Herman Cain, Martyr for the 9-9-9 Cause

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Perhaps Herman Cain has noticed reporters have started using terms like "snowballing" and  "modified limited hangout," a Richard Nixon reference, to refer to allegations of sexual harassment against him, because he's shifted from hoping the story will go away to blaming it on his rivals for the Republican nomination. Having already denounced the racist motivations of the  liberal media, Cain is shifting into full-on martyr mode. He's raising money off the attacks, saying his enemies are "intimidated" by his 9-9-9 tax plan, and sitting down with Ginni Thomas, wife of another famous victim of liberal treachery.

Rick Perry's campaign denies it had anything to do with the story. "We found out about these allegations at the same time as I suppose everybody else did," Perry told Red State's Erick Erickson. Cain fingered a Perry adviser, Curt Anderson, because Cain told Anderson about the claims in 2003, when they were working on Cain's Senate campaign. Which means that somehow, in the years that followed, Cain forgot the story -- he blames his initial denials on faulty memory -- but Anderson remembered it. No way, Anderson says: "Herman needs to issue an apology to me. That's what needs to happen," he told The New York Times. Politico, which broke the sexual harassment story, printed Anderson's denial. So as Hot Air notes, "Unless they’re willing to print denials which they know for a fact are untrue, then Anderson probably isn't the source." Chris Wilson, who worked for the National Restaurant Association and now works for Perry, says he's not the source either. "I had nothing to do with leaking this in any way," he told the Times

Still, the Washington Times adds more speculation about who could have done such a terrible thing:
According to a source who is friends with the Cain campaign, not only is the Rick Perry campaign involved but also the Mayor of Chicago and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is likely involved with the sexual harassment accuser attacks. A friend of the Cain campaign believes a National Restaurant Association (NRA) employee out of the Chicago office leaked the story to the Perry campaign via information and influence from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.  
On the other hand, it seems unlikely that President Obama's former top aide would work with Perry to help him try to get his boss's job. 
One of Cain's accusers "doesn’t want to become another Anita Hill," her lawyer, Joel Bennett, told The New York Times' Michael D. Shear, Jeff Zeleny, and Jim Rutenberg. So she's not going to come forward after all. But she does want to put out a statement, if the National Restaurant Association okays it doesn't violate the non-disclosure agreement she signed, to tell her side of things without going into detail. But even if she stays anonymous, details about the woman are coming out. ABC News reports that she lives in Maryland and "has worked for years as a public spokesperson for various agencies of the federal government." Another Cain accuser has also had a successful career in government, ABC reports.
Fox News finds the women's "government-related jobs" very interesting. Cain's campaign is trying to raise money off the story, saying it shows "The other Republican candidates, the liberal media, and even President Obama ... are intimidated by his '9-9-9 Plan' and his ability to connect with Americans." The campaign wants to bring in $999,000 in Iowa by November 9.
Cain sat down for a sympathetic interview with Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, from whom many conservatives have borrowed the phrase "high-tech lynching" to describe the allegations against Cain. This recalls John Edwards' campaign theme in 2004, that there are "Two Americas." Except in this situation, there is one America that thinks Ginni Thomas is a brave woman who defended her husband against the craven political enemies that compelled Anita Hill lie that Thomas had sexually harassed her, and another America that thinks Ginni Thomas is in deep, deep denial. Luckily for Cain, right now he's trying to get votes only from the first America. "That is the D.C. culture. Guilty until proven innocent," Cain says.
For an unlikely presidential candidate, getting your quote made into a ringtone months before people start voting is a mixed bag -- it means lots of people know who you are, but it also means lots of people think you're a joke. Wednesday, Herman Cain got angry when reporters kept asking him about allegations he sexually harassed several women, yelling, "Excuse me! Excuse me! What part of 'no' don't dumb people understand?" You can now download that as a ringtone for free from the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.