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Two quick thoughts about Herman Cain

1. I really, really hope Herman Cain doesn’t drop out this week. Regardless of the truth of any of these accusations, if he gives up this quickly, it will send a signal to the Left and the media that burying someone with allegations of sexual impropriety is a successful way to drive a conservative candidate from the race.

In our reality TV world, all it takes is a little bit of money and a promise of notoriety, and you can find someone who will do and say just about anything on camera. I do not want to encourage future efforts to organize character assassinations of our candidates. If Cain drops out, it should be because the campaign at the top is dysfunctional and destructive, not because of this nastiness.

2. The mere existence of text messages proves nothing. All we’ve seen so far is proof that Ginger White knows Herman Cain’s phone number and that they have communicated. White has not shown any evidence about the substance of those communications.

Let’s be realistic. The mere fact of exchanging messages between a married man and single woman is not per se proof of an adulterous relationship. When she comes forward with a text message that says, “Hey baby, what are you wearing?” then I might take her more seriously. Otherwise…meh. White’s lack of disclosure of any actual evidence, plus the information that continues to come out about her, makes me very skeptical about the credibility of her story.

I myself run my business through my cell phone and laptop and have exchanged lots of phone calls, emails, text messages, and twitter direct messages with elected officials and candidates, many of whom are married men. If you looked at those messages, you’d see draft press releases, links to news articles, questions about event scheduling…all very mundane stuff. Also, I work at home and I’m a bit of a night owl, so sometimes I’m working late. “Sarah Rumpf sent an email to a married elected official at 1:00 a.m.!” Yeah, with a discussion about a campaign finance issue that would bore you to tears if you read it.

So, regarding these allegations, I’m going to continue to give Cain the benefit of the doubt. My questions about his overall campaign strategy remain, and I sincerely hope Cain takes these next few days as an opportunity to reevaluate in which direction his campaign is headed.

[Cross-posted at Sunshine State Sarah]

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