaign consultant Curt Anderson in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003 we discussed opposition research on me. It was a typical campaign conversation. I told him that there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman while I was at the National Restaurant Association. Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them. I don’t recall anyone else being in the room when I told him.”
(Head exploding) emphasis mine.
Because if Cain recollected the charges well enough in 2003 to alert his general campaign consultant of them in a “typical campaign conversation” then presumably he did so again this time around.
It is one thing to claim forgetfulness about something that happened 15 years ago (and that claim was tenuous at best). It’s another to say that between remembering it well enough in 2003 to tell your campaign consultant about it and now it has somehow slipped your mind.
Clearly it did not slip Cain’s mind. Which again begs the question: Why wasn’t Cain prepared for this?
But actually it raises a larger question: Why is Herman Cain so clearly contradicting himself. Can’t he recollect his original version of events from three days ago?
But mostly it makes one wonder: why do voters not care that his story is so inconsistent a four-year-old could see through it? The only answer I can come up with is that the economy has been so crippling for so long that voters no longer care about anything but fixing it. And Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is simple enough (that’s about all it has going for it) people feel better hanging their hat on it than worrying about what Cain does and does not recollect.
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