I recently wrote a blog post claiming that Herman Cain’s alleged indiscretions should not rule him out of contention for the Presidency; however, his handling of the situations should. In light of the most recent scandal and Cain’s continued presence in the polls, I feel that I must reaffirm how Herman Cain is utterly unqualified for President.
A sex scandal shouldn’t rule anyone out of contention. For grown ups a sex scandal is not the end all be all of someone’s character and there are more important aspects to leadership than a squeaky clean personal life (a point which Cain has made in an attempt to hush this scandal). A sex scandal will not curb Cain’s ability to conduct the economy or the foreign policy, it will not affect his education or tax proposals, and it does not negate his real world experience or reduce his intelligence. A sex scandal will not set Cain apart from his future contemporaries on the world stage either, as Berlusconi, Straus-Kahn, Bill Clinton and the Pope (among others) will attest. All that a sex scandal does is remove Cain’s ability to implement radical social policies without coming across as a hypocrite, as we shall see later.
The main problem with Cain’s numerous sex scandals is an utter failure to foresee or plan for problems. Even if Cain can be excused for failing to address previous sex scandals due to being a political novice, the fact that Cain has been dealing with sex scandals for close to two months now and failed to prepare an adequate response for Ginger White is dumbfounding. Surely by now an intelligent person would have woken up to the fact that the mainstream media thrives on confrontation and scandal, and will go to untold lengths to uncover a story. By now an intelligent man would have absorbed this knowledge and taken adequate steps to either remove Ginger White from circulation (John Edwards style) or drafted an adequate response. An intelligent person would have learned from previous mistakes. An intelligent person would possibly have made a pre-emptive strike. However this is not what Herman Cain chose to do. Instead he decided to stick his in the sand and hope that nothing would happen. He decided to ignore the problem in the hope it would go away. He chose to forget that the press have nothing better to do. These are not the actions of an intelligent or thoughtful person. These are not the actions of a commander in chief.
However, probably most damming of the Ginger White incident is the statement sent by Herman Cain’s lawyer to the media. The statement partially reads “No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life… [Mr. Cain] has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principle position is viewed unfavourably by members of the media”. This argument, as many have pointed out, goes against virtually every stance that Cain has taken on social policy throughout the campaign. Cain has voiced support for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, legislation to remove a woman’s right to choose (legislation stating that life begins at conception) and the reintroduction of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (the restriction on homosexuals serving openly in the military). This begs the question of why a person’s sexual orientation, the decision by consenting adults to get married or whether parents decide to keep a baby don’t come under the classification of “private sexual life”. And why is it ok for a government lead by Herman Cain to pry and legislate their way into the private lives of ordinary citizens when Herman Cain’s own exploits are off the table? How can the private life of a public figure be off the table when they are running on the idea that they are qualified to tell other people how they may live? But most importantly, how can someone who deems themself worthy of the mantle of the Presidency be so utterly blind to the hypocrisy of this statement?
Herman Cain is not fit to “lead the free world”. Not because of his sex scandals but because of the thoroughly unintelligent and unprofessional way he has handled the sex scandals. They have revealed how Herman Cain acts under pressure, and it is not a pretty picture. As President he would have to operate under this gruelling spotlight constantly, and he has not proved himself capable of the task.