Add this to another move by the Herman Cain camp that will be the equivalent of shooting Cain in the foot…with a shotgun:
A Herman Cain aide said Thursday that the Cain campaign is considering its legal options over the original Politico story, which revealed that the former head of the National Restaurant Association was accused of sexually harassing at least two women during his tenure in the 1990s.
“This is likely not over with Politico from a legal perspective,” a campaign official told the Post, stopping short of explaining what exactly he meant by taking legal action against the publication.
Politico’s Executive Editor, Jim VandeHei said in a statement:
“We have heard nothing from the Cain campaign. We stand confidently behind every story Politico reporters have written on the topic.”
The Cain campaign has had an attorney advising it since Saturday on crisis management, which hasn’t gone particularly well for Cain since the story broke Sunday night.
On Thursday night, Politico reported more details of the allegations against Cain, saying that the former NRA head made a “sexual overture to [one of the women] at one of the group’s events.”
Politico cited “multiple sources independently familiar with the matter” and said the woman in question was “livid” and reported the incident that night to an NRA board member. She left the trade group soon afterwards, the publication reported.
I seldom use the word in a post but I’ll use it here. This is politically a dumb idea for several reasons. Just having a threat like this come from the Cain camp is itself politically dumb.
And here is why:
1. Politicians and celebrities with few exceptions seldom win cases such as this.
2. This seems more a way of the Cain camp saying, “Why this is all malarky and to prove it we’ll sue Politico!” It’s a political tactic more than a likely legal solution to halt the stories, cause a retraction, or stop scrutiny of Cain.
3. It will increase the hits to The Politico and most of the news media and media organizations will rally to its defense. Of course, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity et. al. will insist it is part of that big, mean, all pervasive liberal media which is called liberal when it does stories that reflect badly on candidates they like but whose stories are highly touted if they are unflattering to Democrats (then they are unbiased, solid, even handed stories done by professional reporters)..
4. If legal action is begun, then look for the media more then ever to go over ever facet of Cain’s existence, and to challenge any of his assertions since the perception would exist that he is trying to not only evade scrutiny but attempting to shut down using the legal system those who dare gather and publish unflattering information against him.
The question would then be how someone so controversial and with so much baggage could win an election against Barack Obama. (Of course that assumes that winning the election remains the goal or will it all become to send a message to the media and Republican establishment.)