The news that Herman Cain is “reassessing” his presidential campaign after a woman’s claim that she had a 13-year extramarital affair with him became a news story once again illustrates the unfortunate tendency to confuse legitimate news stories with pure gossip whenever the word sex is involved.
The Cain campaign’s response to the claim attempts to take advantage of this confusion:
In a statement, Cain’s campaign called the accusations just another attempt to “derail the Cain Train.”
“The Cain Campaign is not surprised that another female accuser has come forward due to the fact that earlier allegations were unable to force Herman Cain to drop his presidential bid to renew America,” the campaign said in a statement.
The previous allegations against Cain all involve alleged sexual harassment on his part against his employees, i.e., a species of serious employment discrimination which is actionable under state and federal law, and they were, if credible, obviously of great relevance to Cain’s candidacy. A sexual liaison between consenting adults is a different matter altogether, but the Cain campaign is trying to take advantage of the widespread belief that sexual harassment is about personal sexual behavior per se, (or to put it more bluntly, that sexual harassment is just another word for crazy vengeful gold-digging tarts upset about whatever stuff women inexplicably get upset about), rather than about the abuse of power in an employment context.