Herman Cain’s sexual prowess continued to impress on Monday, when an Atlanta woman named Ginger White told her local news station she has had a 13-year-long affair with candidate. Already the months of October and November have been packed with accusations from women who say Cain sexually harassed them, usually from his position of power as head of the National Restaurant Assocation. Most notably, two former employees took five-figure settlements in exchange for agreeing to keep quiet about his alleged inappropriate behavior, and another woman named Sharon Bialek, held a press conference in which she said Cain reached under her skirt and said, “You want a job, right?”
And what, praytell, does Gloria Cain, the candidate’s wife of 43 years, think of all this? According to The New York Times, when Cain told his wife about Ginger White’s claims, she responded, “Here we go again.”
That’s devotion! Clearly if there’s an award for standing by your man, Gloria Cain is a winner. And sure, after over four decades of marriage, she knows the guy better than any of us do. Yet its hard to believe — in fact, I don’t believe — that there isn’t a fire when there is so much smoke. So let’s dip into the playbook and find out Gloria Cain’s tips on how to stand by your man through a sex scandal:1. Have a short memory (and possibly a blind eye). In an interview with Greta Van Sustern on Fox News, Gloria Cain said that when she first heard about the sexual harassment allegations (presumably at the time they happened in the ’90s), her husband “mentioned something in passing” that “there may be a news story coming out, I’m not sure, and it deals with sexual harassment.” Her first thought was, “Well, it’s just hearsay or whatever.” That’s a normal reaction, of course. But then Cain explained it was one of the women who had made the accusations when he ran the National Restaurant Association. “For some reason, that rang a bell because years ago, I think when he first mentioned something about there was some accusations of harassment,” Gloria explained. “And I said, ‘Oh, well, is there anything to it? No.’” And that was that in the Cain household, I guess.
2. Suggest the accusers are untrustworthy. First, by alleging they are speaking out about this for the first time now — even though the accusations resulted in financial settlement 15 years ago. Gloria not only stands by her man, but suggests her hubby’s accusers are all liars. In her interview on Fox News, she asked why women were coming forward now — except that the two she was referring to settled 15 years ago. That means they came forward 15 years ago, not now when he is running for office. They are only making it public now because Cain is running for president. But if you listened to Gloria Cain, these women are not good victims: “If a person is so hurt or traumatized because of something you alleged happened to you, why would you wait 15 years to say something about it? I think if it were me, I would have to say something right away.” Someone needs to send her the memo that even if these women did come forward for the first time 15 years later, that doesn’t mean the likelihood it happened is any less. There is no timeline for when it is acceptable for victims of sexual harassment, sexual abuse and rape to come foward.
3. Equate chivalry with faithfulness. Herman Cain holds doors open for women and would throw himself in front of a car (!) if one was speeding out of control — so he couldn’t cheat! Several times in her Greta van Susteren interview, Gloria Cain insisted her husband “totally respects women” because he’s “old school” and a “women protector.” Chivalrous guys can still be douchebags, honey.
4. Stay out of the public eye — and don’t answer any questions. Gloria Cain is not running for office. She’s not required to be in the public eye for any reason at all. But it’s fishy to me that she did that one interview about the initial accusations with Greta van Susteren and hasn’t said one thing since, even though more allegations have come out. Issuing one blanket statement that doesn’t address specifics or nuances is a tried-and-true PR tactic. She’s on record saying her husband is being falsely accuse and that support will be trotted out for every successive accusation to come.
Herman Cain and his wife are lucky that the sexual harassment scandals broke first: both of them could insinuate the women (all the women) are liars and that he was the real victim here, of character assassination. And the cheating claim? Well, there is still silence from Gloria about Ginger White’s claim of an affair. (If it’s true, it is their personal business, of course, but nevertheless casts further doubt on Cain’s credibility.)
But the real shame here would be if a consensual affair/alleged consensual affair was ultimately what brought the candidate down. As David Weigl wrote on Slate.com, “(Alleged) consensual sex is a bigger scandal than (alleged) abuse of power to harass women sexually.” That, to me, is the biggest injustice — well, that and the woman whose been married to a pretty-sleazy-seeming guy for 43 years and still stands by her man.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.