What do you make of the sexual harassment story against Herman Cain?

The Politico story of allegations of sexual harassment against Cain have been hard to follow, but the AJC does a decent job here – including noting how Mr. Cain has changed his initial story about not knowing what the allegations were, that there was a “cash settlement”, etc:

At the National Press Club this afternoon, GOP presidential campaign Herman Cain said this about accusations of inappropriate behavior with two female employees of the National Restaurant Association, which he headed:

”As far as a settlement, I am unaware of any kind of settlement. I hope it wasn’t for much, because I didn’t do anything. But the fact of the matter is, I’m not aware of a settlement that came out of that accusation.”

But in an interview with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, to be aired at 10 p.m. this evening, Cain will contradict himself. He will admit knowing about a cash settlement – “maybe three months’ salary,” according to Byron York of the Washington Examiner.

Cain will also describe the gesture cited as offensive by the unidentified woman, according to York – who apparently has heard or seen the video. He’s a Fox News contributor.

It may end up here that Cain did nothing. I don’t know. What I DO know is that I haven’t been impressed with is how his campaign team have responded to the allegations. Politico reported:

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.

His media team’s responses once the story broke were less than forthcoming. It’s almost as if they were blindsided, when in reality they weren’t. If there’s nothing to this story, nip it in the bud – especially when you’ve had days (possibly longer than that) to prepare. This is Politics 101.

Some have suggested that, since Cain’s stock has risen over the last few weeks, that this could be a “hit piece” planted by Romney or Perry. I doubt it. I suspect this story is breaking now because there is more of an interest in Cain, and the more you rise to the top, the more likely you are going to have media types digging into your record. I could be wrong, but that’s where I’m at on this right now.

What do you think?

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