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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I did not have a benign conversation with that woman

Over the last month or so, after an unexpected and massive surge in the polls, the media has been tripping over itself to vet GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain

His biography speaks to the classic American rags-to-riches story - a family with parents working multiple jobs, barely scraping by and saving everything they have in order to buy a home, two boys graduating from college because their parents wanted them to have a better life... When you add in the fact that it was a black family doing all of these things in the still segregated deep south, the story become that much more powerful.

Herman Cain applied his home-acquired work ethic to his Morehouse and Purdue-acquired education and thrived in the business world. He spearheaded major turnarounds in both a poorly-run region of the Burger King Corporation and Godfather's Pizza (which he brought back from near bankruptcy). He brushed with the Clinton Administration over healthcare reform at a townhall meeting, raising enough questions for Newsweek to subsequently name Herman Cain the "primary saboteur" of Hillarycare.

In the last few days, however, Cain has found himself under fire for 15-20 year old allegations of harassment. Of course, the media has had a field day with the story. Greta van Susteren accused Cain of having a "roaming eye" in a live interview, and rumors have swirled following his initial denial of any sexual harassment charges. The fact is, that the Restaurant Association settled the issues without really involving Cain in the cases at all. It is likely that until he did some research following the media coverage, he was completely unaware of many of the details.
That being said, Cain did recall one incident in which he gestured to indicate height (without touching the woman with whom he was speaking) and casually mentioned that she was about the same height as his wife. Now, I could be wrong, but to me that doesn't pass the reasonable person test (the test used to determine harassment based on whether most reasonable people would feel harassed by the action or words). I realize that there are all kinds of bizarre things that men find attractive - uneven ears, cankles or unibrows just to name a few - and I am sure that some men prefer their women to be tall or short or of some particular build, but the idea that Herman Cain was coming on to a woman simply because he related her height to someone he was attracted to (his wife) is ludicrous. That would be like me saying to someone I just met, "Hey, you're a baker? No kidding, my husband is a baker too!" and then spending the rest of my life terrified that he had thought I was trying to put the moves on him.

Incidentally, if "hey, you're the same height as my wife!" is the best pick up line Herman Cain can come up with, we have nothing to worry about when it comes to possible presidential dallyings... And when you consider Bill Clinton's spotty record when it comes to women and harassment, if the allegations turn out to be true then Cain is shaping up to be remembered by liberals as one of the great ones.

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