Herman Cain has scheduled a press conference for 5 pm ET to discuss the ongoing sexual harassment claims being made against him. That should be entertaining! Hopefully he'll sing again. In the meantime, the Cain campaign has issued a horrible press release attacking the character of Sharon Bialek, who is currently the only one of the five accusers to publicly identify herself. It's all class:
The campaign’s sourced press release attack’s Bialek’s credibility through a list of lawsuits she’s been a defendant in, noting a 1999 paternity suit and that Bialek worked for nine different employers over a period of 17 years.
“The fact is that Ms. Bialek has had a long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances – which may help explain why she has come forward 14 years after an alleged incident with Mr. Cain, powered by celebrity attorney and long term Democrat donor Gloria Allred,” the release reads. “Which brings up the question of why she would make such reprehensible statements now?”
Why now? Um, because the guy who she claims sexually assaulted her is the leading Republican presidential candidate, and she thought it was pertinent information? Isn't that believable enough? And attacking someone for a difficult employment record when your candidate has a history of telling out-of-work Americans to "get a job" is sketchy, too. Cain is starting to look out-of-touch when it comes to employment issues; in the deregulated, anti-worker Republican economy, not everyone can get hired and float to the top of a company, after all. A lot of us are going to be used up and spit out by a series of employers if Cain gets his way.
In any case, I'm not sure that any of this is going to hurt Cain's standing with his base. He seems to have inherited Sarah Palin's rabid following—the thirty percent or so of Republican voters who believe that any claim against their candidate is an assault from the evil liberal media. It's a tricky persecution complex; you can wind up following your candidate into weird, doomed rhetorical alleys because of it. The question is whether the number of Republican voters with persecution complexes is enough to throw a candidate over the top. Four years ago, I'd have said no. Now? It's a possibility.