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Exit Herman Cain, Stage Right

(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Herman Cain-darling of the Republican Party one-moment accused of cheating on his wife the next.   Funny how a presidential campaign can end up in the toilet in such a very short period of time!  It really does not matter whether any of the allegations against Mr. Cain are true or not.  Perception is reality.  Is it fair?  No it is not.  But that’s how we humans tend to react.  Someone is accused of something we consider immoral, illegal, heinous, unethical-name it-and we turn on him or her quick.  Innocent until proven guilty really only seems to apply in certain circles.

Now rest assured, if Herman Cain were a democrat, you’d hear cries of racism from every corner of that party.  Is there racism at work here?  We’re quick to assume such only because Cain is black.  But racism is not at work here.  This is good, old-fashioned dirty politics.  If you can’t beat ‘em, ruin ‘em.  Destroy reputations, images, whatever it takes.  Dig up every last spec of dirt you can find, roll it into a big ‘ol ball of mud and hit ‘em square between the eyes with it.  And if some of that dirt happens to be true, all the better!

Infidelity has left its mark on many a politician.  It has long tainted the image of John Kennedy.  His assassination, while tragic, assured his place in history as a political icon, a giant among leaders regardless of political affiliation.  Most, therefore, tend to overlook his alleged indiscretions.  Remember Gary Hart, Democratic candidate for POTUS way back in the mid-80’s?  What idiot allows himself to be photographed with his mistress sitting on his lap?  Gary Hart did.  Idiot.  And of course we all know about John Edwards, the over-sexed one-time darling of the Democratic Party who just could not resist the urge to videotape himself getting busy.  Another idiot.

Herman Cain just does not strike me as an idiot.  His track record, up till now, paints quite the opposite picture.  But the latest ‘lady’ to come forward claiming to have been, uh, shall we say, inappropriately involved with said conservative candidate had a cell phone.  Not just any cell phone, but a cell phone that apparently holds a number of text messages and logged calls to the private cell phone of one Herman Cain.  It’s practically a loaded grenade.  She gave the number to the media.  They called and Mr. Cain called back to say yes, he did know this person.  Oh boy.  This is going to end badly for Herman Cain.  Even without the rock-solid proof that a sex tape or torrid text message could provide, we’ve already convicted Herman Cain in the court of public opinion.  The odds he’ll be able to stay in this race are about 80/20 against.  Well, at least that’s what the guy in Vegas told me when I called for his professional opinion.  He seemed honest.

So what are we left with?  Mitt Romney and that televangelist-like do of his; Michele Bachman, who should be out the door about 90 seconds after Herman exits; Rick Perry, our beloved governor and a man who desperately needs a do-over; Rick Santorum and John Huntsman, who together have barely made a whimper on the scene; Ron Paul, who’s views on foreign policy will torpedo any chance he could ever have; and then, there’s Newt Gingrich.  Newt has been dogged by accusations of infidelity.  He’s been married three times.  Is he really more of a moral giant than Herman Cain?  Bill Clinton faced infidelity accusations before and after his election to the nations highest office.  Even the tawdry details of his escapades in the Oval Office with an intern were not enough to end his presidency.  But then again, he is a democrat, right?  And don’t discount the possibility that the democrats throw Obama under the bus and put Hillary Clinton in the drivers seat.  It has happened before.  Yes, 2012 is going to be one long, strange trip.

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