It’s been a hard and fast fall from the top for Herman Cain since that cold morning in October when I stood outside Derryberry Hall with the Tea Party senior citizen constituency of Cookeville to watch him speak for extra credit.
If you weren’t able to make it, you missed quite a show.
A Nashville entertainer whom I’ve never heard of but I’m just sure is on the cusp on worldwide fame came out and performed a song called entitled “I Am America,” complete with hand motions (Note: It is impossible to write a catchy song about reforming our country’s tax codes. Don’t even try).
Then loud, patriotic instrumental music played and Herman Cain came out and basically yelled at us for about 30 minutes and then went back on the bus and left.
But I digress.
In the weeks that followed, four women came forward accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment during his time as head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990’s.
Then on Monday, an Atlanta woman named Ginger White went public with her story, alleging that she had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain.
Cain has vehemently denied these charges, yet several news stories indicate that he may be preparing to drop out of the race because of this.
He reportedly told a group of 90 staffers on a conference call Tuesday that these charges were “cause for reassessment” of his campaign.
If these allegations against him are untrue, as Cain says they are, dropping out of this race would be the worst thing that he could do.
It is tantamount to an admission of wrongdoing and sends a message that people can manipulate the outcome of a Presidential race with fabricated stories.
As Herman Cain considers the future of his candidacy, he would be wise to remember what happened to John McCain in 2008.
In February of that year, The New York Times printed a story insinuating that McCain may have had a romantic relationship with Washington lobbyist Vicki Iseman. The McCain campaign pushed back hard against this false story and was ultimately vindicated with the truth.
I’m no Herman Cain fan, but when charges are leveled against you like those made against Cain, if they really are false, you don’t give up and quit, you stay in and fight. You defend your honor and you ensure that voters are afforded an opportunity to know what really happened.
If Herman Cain has carried on an inappropriate relationship with anyone during the course of his professional life, he is well advised to drop out now.
We are already facing a drought of integrity in Washington, and behavior such as this is not consistent with the “change” his campaign speaks of, but rather is perfectly in line with the status quo.
But if these reports are false, I urge Herman Cain to stay in this race. Don’t allow these individuals who slander your name the thrill of a victory.
Stay in and press forward, knowing that ultimately the truth will prevail. You owe your donors, your staff, and most importantly, your wife, at least that much.
Oh, also maybe read up on the conflict in Libya, and perhaps make some flashcards for future interviews.