The sexual harassment story has now diverged into two distinct lines. Aside from the reports of the various allegations, there is this notion that the past week should serve as some sort of exemplar of Cain’s ability to handle a crisis. It is the latter storyline that is clearly the most damaging.
It is clear that Cain’s opponents have seized upon him at the most dangerous time for any campaign. Despite his frontrunner status, the Cain campaign still has the infrastructure of a lower-tier candidate. On top of that, he is an outsider, which makes it all that much more difficult to bring in experienced political consultants. Absent the internal limitations of the Cain campaign this story is old news.
It is time for Herman Cain to admit something publicly. He needs to get out there and change the story to one of campaign reorganization. Times like this pit loyalty vs. accountability. Many of us were quite frustrated when George W. Bush consistently erred on the side of loyalty. Will Cain do any better? After all, isn’t accountability really all about being loyal to your supporters even if that conflicts with loyalty to your inner circle?
One final note: a public campaign reorganization is an opportunity to send a clear message that one is not about to fold. It is an opportunity to grow into top-tier status. It is an opportunity that should not be ignored.