No one in Washington thinks Herman Cain is doing well quashing these rumours about old sexual harassment suits.His story keeps changing. He lashed out at rivals. And his natural allies are questioning his competence.
So why are Cain and his campaign failing to put this to bed? His team knew about the Politico story for 10 days, and Cain himself thought these allegations would be a campaign issue in 2003 when he ran a campaign in Georgia.
J.P Freire, Senior Communications Strategist at New Media Strategies explained it to us in an e-mail.
a.) They don’t have all the information on hand because they no longer have access to the very specific facts (and nuances) of the situation.
b.) Their memory is foggy regarding certain aspects, and they fear misspeaking about the issue.
c.) Their staff is at war with each other over what narrative to put out there, with the attendant risks of each approach. Who will contradict what we say? Will someone else show up? Will this only encourage others to make fraudulent claims? What is the credibility of the accuser?
d.) Their staff isn’t, uh, organised the way a traditional (read: real) campaign staff would be organised, and thus less accustomed to these kind of crises, leading to an even *greater* tug-of-war. (Read Shakespeare’s histories.)
e.) They are in denial about their own behaviour in general and don’t fully disclose to anyone, let alone campaign managers and wives. Why would you think that would change when talking to the press?
Bottom line: Candidates have trouble facing the truth about themselves. And it is difficult to impose message discipline on such a small nimble campaign.
Get ready for a bumpy ride.
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