It’s been a while since I have posted. While my schedule and my recent stroke have made it hard to devote time to blogging, the major reason is self-imposed. As a member of the Republican State Central Committee, I promised I would not publicly endorse any candidate in a contested caucus or primary. Further, I have also chosen not to publicly criticize our candidates. This self-imposed limitation has prevented me from commenting on a number of issues. Now that Herman Cain has suspended his campaign for president, I want to use the opportunity to comment on his campaign and the controversies surrounding it.
Let me start that saying I wasn’t exactly on the Cain Train. I was and still am really undecided this year. However I was giving Herman Cain a serious look. He and I have a great deal in common. We both majored in mathematics, both worked in the restaurant industry, both worked for defense contractors. Ethnically I am 1/4 black and we have both been lay ministers and held leadership roles in Baptist churches and we both like to sing Gospel music. I like the fact that Cain comes from outside the beltway. For a lot of reasons, I wanted to like Hermain Cain and considered supporting him.
While Cain was head of the National Restaurant Association, I was working as a restaurant manager. (I am now an engineer working in the defense industry 🙂 I got a first-hand look at sexual harrasment in the workplace. I was deposed as a witness in a harassment case against another manager. I felt that the claim was unfounded but since harassment is about perception not intent, the company settled. So when the claims of sexual harassment surfaced against Mr. Cain, I was inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, the latest allegations by Ginger White were too much for me to brush aside. After hearing the details, I crosseed Mr. Cain off my short list and soon after he dropped out of the race.
I have to say that in this case it was not how Cain handled the allegation, nor was it the allegation tself that turned me off from his campaign. Rather it was what Cain admitted that put up red flags for me. According to the New Hampshire Union Leader
Cain acknowledged that he had been giving money to Ginger White, the woman who alleges that she had a 13-year affair with the Republican businessman. He also said that his wife Gloria did not know about that – or even that Ms. White was a friend of Cain’s – until the alleged affair was reported in recent days.
Cain said that he has helped members of his church and members of his family financially. As a Christian myself I find this admirable, frankly I have done the same — with the full knowledge and support of my wife. I want to believe that there was nothing untoward going on, but to not involve or even inform his wife is at the very least the height of foolishness. By not informing hs wife, it makes it look like something more is going on. At worst, it creates just the sort of situation where an inappropriate relationship could develop. Any man involved in church leadership would know potential pitfalls of getting in such a situation.
I was willing to look beyond the harassment allegations. I could ignore the way his campaign handled scadal. I could even overlook some verbal stunbles in interviews. But a Christian man who puts himself in that position without regard to his testimony or his family, in my opinion lacks the judgement necessary to be president of the United States.